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Grant helps fund new EMS unit

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

In January, while transporting a patient to Kerrville, Bandera County ambulance, Medic 1, was involved in a three-vehicle collision north of Camp Verde on Highway 173. One person was killed and the two EMS personnel on board the emergency vehicle were injured.
At the time, a law enforcement report indicated a Mustang and a Toyota Tacoma pickup crashed into each other just north of the intersection. The Mustang's driver apparently drove into oncoming traffic, hitting the Toyota, which then careened into the ambulance, which totaled Medic 1.
According to Fire Marshal John Stith, the ambulance doors were so crushed that responding firefighters used the "Jaws of Life" to free the driver. Neither the ambulance driver nor the second EMS technician sustained life-threatening injuries, however.
During the Thursday, March 14, meeting of Bandera County Commissioners Court, EMS Director Cindy Martin said an administrator from the Texas Department of State Health Services had informed her that her department had been awarded a grant of $138,995 to fund the cost of an ambulance and replacement equipment.
Kathryn C. Perkins, assistant commissioner of the DSHS Division for Regulatory Services, wrote, "These funds will give Bandera County EMS the ability to continue to provide pre-hospital care to your community and (the) surrounding areas you serve. Services such as yours play a vital role in the provision of emergency medical services in Texas."
"We asked for $145,000, but we are grateful for any help the state can give us," Martin told the court. "It's wonderful for the state to do this."
Previously, insurance had paid out $72,394 for the wrecked ambulance. "We're still about $6,500 short, but I'm sure we can come up with that somehow," Martin added.
Martin and County Judge Richard Evan also commended EMS grant writer, Carol Corales, for her work that had resulted in securing the much-needed funds for EMS.
"Both you and Carol did a good job," Evans told Martin.

Pictured: Bandera County EMS recently received a DSHS grant totaling nearly $140,000 to replace an ambulance that was involved in a three-vehicle accident in January, according to EMS Director Cindy Martin.