LUBBOCK, TX -- Lubbock County Commissioners gave their approval for building a new EMS station in South Lubbock Monday morning, and were going over final land plans in order to begin construction.
Chris Teague, University Medical Center EMS director, says the approval was in line with the department's ongoing plans to expand UMC presence in South and West Lubbock. He also says expansion on their behalf is a necessity, as the city continues to develop in a southwesterly direction.
"We've run more than 3,000 calls to this area, in 2013," he says, pointing to a map of southwest Lubbock.
The new EMS station will be constructed at 73rd and Milwaukee, along with a medical clinic. Teague says this dual station-clinic model will make emergency services more efficient and cost-effective, and future UMC EMS expansion will follow suit.
"It'll be like a family practice clinic, urgent care clinic, where people can just come in for a non-emergency thing," he explains. "But sometimes those things end up being an emergency."
Teague said that UMC was adding to its number of EMS stations in Lubbock, rather than replacing another station. He added that the new station will cover high-traffic areas of Lubbock.
Currently, Lubbock has five EMS stations, as well as a hospital base and an administrative base, in order to keep different parts of Lubbock accessible.
Another possible location for a new EMS station would be 114th and Quaker or somewhere near that intersection, which could be completed at the end of this year or early next year. UMC is also considering a location down on Woodrow Road. Teague estimates that the EMS station to be built at 73rd and Milwaukee will be completed in the fall 2014.
Lubbock Fire and Rescue is also working on a new southwest station, to keep up with ever-increasing demand.
"Fire Station 19 is currently under construction, at 98th and Frankford," according to LFD Captain Nick Wilson. "Obviously, anybody who's been in that part of Lubbock knows that Lubbock's experienced a lot of growth in that part of town. So to better serve the public safety needs, that's why were building that station there."
More stations to the southwest means keeping emergency response times low -- something that benefits your family in more ways than one.
"Our average response time is right about four minutes from the time you call 911, to the time that we arrive at your house," Wilson says. "Not only are we very proud of it, but it helps keep your insurance rates low, or at least lower."