MCLEAN, Texas (KFDA) - Residents in McLean, Alanreed and other surrounding communities now have Hemphill County responding to their emergencies.
The Hemphill County Hospital District entered into an agreement with the City of McLean in May.
This, after the EMS in Lefors closed its doors after eight years of providing services to the area due to a lack of volunteers.
“In today’s day and age, trying to find volunteers is difficult,” said Hemphill County EMS Director Rich Henkel. “Even more so difficult in EMS with the amount of certifications and stuff that are required to be maintained.”
Hemphill County EMS now has a fully-equipped, on-site ambulance in McLean.
“One ambulance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s staffed with a paramedic and an EMT,” said Henkel. “Lefors was only providing a basic life support with EMT’s on their vehicles instead of paramedics. So they’re going to get an ALS type unit. So they’ll get a much higher level of service than the community was used to getting.”
The contract with Hemphill County will last six months until the City of McLean figures out a long-term solution.
Gray County is also working on a county-wide contract.
“If Hemphill County gets the county-wide contract, our contract will be null and void beginning October 1st,” said Mayor of McLean Tanner Hess. “I’m just extremely thankful that the county judge has included us in this county-wide contract.”
Henkel said the city has been helpful in making sure the new EMS service has all the resources they need to serve the community.
“I want to say it was about two hours into our first shift on the 19th that we actually ran our first call,” he said. “So we’ve run about three calls currently and transported three patients to local hospitals here in Wheeler County and actually one in Amarillo.”