AUSTIN (KXAN) - With the drought and the threat of wildfires, local emergency officials say the need for their service is growing. Austin's continued population boom puts demands on those agencies as well.
Austin-Travis County Emergency Services director Danny Hobby says they're hoping to add more EMS medics on east side of the county. They also are considering where they can make other changes to better serve the county.
"Where are those pockets of where we need to fill gaps? And it may be just a reallocation of existing resources," Hobby said.
In the area around Austin's Colony on the city's east side, Hobby says it's best to go ahead and add more resources. Six medics and an ambulance could soon be operating out of Travis County ESD 4.
If City Council approves the measure Thursday, the EMS crew would be up and running by June 1, 2013.
Hobby says population growth and other strains on central Texas Emergency Services, like wildfires, increases the demand for workers.
Wednesday, the STAR Flight hanger in east Austin held and open house in honor of National EMS week.
First responders did demonstrations of rescue missions. Chris Postiglione with STAR Flight played the victim in a hoist rescue situation.
"This would be something that we would do if somebody was trapped in flood waters, and we had to get them out fast," Postiglione said.
A fellow first responder strapped him in, and in less than 30 seconds, they were drawn up into a Travis County EMS chopper.
"In Travis County, our most valuable resource is our first responders," said Hobby.
"When somebody needs help, or when we see something on the news like Waco, or Moore, Okla., that's something that all of us are ready to sign up and go do," Postiglione said.
The EMS station planned for Travis County ESD 4 would operate 12 hours a day. It would cost about $500,000 annually to run the station. Full-time "24 hour EMS stations" of comparable size cost about $1 million per year to run.
The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
Bryce Petty threw touchdown passes on the first two drives of the second half for No. 9 Baylor and the Bears won their first Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth with a 30-10 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday.
Light snow flurries were reported early Saturday just north of the KXAN viewing area. Sub-freezing temperatures along with a slight chance of light snow, sleet and freezing rain will continue through Sunday morning.
Phase 2 of the 3rd Street construction began Saturday, despite sub-freezing temperatures.
The long-awaited Thinkery Children's Museum opened Saturday in the Mueller Development.
Two people are dead in Lee County following a one car rollover crash on FM 696 Saturday morning, DPS confirmed.