Clearing up the EMS, ESD restructuring story


Dear Editor,

To lessen some confusion after a recent article, I would offer the following comments. The work in process to restructure the county’s EMS system is a joint project between the Gonzales County EMS & Rescue (GCEMS-R) and the Gonzales County Emergency Services District #1 (GCESD1). GCEMS-R continues to provide exemplary, high-quality prehospital emergency medical care. Their board of directors is dedicated to the cause at hand, and likewise does a tremendously good job. The ESD commissioners applaud the service and accomplishments of the GCEMS-R board and appreciate the hard work of all the EMS and Rescue personnel.

As times change and first responder roles and responsibilities, equipment, training and levels of care increase, so do costs. There has been a trend developing in recent years for such services to be provided directly by government agencies, as opposed to private or event non-profit organizations like GCEMS-R. This is because there are some funding sources and cost savings available to government entities that are not available to others. The ESD commissioners and the EMS board recognize these facts and are jointly moving toward restructuring to take advantage of the same.

The “person the street” will not see any difference in service. We anticipate a seamless transition with no interruption in service, using the same fine employees who are the heart and soul of this vital, time-honored institution. In time, there will be updated and upgraded ambulances and equipment. In time, there will be more training and equipment for the rescue component. In time, there will be better facilities for the men and women who live for days at a time at the EMS stations. And in time, we envision an even tighter-knit association among all first responder agencies in Gonzales County.

In a closing note, we would like to be clear that Allan Linebrink will remain in his role as Director of Operations, and Belinda Richter will remain as Director of Personnel and Payroll (and many other duties). Eddie Callender, currently the only ESD employee, will be designated as Executive Director, focused on organizational strategies, cost savings and income stream development to support the health and growth of the system. A good theme for this project would be the famous duet sang by Roy Rogers and Clint Black entitled, “Hold on Partner, Good Things are Coming to You.”


Eddie Calendar,

Gonzales County ESD #1