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The Brady City Council postponed consideration of items F and G at the June 3, 2014 regular meeting. They will require action in the near future. Citizens should be informed and contact members of the City Council and McCulloch County Hospital District board of directors to let their views be known on this important issue.

The issue began on May 8, 2014 when Hospital Administrator Tim Jones notified the City of Brady that the Hospital did not wish to renew the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement that governs EMS service in McCulloch County. The agreement expires July 2, 2014.

City Manager Kim Lenoir estimates that the failure of the Hospital to renew the agreement will cost the City of Brady about $250,000 per year (See page 32 of the City Council Packet linked below) to maintain existing EMS services. The Hospital currently contributes $111,000 per year for EMS and Hospital Transfer billing brings in another $150,000 per year. The two revenue sources would go to zero without an agreement with the hospital.

Lenoir estimates not doing routine hospital transfers will only reduce EMS costs by about $10,000 per year. This is because the large fixed equipment and qualified standby manpower costs of 911 service is not greatly affected by routine hospital transfers.

All that is easily understood. The facts are plain and straightforward until one notices that the current and proposed Interlocal Cooperation Agreement is not between the City of Brady and the McCulloch County Hospital District (dba Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital District). It is between the City of Brady and Service Organization of the Big Country (SOBC). Who are they and what is their business relationship (if any) with the McCulloch County Hospital District?

It is an important question because SOBC proposes to operate an Ambulance Service in McCulloch County that will decrease revenues available to the current Ambulance Service by some quarter of a million dollars a year. Even the most superficial search for facts raises more questions than it yields answers and creates great controversy within the community.

Just why this is so is a mystery. One suspects that it has to do with putting personalities before principles. Our goal is to ignore who likes who and present facts so the entire community can make reasonable decisions about what is best for McCulloch County. Part 2 of this EMS Facts series will try to answer the questions raised here.

Sense and Nonsense Is dedicated to providing the information, ideas and interaction necessary to build a community of people who can be trusted and who trust each other.