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Nacogdoches County Hospital District returns focus to EMS needs

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 2:20 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - During the transfer of operations at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital attention was often drawn away from other responsibilities. Now the Nacogdoches County Hospital District can redirect its focus with a top priority being emergency medical services.

When a 911 ambulance call happens in Nacogdoches County, the Nacogdoches Hospital District’s Emergency Medical Services roll out to help.

“We all know that 911 is not something that makes money,” said Lisa King, hospital district board president. “But it’s part of the service, part of the mission, to take care of those patients.”

So, the hospital district board wants to oversee EMS operations. And they want to do a better job. Free of hospital operations, the board’s goal is to direct funding to pressing EMS needs.

“Our biggest needs right now is to replace our ambulances,” said Wade Blake, operations director for the hospital district EMS. “We haven’t had an ambulance replaced, I believe, 2016 was the last ambulance that we got.”

Blake tallied the mileage on six ambulances. The grand total was more than 1,000,000 miles. The district can now focus on replacing the fleet’s older ambulances.

“We have two new units that are on their way here literally that will be going into service,” said King.

Another need is replacing serviceable, but outdated cardiac monitors.

“Our monitors are basically phased out, so we need quite a few monitors,” said Blake.

EMS educational professional Jonathan Walker is ready to get his sights on increased education.

“We can start getting that education department back up and running,” said Walker.

The hospital district leaders are anticipating revenue could increase so EMS needs can be met. More transports could lead to more funding. And there’s also the one-cent sales tax collected in Nacogdoches County for the hospital district.

Some of the EMS providers have worked decades for the hospital and regret the district had to relinquish control of the hospital. But they also understand emergencies can require desperate actions toward survival.

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