The Gonzales Emergency Services District #1 (ESD) met Aug. 23. Among regular items discussed, members heard a presentation by Akin Ambulance Services about what they offer should the county's EMS board become unavailable to fulfill their obligations.
Akin Ambulance is a father and son team owned by Scott and Johnny Akin and is a for-profit outfit fully staffed for 24-hour emergency medical service. They are based in Seguin and have served the surrounding areas for the past 12 years.
An Akin representative addressed the board and listed the many services they provide and equipment they utilize. They have plans to expand into Hallettsville and would be interested if an opportunity opened up in Gonzales County. It was explained that the company would keep every Gonzales County EMS worker if they were to take over the local services.
ESD board member Rob Brown asked if there was a probationary period should the local EMS staff be hired and what would stop Akin from firing all Gonzales staff after such a period and bringing on new hires. The representative explained that paramedics are “rare as diamonds” in the area and that he has a hard enough time finding hires when positions do arise. He stated that he needs locals that have been working here to stay with the company.
As he saw it, he knew that all Gonzales EMS staff were trustworthy and committed since they have stuck with the organization after all that it has been through recently.
“The way we staff our ambulances is that we are all family,” he said.
Additionally, if the change were to occur, he wouldn't have the extra staff to replace Gonzales EMS paramedics anyway.
The members thanked him for his report.
The board also received a letter from EMS medical director Dr. Bob Williamson regarding his request for an increase in pay that he receives per month for his services, and his official resignation from his duties. Williamson cited his exclusion from the recent EMS meeting where they hired Allen Linebrink as the new EMS director as part of the rub, and he accused the ESD board of “micro-managing.” He announced his resignation effective as of Nov. 30 and expects to be paid the $1,000 per month when the new EMS budget goes into effect.
ESD President Rene de la Garza thanked Willamson for his 44 years of service to the organization.
The next ESD meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. in the commissioner's court room.