Jackson County voters approve Emergency Services District
May 11, 2013 at 12:11 a.m.
Updated May 12, 2013 at 12:12 a.m.
The votes are in, and Edna's city emergency medical services programs aren't going anywhere.
Voters Saturday approved a measure to create Emergency Services District No. 3, a move that allows the city to continue funding its full-time fire and emergency medical service workers.
Edna City Manager Ken Knight said the results show the respect residents have for the city's emergency medical services and fire department employees.
"Now, we start the paperwork on getting everything implemented," he said Saturday evening. "I think it's a great relief."
Knight previously said if the measure didn't pass, he would advise the City Council to turn emergency medical services over to the Jackson County Hospital District, sell or repurpose fire and ambulance equipment and transform the city into an all-volunteer fire department.
"I think they knew how terrible it would be if that went away and we had to rely strictly on a volunteer fire department," Knight said. "I couldn't be happier."
Edna employs seven full-time EMS and fire employees.
Bill Jones, Jackson County Hospital District administrator, said the hospital district is always willing and prepared to provide emergency medical services anywhere within the county. That offer extends to the new emergency services district as well.
"If they need help, we're there," he said. "When they need help, we're there."
With the new district, the maximum amount property owners will pay is 10 cents per $100 valuation. It is a new tax for Jackson County residents who live in unincorporated areas and previously received fire and EMS services for free.
Knight credited those who supported the idea of the emergency services district.
"They did a tremendous job of getting out to vote," he said.