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JUDGE: A big improvement in Emergency Medical Services

Most people know that the ambulance service in Milam County is provided by AMR and funded in part by a subsidy from the Milam County Coalition, which consists of the county, the City of  Rockdale and the City of Cameron.  

Collectively, the Coalition provides an annual subsidy to AMR of $350,000 as the service is not very profitable. We do have three 24/7 ambulances in the County, which are housed in Rockdale, Cameron and Milano. However, there are times when a fourth ambulance is needed when the three existing ambulances are out on a call.  In the last three months, this has happened on average about five times per month.  In these situations a fourth ambulance would be great, but the estimated additional subsidy for a fourth ambulance is $500,000.

For several months the Milam County Coalition has been in negotiations with the nine solar companies that have leased land in the County to donate funds to help alleviate the shortage.  I am happy to report that an agreement was reached late last week whereby the solar companies will make a generous donation of $180,000 to the coalition for the purchase and operation of a Milam County “quick response vehicle” (QRV).  In essence, this will be a countywide “roving paramedic” that will be used in a number of ways to support our ambulance service.

For example, the QRV could be called out in certain cases when a 911 call is placed, but it is unclear if an ambulance is really needed.  There are many calls for medical aid, but a transport is not needed.  However, we send an ambulance and crew to investigate, which takes one of the three ambulances out of service.  The QRV could readily make a quick assessment upon arrival at the scene and then decide whether a transport is really needed.  The QRV could also be used in situations where an ambulance is not available to triage the patient or provide emergency medical care.

Late last summer AMR had a shortage of paramedics (due to the pandemic), which hampered our ambulance service. During the shortage we had a QRV in the County (thanks to AMR), which was a big help.  However, QRV’s do not generate revenue as the vehicle does not transport patients.  Therefore, we did not have it long, but this new arrangement will provide one for the foreseeable future.  

This new arrangement has truly been a community wide effort on the part of the Milam County Coalition, including Cameron Mayor Bill Harris, Rockdale Mayor John King, Buckholts Mayor Eaton, Thorndale Mayor George Galbreath and Milano Mayor Karl Westbrook.  We have all worked side by side to get this agreement in place.  Of course, we thank Monty Humble and all of the solar companies for their generous donation and AMR for agreeing to incorporate the vehicle into our current ambulance service.  This will be a huge benefit for every Milam County resident!

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902