EMS settles into new quarters
By LPR Staff
The citizens of Caldwell County have been just a little bit better protected since a second EMS station opened last month. This week, EMS invites the public to come visit the new station during an open house from noon – 4 p.m. on Friday.
“A second EMS district is something that I’ve wanted to see since I first got he
re,” said EMS director Cheryl Schneider. “This is going to enhance our service because it’s going to decrease our response times out to [Maxwell and Martindale areas].
The new EMS station is housed in the former Bluebonnet Electric Co-op building on Highway 142, along with the Lockhart Municipal Court.
According to Schneider, the new station is home to an additional ambulance bay, and will be staffed 24-hours per day, as will the EMS station on Bufkin Lane.
“We were running two crews out at Bufkin, so we’re just moving one over here,” she said. “We haven’t increased our personnel at all to make this change.” Schneider said that over the last several years, as traffic in Lockhart increased, it has become more difficult to service the southwestern portion of the county.
“Our response times used to be four minutes in this part of the county,” she said. “Now that we have to come all the way across town and through that traffic, they are up to eight to ten minutes. We’re going to be able to bring those back down by being out here.”
Also, the new station is located less than one mile from the proposed route for State Highway 130.
“When the highway gets here, this is going to be the best place for us to be,” she said. “We’re going to be less than a mile from the highway, and right by an on-ramp, which will decrease our response times to accidents on the highway.”
Despite concerns about the Union Pacific Railroad tracks intersecting with Highway 183, Schneider said the new location’s proximity to the crossing at FM 2720 was not a prime factor in the decision to put an EMS station in the Bluebonnet Building.
“We don’t really get affected by the trains that much,” she said. “Every once in a while, we’ll go through a period when it’s bad, but mostly, we don’t have a whole lot of problem with that intersection.”
Schneider hopes that, in addition to saving lives, the decision to operate a second EMS station will ultimately save taxpayers’ money.
“We won’t have to put the extra miles on both ambulances driving across town [from the Bufkin station] to get to the schools, or to this side of town. We’ll get to split the mileage more equally between the ambulances, and that may allow us to replace them less frequently.”
EMS, along with the Lockhart Municipal Court, will host an Open House on Friday, Sept. 8 from noon – 4 p.m. to allow the public to see the new court and EMS facilities. The Bluebonnet Building is located at 1914 W. San Antonio St. (Highway 142).