West Carlisle hosts town hall meeting discussing state of servic - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

West Carlisle hosts town hall meeting discussing state of services

Source: Presley Fowler, KCBD Source: Presley Fowler, KCBD
UMC EMS (Source: KCBD Video) UMC EMS (Source: KCBD Video)

The West Carlisle Fire/EMS hosted a town hall meeting that started Friday at 7:30 p.m. in which residents were able to voice their grievances regarding a disruption of services to that area of Lubbock County. 

A flyer promoting the meeting states that a change within University Medical Center's EMS policy will force workers at that station to lose their jobs. The paid staffers who currently work there will replaced by volunteer workers, according to the flyer.

Therefore, people within the station called a meeting to get elected officials around the county to help save the station. Attending that meeting were county commissioners Patti Jones and Bill McCay, who were available to answer questions.

After hearing both sides of the story, both say the issue will be tough to figure out but hope to meet both parties in the middle.

In a statement provided to KCBD NewsChannel 11, UMC writes officials have spent near $349,500 in 2016 to provide funding for the station. They also say the station has asked for additional funding from UMC.

"UMC  is exploring options to ensure the provision of high quality care in a fiscally responsible way, though UMC believes the city of Lubbock has provided an excellent model for consideration by establishing response time standards, clinical performance measures and many other key performance indicators all designed to easily demonstrate the value of the EMS system," UMC wrote in an official statement. "As we consider this request for additional funding our desire is to ensure the highest quality care in the most cost effective way, regardless of the model chosen. We look forward to meeting with all county EMS groups."

However, West Carlisle's Fire Chief and EMS Director, Tim Smith, said changes in UMC's structure is what forced him to layoff employees within the station. It was after a May 1 letter he received from UMC that stated West Carlisle was not to respond to calls within the Lubbock city limits. 

Because the station is call dependent, Smith was forced to lay off his paid staff of 12 people, because the number of calls dropped significantly.

This also brings up another issue for Smith, because residents who pay for the ambulance service are still being taxed the same, but will not have the same services.

"So, if you live in the city, or if you live in the county, your taxes are 11 cents per 100 dollars evaluation," Smith said. "The city residents pay that, the county residents pay that. So if the taxing base is the same city and county, why is the services provided only to the city of Lubbock."

KCBD NewsChannel 11 will be following up on this developing story and will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. 

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