County EMS Getting Short-Changed, Director Says
The Austin City Council spent more time today hammering out a $3 billion spending plan for next year. One of the departments that got the most attention was Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services.
That’s because its resources, such as ambulances, are not being maintained or replaced on time, according to EMS Director Ernie Rodriguez.
“Each year when we choose to replace a few, but not all the ones that we need, we begin to backlog the number of ambulances that are accumulating too many miles,” Rodriguez said. “This year we’ve proposed to change a significant number of those ambulances. And you won’t see that plan. That’s going to leave me with a huge backlog. We can’t continue to manage our fleet that way.”
Rodriguez says Travis County provides the resources to cover about 60 percent of the county, but EMS workers must respond to 100 percent of calls.
The 2013 budget needs to be ready by mid-September.