An agreement between Llano County and Hamilton County Hospital District reached in October means four, full-time Mobile Intensive Care units and crews are coming to the county with sites in Buchanan Dam, Kingsland, and Llano.
Earlier this year, Baylor Scott & White Health informed county commissioners that it would not renew its contract with the county for EMS and ambulance services. After a search, the Llano County Commissioners Court connected with Hamilton EMS, which operates under the Hamilton County Hospital District.
Under the new agreement, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021, Hamilton EMS will station one ambulance with a crew at 145 Bob St. in Kingsland, one at the Llano County East Annex in Buchanan Dam at Fuzzy’s Corner, and two in the city of Llano.
As part of the agreement, Hamilton EMS crews must have a response time of 15 minutes or less in 90 percent of the calls. Based on previous call reports, the Kingsland area has approximately 50 percent of EMS call volume.
Under its contract, Baylor Scott & White operated three stations but only staffed two with ambulances.
The Llano County annex site is an important location, said Patrick Cobb, the director of EMS with the Hamilton County Hospital District, because it provides access to two major highways: RR 1431 and Texas 29.
This location will provide coverage for northeastern Llano County, while the crew will still be able to respond to other parts of the county as needed.
The Llano County annex ambulance station will be 4,000 square feet once renovations are completed. It will house an operations supervisor/shift commander office as well as the ambulance station.
Hamilton EMS is also equipping its Llano County staff with an all-terrain vehicle, which will hold a stretcher, medical gear, and a cardiac monitor.
“It’ll probably live at Fuzzy’s Corner,” Cobb said of the ATV.
The ATV will allow paramedics and EMTs to get into rough areas that a regular ambulance might not be able to transit.
For the Kingsland site, Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval said the county already owns property on Bob Street.
Cobb added that the Bob Street location also gives crews easy access to RR 1431 and RM 2900.
The county and Hamilton EMS will place a temporary building at the Bob Street site until a permanent structure is completed.
“It will allow us to start putting the staff together in Kingsland,” Cobb said of the temporary building. “We wanted to put the ambulance where it can do the most good at the quickest time.”
Hamilton EMS is purchasing four new ambulances for Llano County.
Commissioner Sandoval said they are the definition of advanced care with cardiac monitors and defibrillators, hands-free CPR devices, transport ventilators, and more.
“It’s like riding in a hospital,” he said.
As for staffing, Hamilton EMS has commited to working with current Baylor Scott & White EMS employees to transition over if they desire.
The contract between Llano County and Hamilton County Hospital District renews every five years for 15 years.
“The county and county officials have really done a fantastic job of supporting the current EMS staff and helping them get transitioned over to Hamilton EMS,” Cobb said. “They’ve done a fantastic job of providing staff facilities.”