UPDATED @ 3:26 PM Houston County Fire and EMS Responds To Over 7200 calls in Year 2018Rickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 16 2019 1:16 PM
HOUSTON COUNTY: During the calendar year of 2018, the Volunteer Fire and Volunteer EMS along with Headland Rescue and Pilcher Ambulance responded to some 7,209 calls.
Houston County consists of 17 volunteer fire departments, 5 volunteer/paid EMS, Headland Rescue and Pilcher Ambulance.
These calls, according the the computer aided dispatch from Houston County Sheriff 911, reflect some 2,514 fire calls and 4,695 medical calls.
Of the 4,695 medical calls in Houston County, Headland Rescue covers the Kinsey area. Headland Rescue responded to 165 medical calls in that response territory.
Pilcher Ambulance has some assigned territory in Houston County outside the city limits of Dothan. According to a 2002 agreement, Pilcher Ambulance is responsible to provide an "emergency ambulance basic life support services". in certain areas of Houston County and as a back up to the 5 EMS and Headland Rescue in Houston County. If Pilcher Ambulance is dispatched outside the corporate city limits of Dothan into Houston County, the 2002 agreement is " if all of PAS ( Pilcher Ambulance ) units are on runs at the time a ambulance is needed in Houston County, the first truck released will be available to make the run into the county".
Of the 4,695 EMS runs in Houston County, Pilcher Ambulance responded to 31% of the calls, which included Pilcher's assigned territory and any back up ambulance needed.
The 5 EMS in Houston County ( Wicksburg, Rehobeth, Cottonwood, Ashford Columbia and Headland ) handled 69% of the medical calls.
The Houston County Commission funds the 5 EMS with $ 26,000.00 a year which is distributed each quarter.
The registered voters of Houston County voted in a $ 35 fire fee which is suppose to be collected by the Houston County Revenue Commissioner ( Starla Moss ). That fee has not increased in years even though a lot of houses have been constructed in the county. Moss does not give any legitimate explanations.
A tobacco fee is collected and a portion of that fee goes to the 17 Houston County Volunteer Fire Departments. EMS gets none of this tobacco money or fire fee. They strictly operate on the $ 26,000.00 allocation from Houston County Commission, collections on EMS runs and donations.
The 7,209 calls outside the city limits of Dothan in the county is about 49% of what Dothan Fire Department responds to in a calendar year.
The Dothan Fire Department assists the 17 Houston County Volunteer Fire when called on and provides Advanced Life Support assistance to the 5 EMS in Houston County when called upon. The Dothan Fire Department is GREAT to help the county departments.
HATS OFF to the county fire and EMS for their dedication and support. As you can see they do a lot with little money. Because 7,209 calls answered for less than one million in annual revenue for all county departments and EMS.
HOUSTON COUNTY EMS: Ashford Rescue, Columbia Rescue, Cottonwood Rescue, Rehobeth Rescue, Wicksburg Rescue...also responding to areas in the county are Headland Rescue and Pilcher Ambulance.
HOUSTON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS: Ashford Fire, Bay Springs Fire, Columbia Fire, Cottonwood Fire, Cowarts Fire, Gordon Fire, Hodgesville Fire, Kinsey Fire, Lovetown Fire, Lucy Fire, Madrid Fire, Pansey Fire, Rehobeth Fire, Southern Junction Fire, Taylor Fire, Webb Fire, Wicksburg Fire.
Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah serves as President of the Houston County Volunteer Fire Chief Association. They meet the third Tuesday of each month at 7 PM.
UPDATED @ 3:26 PM
Spoke with Houston County Revenue Commissioner Starla Moss concerning the collection of the fire fees.
They have no way to know the people who are building homes in the county. Without physically checking houses they have no way to know. The building permits are not issued for the new homes like they are in the City of Dothan.
Also people who are 65 and older are exempt from the fire fee. Revenue Commissioner Starla Moss said the ones exempt from the fee have increased at about the same rate as construction of homes which makes the collection fee flat.
While it seems the rate of new construction in the county is upward the 65 and older exemption is also upward. Both climb at about the same rate.
Ms. Moss is working on the computer program to generate the exemptions and new homes to show a pattern like maybe over the past 10 years.
Ms. Moss said it is not that the Revenue Commissioner is not collecting the fire fee and distributing them. It is much more of a difficult process of construction and exemptions.
A difficult thing to explain.