EMS issues discussed at Council meeting

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By KAROLYN GEPHART

EMS was discussed at the recent July 10 meeting of the Friendswood City Council.

Emergency Medical Services is a critical function of any community. A long term sustainable model is essential and the City of Friendswood is looking and evaluating current issues with EMS and its future.

Assistant City Manager Morad Kabiri presented the results of an ad-hoc committee of citizens, council members, FVPD members and staff who have worked several months on EMS issues.

Over the last several years, according to Kabiri, the number of EMS calls for service has increased with fewer and fewer volunteers available to respond.

This trend has led to an increase in paid EMS staff. Additionally, of those who called 911 for emergency medical services, some were given free service while others were charged due to the need for mutual aid from EMS providers outside of the City of Friendswood.

Faced with increasing operational costs and reduced donations for capital equipment, City Council created the committee to develop a long term sustainable solution for the provision of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The group of 13 investigated historical trends, benchmarking comparable municipalities, and developing potential solutions to be presented. Their recommendations would establish a secure process for Fire and EMS service to meet the city’s needs for the next 20 years.

“Also to make sure it is clear, there has been no decision on what to do regarding EMS service in Friendswood. At this time we are only weighing options. To do that we do want to find out what outsourcing will cost. But we are by no means there yet,” Council member and committee member Steve Rockey said on FB. “Also there will be plenty of time for the public to comment and weigh in.”

A town meeting with Rockey and Councilmember John Scott has been called for Monday, July 17 at 7 p.m. but, at press time, the location for the meeting was not decided.

Friendswood residents should check FB for details, including Friendswood Advocates for Citizen Awareness, Friendswood Political Page, or Let’s Talk Friendswood. By email, check Next Door Neighborhood.