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Rural Central Texas community plans to purchase 4th ambulance

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 5:41 PM CST
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CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) - Leaders in Milam County are working on a plan to purchase an emergency response vehicle that will provide supplementary medical response to county residents.

There are currently only three ambulances, contracted through American Medical Response Incorporated (AMR), to serve all of Milam County.

“There are times when we need a fourth ambulance. We have three out and we get that fourth call, said Milam County Judge Steve Young. “That happens on average in the last three or so months five or six times a month, " Young said.

Typically, first responders will try to get an ambulance from nearby Bell or Williamson counties but that often means patients are left waiting longer for help.

“The problem is if you’re that call and if you’re lying there and you’re having chest pains and you need help,” Young said, “You need help then.”

One group that often shows up to help when there are no ambulances are the local fire departments in Milam County.

“We don’t transport, we are not a transporting entity but we’ll go over there, do what we can, assist with cpr,” said Kaine Dodd, the fire chief for Milano Volunteer Fire Dept.

The county is working on getting a quick response vehicle with a paramedic running it. While it’s not an ambulance, it provides a lot more help than firefighter EMTs can often provide.

“A paramedic is the field equivalent of a doctor,” said Dodd. So instead of just sending us out there with just our EMR certificates which is basically just first aid and bandages they’ll be able to send a paramedic out there that will actually have medications, they’ll have a cardiac monitor, they can start interventions that will really make a difference in that patient’s life that we can’t do because we aren’t certified.”

To pay for the quick response vehicle and to hire a paramedic to run it for a year, nine solar farms interested in coming to Milam County have pledged to donate $180,000.

“We appreciate it. As far as I’m concerned it’s one more step in the right direction to provide quick emergency care in Milam county.”

Even with this one more step, county leaders recognize its only part of a peace mill of things being done to provide enough emergency response. So as a long term solution, the county is looking to add on the November ballot a proposition to form an emergency services district funded by tax payers.

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