Administration and Leadership, Communications & Dispatch, News

Texas Firefighters Petition to Continue to Respond to EMS Calls

(City of Pinehurst, Texas)

Cost-saving change in Pinehurst drops most EMS calls

JEMS Staff

PINEHURST, Texas – Firefighters in Pinehurst have created a petition top counter a change in dispatching that city leaders call a cost-saving measure.

Pinehurst has a contract with Bridge City to dispatch fire calls. Pinehurst leaders say fewer calls would keep the cost down.

The Orange Leader reports that the reasoning behind that thought came after the cost went up $1,100 due to a dispatching change.

A three-year average totaled $25 per call, more than what the city has paid for the past 10 years.

The proposed 2019 – 2020 budget for the fire department in $48,890. $6,000 was budgeted for fees and $13,000 for the dispatch contract. The new dispatch service would cost $14,100 a year.

Pinehurst volunteer firefighters respond with other departments in a mutual aid agreement and with Acadian Ambulance. EMS calls they respond to are listed under a First Responders Ordinance. Those EMS calls are:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Chest pains or heart trouble
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Unconscious or unresponsive/cardiac arrest
  • Traumatic injuries
  • MVC with injuries, entrapment or unknown injuries
  • Unknown medical calls
  • Any other requests by responding EMS unit
  • As with a police officer responding to a 9-1-1 call, the situation can change rapidly.

The change proposed by Pinehurst leaders would reduce the list to:

  • Structure fire
  • Fire alarms
  • Gas leaks
  • Down powerlines
  • Known cardiac arrest (CPR in progress)
  • MVC with fluids on ground

Pinehurst Fire Chief Shon Branham told The Orange Leader that considering most EMS calls as unnecessary places citizens and visitors at risk.

Pinehurst residents told 12NewsNow that they support the fire department petition and that the firefighters should be allowed to respond to all incidents that they are qualified to deal with.