Pecan Plantation Volumteer Fire Department & EMS, Inc.
- WHO ARE WE?
- WHAT DO WE DO?
- HOW DID WE GET HERE?
- WHERE ARE WE GOING?
- How do we attract and train volunteers?
Who are we?
Pecan Plantation Fire & EMS, Inc. is a charitable, non-profit (501C4) corporation comprised of Pecan Plantation residents who volunteer their time and services. The Service is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Each crew member volunteer is highly trained and certified to provide Fire/Rescue and EMS services. The organization receives no financial assistance from PPOA or PPOA Member dues. Hood County does not tax residents for emergency services like other metroplex cities and counties do.
What do we do?
The PPVFD is equipped with an Engine, a Pumper Tanker, a Rescue Engine, and Brush Trucks, as well as First Response, Support and Command Vehicles. There are 25 members of the PPVFD on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Pecan Plantation EMS operates 3 MICU capable ambulances and has a crew of 15 certified volunteers ( Paramedic, EMT-I, EMT-B, ECA) and 15 part-time paid Paramedics who help to assure 24 hours a day, 356 days a year emergency medical help and transport at a moment’s notice.
How did we get here?
Bill Mitchell, PPVFD Fire Chief, has volunteered for over 2 years as the Fire Chief. He is a dedicated crewmember. He possesses the necessary no-nonsense, can-do attitude required to lead and inspire untrained resident volunteers to become trained, safe and dedicated firefighters. He works closely with the Hood County Fire Marshall, and the other local agencies to allow our fire department to benefit from group inclusion which pays for workers compensation insurance, and for fuel allotments for the fire apparatus, and training. This insurance also covers the EMS crewmembers since we are covered as one incorporated agency. Our PPOA residents are benefited by low insurance rates in Hood County as a result of the assigned low ISO PUBLIC PROTECTION RATING of 3. The ISO Rating is a direct result of the equipment and training available at PPVFD.
Sandra Winfield, RN, NRP, PPEMS Chief, has volunteered for 12 years on the EMS, first as a Basic EMT, then an Intermediate, finally as a Nationally registered, Licensed Paramedic. Her background is in critical care nursing and cardiac care.
After being asked to serve as EMS Chief in 2005, her goal has been to continue to develop the EMS crew to be the first rate organization it is in order to offer MICU Capable services to residents of Pecan Plantation…and to continue the service without billing non-covered charges back to the patient. PPEMS operates 3 MICU capable ambulances and has a crew of 15 certified volunteers ( Paramedic, EMT-I, EMT-B, ECA) and 15 part-time paid Paramedics who help to assure 24 hours a day, 356 days a year emergency medical help and transport at a moment’s notice. No other private community in Texas provides this level of local emergency service. Average response time is less than 5 minutes. THIS IS A HUGE BENEFIT.
Our EMS organization is licensed by the Texas DSHS (Texas Department of State Health Services, EMS and Trauma Systems) and we must meet the same requirements as any other EMS service.
Where are we going?
Our goal is to continue to protect your homes, lives, and health issues while continuing to recruit, train, and nurture personnel in order to implement timely services at a moments’ notice for any emergency in Pecan Plantation. A tall order. We are going “there” with the support of our residents.
We do not want to charge for our services. We are bound by our contract with PPOA as the 911 EMS Provider in Pecan Plantation. Therefore…we must have minimal monthly emergency services donations from every household in order to pay for the salaries of 15 part time, paid Paramedics whose presence allow us to “guarantee” 24/7 MICU capable coverage.
Our private community is allowed to contract its own EMS service, but the service must match that level of care offered to other residents of the county served by the other agency in the county. In comparison, if the other non-voluntary EMS service in the county treats for illness or injury, a bill for all unpaid charges will be sent to the household for the balance. PPEMS provides services without balance billing our residents.
How do we attract and train volunteers?
We mention the need for volunteers in our monthly Columns articles and we use word of mouth and direct recruiting. We arrange periodic classes or seek out classes for personnel to attend to become trained as ECA’s, EMT-Basics, EMT-Intermediates, and even EMT-Paramedics. We reimburse tuition at the end of the course and require our volunteers to serve a minimum of one year on the crew. Many have no problem with this, we are a close knit group. We have monthly training and periodic courses required for personnel to maintain their certification by the state and the national registry. Fire fighters are also trained up to the level they wish to be capable; we have the need for more volunteers on the fire crew.