Stryker Stair-PRO

The Blanco County Emergency Services District No. 2 has undertaken a risk reduction project to keep the emergency personnel healthy and reduce the chances of job-related injury. Patient handling in stairways and other tight spaces may be some of the most dangerous patient-care situations that emergency responders face.

These situations come with a real potential for back injury. Strain on the back from lifting and lowering patients down stairs can add up over time. Reviewing loss/injury records reveals that many times injuries or episodes of pain are the result of bringing overweight or obese patients up or down stairs and repeatedly moving patients, even those who are not overweight, over stairs. With 1 in 4 EMS workers suffering a career-ending back injury within the first four years of employment in the US alone, we are seeking options that help reduce this risk. The old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the ounce in this case is a stair chair. The implementation of the Stryker Stair-PRO stair chair could reduce the risk of injury to medics, firefighters and patients during stairway transport.

Through a generous GVTC grant, we received funds to purchase one stair chair ($3,643.95 value as of 1/27/20) but need one for each ambulance. Therefore, we are seeking funding for two (2) additional stair chairs ($7,287.90) so that we can put the power to help reduce the risk back in our hands! If you are aware of any funding sources for this project, please contact the Blanco Co Fire & EMS Auxiliary by email at blancofireems@gmail.com. Thank you!

Reduce the Risk of Wildfire

Before a wildfire threatens your area…

In and around your home

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house. Learn more about the basics of defensible space on the Firewise website.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
  • Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org.

Creating an emergency plan

  • Assemble an emergency supply kit and place it in a safe spot. Remember to include important documents, medications and personal identification.
  • Develop an emergency evacuation plan and practice it with everyone in your home.
  • Plan two ways out of your neighborhood and designate a meeting place.
  • Learn more about emergency preparedness planning on NFPA’s emergency planning webpage.

In your community:

  • Contact your local planning/zoning office to find out if your home is in a high wildfire risk area, and if there are specific local or county ordinances you should be following.
  • If you are part of a homeowner association, work with them to identify regulations that incorporate proven preparedness landscaping, home design and building material use.
  • Talk to your local fire department about how to prepare, when to evacuate, and the response you and your neighbors can expect in the event of a wildfire.
  • Learn about wildfire risk reduction efforts, including how land management agencies use prescribed fire to manage local landscapes.
  • Learn how you can make a positive difference in your community. 

Free Covid-19 Testing

There are reports from people who have been tested at freestanding ERs of bills exceeding $6,000 for a COVID-19 test. If you decide you need to be tested the above link is a good resource or you can register locally in Blanco and our local EMS will test you for free. If you are asymptomatic you may have to wait behind others who have symptoms. To register, go online to: BlancoCOVIDTest.org. If you have a problem registering please call 844.868.8308.

SPECIAL NOTICE (06/30/2020)

The laboratory is currently over capacity due to increased demand. As such, today we are testing symptomatic patients only. If you do NOT currently have symptoms, your testing registration will be placed onto a ‘STANDBY’ list, and you will be contacted once the lab has capacity for asymptomatic patients. Capacity will be reviewed weekdays at noon.

IF YOU CURRENTLY HAVE SYMPTOMS, please continue with registration. Patients with current symptoms will continue to be prioritized and tested immediately (typically same day).

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, but do not have symptoms, you are required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless if you are tested and regardless of your test results.

If you have questions regarding testing, please call our hotline at (844) 868-8308.