Fire Department Primary Provider of EMS on South Padre Island (TX)

South Padre Island, Texas – September 26, 2011 – Starting October 1, 2011 the City of South Padre Island Fire Department will be the primary provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on South Padre Island Texas.

In order to provide the service, the City of South Padre Island acquired its first ambulance that is ready to provide Emergency Medical Services to all residents and visitors. The ambulance went through an extensive certification process and received it certification on Friday, September 23rd by the Texas Department of State Health Services.  A second ambulance will be purchased in October.

For the past 25 years the City has contracted out the ambulance service to a private provider.  The provider had a single ambulance posted on the Island. With its beautiful beaches and warm gulf waters, South Padre Island is known primarily as a tourist destination. But according to Fire Chief Burney Baskett the increase in permanent residents as well as an increase in tourists has resulted in a marked increase in calls for service including EMS calls. “For the past 10 years the Fire Department has had a first responder program in place but with the call volume we are seeing it became evident we needed additional transport capabilities on the Island. That means a second ambulance here on the Island full time” said Chief Baskett.

After conducting a cost analysis, the City determined it would be more cost effective for the Fire Department to assume EMS operations than it would be to pay the additional cost to a private provider for a second ambulance.

“We are excited to be able to provide this service upgrade. We will be doubling the amount of ambulances available on the Island while maintaining the high level of Emergency Medical Service that our citizens and visitors expect and demand. This is a program that could literally save a life.” said Chief  Baskett.

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