Central Texas rural community plans to purchase 4th ambulance

CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) – Milam County leaders are working on a plan to purchase an emergency response vehicle that will provide supplemental medical response to county residents.

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

“There are times when we need a fourth ambulance. We have three and we are getting this fourth call, said Milam County Judge Steve Young. “It happens on average over the last three months about 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 waiting longer for help.

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

One group that often shows up to help when an ambulance isn’t available is the local Milam County Fire Department.

“We don’t transport, we’re not a transport entity, but we’ll go out there, do what we can, help with resuscitation,” said Kaine Dodd, fire chief of the Milano Volunteer Fire Dept.

The county is working on getting a rapid response vehicle with a paramedic leading it. Although not an ambulance, it provides much more help than paramedic firefighters can often provide.

“A paramedic is the field equivalent of a doctor,” Dodd said. So instead of just sending us over there with just our EMR certificates, which are basically just first aid and bandages, they can send a paramedic who actually has medicine, they’ll have a heart monitor, they can start interventions that will really make a difference in that patient’s life that we can’t make because we’re not certified.

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

“We appreciate that. For me, it’s another step in the right direction to provide timely emergency care in Milam County.

Even with this one more step, county leaders recognize that this is the only part of a peace mill that is made to provide sufficient emergency response. So, as a long-term solution, the county is looking to add to the November ballot a proposal to form a taxpayer-funded emergency services district.

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