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Slow response times have Falls County residents asking for change

Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 18:58:33-04

FALLS COUNTY, TX — Ambulance response times in Falls County have people angry, and it's something that could soon bring about change.

Depending on the time of day in Falls County, if you need an ambulance, you might get one. People say you also might get a guy in an SUV who can't take you anywhere. Folks say it's not enough.

Auntranae Holman worries about getting help for her small children in case of an emergency. She says a recent incident in her hometown of Rosebud really opened her eyes.

"About a week ago, we had an accident where somebody was having a seizure and took them a good while before they [ambulance] could come out," she said.

Then, consider a deadly head-on wreck in Marlin last month. It happened right in front of the town Walmart on Highway 6, a couple of miles from the hospital. Yet it took a long time for an ambulance to show up.

"It took a little over an hour for an EMS unit to get here, and that was the first unit on the scene was Robertson County EMS," said Sheriff Ricky Scaman.

Falls County has three separate EMS districts, two west of the Brazos River north and south of Highway 7, and the other east of the river. All have contracts with Acadian for ambulance service.

While the county judge admits response times have never been good in Falls County, he says ambulance contracts remain out of his hands and with the emergency service districts. But don't think for a minute Falls County has done without.

”We're still taking 911 calls. We're still transferring them to Acadian. They're still responding in the county. We're not without ambulance service,” said Sheriff Scaman.

Many just wish they had better service.

"We just want to take care and make sure our citizens are safe," said the sheriff.

Meantime citizens remain unsure about ambulance response.

"I'm afraid someone could possibly die or something bad could happen," Holman explained.

25 News tried to reach leaders of all three emergency service districts in Falls County with no response. We learned the county doesn't even have up-to-date contact information for them. A call to the regional supervisor for Acadian, Terry Mayer, went unreturned as of publication time.