Mims VFD & Ambulance
12728 FM 729
Avinger, TX 75630
Attached to your newsletter is a CODE RED form. Filling out the form will benefit you by automatically calling or texting you in the event of an emergency. You can fill out the form online. Go to http://co.marion.tx.us and almost at the bottom of the opening page it says, “Register for Code Red Here”. If you can’t fill it out online, you can take the completed form to the Marion County Sheriff’s office. We highly recommend filling it out, so you can be alerted of storms, burn bans, tornadoes etc.
Ambulance service in jeopardy
Our ambulance service lost $34,771.30 in 2017 and would have lost about $47,000.00 in 2016 without a very generous donation. Mims VFD is too small to sustain losses like this. We need your help to be able to continue serving this community. Donations are desperately needed so we do not have to shut down the ambulance. Our ambulances are seen almost daily running our roads rushing to some type of medical emergency.
Consider for a moment if you have an emergency! Should we lose our ambulance service, it would take up to a half hour longer to get help to you.
You may not be aware that the ambulance service is not a VOLUNTEER service; our paramedics and EMT’s are mostly paid employees. We are mandated by State law to take anyone to the ER if requested.
Our income comes primarily from insurance, billing, grants and donations. If the patient is insured but has no additional policy to cover the balance of the charges, many times that amount is just ignored and not paid by the patient.
The financial situation of our community’s ambulance service currently is critical! Please consider any generous extra donation as soon as possible so we do not have to discontinue service to our community here at Mims
So why do you need us?
First off it is your community that you chose to live in or vacation in. Secondly it is your house, your land or your loved one or even you might really need us at a very stressful time. Maybe even the worst day of your life. Fires and medical emergencies are hard to deal with by yourself, you need our help.
Let’s say you decide to drive your family member to the hospital with chest pains. What would you do if they stop breathing while you are driving? How are you going to put out the fire in the woods that you accidentally started by burning brush next to it? How are you going to put out your house fire? What do you do if you are burning brush and it gets out of control and your whole yard is burning next to your house and your neighbors. All the above things happen frequently.
Please realize that a huge portion of the fires we get called to are caused by careless outdoor burning.
Our EMS activity January thru November
Our ambulance crews transported 211 patients to emergency rooms, 88 no transports, 34 lift assists, 14 welfare checks, 18 cancelled calls, 2 false alarms, 2 patients were air lifted. They were on fire scenes to rehab firefighters 9 times. Unfortunately, they also responded to 14 scenes where the patients had passed away.
Your annual donation does not support the ambulance.
The ambulance gets its money from insurance billing, grants and donations. If you get an invoice, please try to pay as much as you can afford until the bill is paid in full. If all you can afford to pay is $10.00 a month that is fine. Remember the ambulance was there for you, please be there for us. It cost a great deal to keep the ambulance service running. We get $3,000.00 from the County each year. We spent $6,800.00 on fuel alone in 2017, not to mention insurance and repairs.
EMS new fees
We can only bill insurance companies if we transport someone to the ER. Because of increasing demands for services that cannot be billed to insurance companies we are forced to add new fees. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, but this is not free. We must pay for personnel, equipment, supplies and fuel. The new fees will start as of January 1, 2018. The fees will be for lift assists (you fall and are enable to get up), wellness checks which can be anything from checking your blood pressure, no transports or refusals where you call for the ambulance but don’t go to the ER. All the above is normal and happens every month.
The fees will be $25.00 plus the cost of any supplies used. Example of supplies would be a breathing treatment which is only about $5.00. Services will never be denied because of money.
Many times, EMS must go out in the middle of the night and the patient just wants to be checked out. We don’t mind, but it costs fuel and time. We are not to be confused with your doctor! We offer emergency services.
Did you know???$$$
The Mims Volunteer Fire Department covers over 100 square miles for about 2,700 permanent residents. We are a non-profit organization funded by resident donations, grants, insurance billing and invoicing those without insurance. The fire department receives $10,000.00 from the Marion County and the EMS receives $3,000.00. That is the only government help we receive.
Grants are hard to come by because the competition is so keen and so many of them go to large city paid fire departments. We did receive several large donations for the building fund. You are always welcome to come in and look at the books, but please call ahead.
As most of you are aware, the Mims Volunteer Fire Department is a 501-C4 non-profit organization. There have been questions lately as to whether contributions to us are tax deductible; the answer is yes with the following stipulation.
According to IRS — Charitable Contributions publication 526 (2016) any amount more than goods or services received is tax deductible. Example: At the annual fundraiser a specific item was bid and sold for considerable more than its retail value. The amount more than the retail value is tax deductible as a contribution.
Annual membership to the organization is not tax deductible since there is an established charge for the service in case of a fire at your location. Without this membership there would be a much larger charge. ($100.00 per truck per hour)
Our fire activity January thru November
Our firefighters fought 12 structure fires, 5 fires rekindled, 6 woods fires, 21 grass and brush fires, 3 electrical fires, 4 vehicle fires, 5 fires rekindled, 1 burning tires fire, 7 smoke or fire investigations, 4 cancelled calls, 13 vehicle accidents. They provided mutual aid once to another area fire department. They also responded 73 times to assist EMS crews in loading patients. Make sure you thank them for their service. WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTERS.
What your fire department needs We need more volunteer firefighters. We will get you the training you need and do training with you monthly. We also put some through fire school at College Station or other locations every year advancing their knowledge.
We need more trained EMS personnel. We can assist you by paying for part of the training.
We need money. Mims VFD has an annual donation of $50.00 per household and $75.00 per business. That works out to a little over $0.14 cents per day for fire protection. That is cheap fire protection. If you are a member and you have a fire you will not receive a bill. Bet it is a lot less that your actual insurance.
Last year we only received $13,025.00 in annual donations for homes and businesses. Our population is around 2700 which would total around 675 homes and businesses. The annual donations should be around $33,000 for our population. Please remember that we support all the homes in our area and need funds to continue that support. Without community support your fire department is at risk just for lack of funds.
We are in need for more volunteers to dispatch for us. Just call the office if you can spare two 12 hour shifts a week. Minis VFD provides and pays for the phone.
We have 1 engine, 2 tankers, 3 brush trucks for fires and 1 ambulance for medical emergencies and 1 back up ambulance.
We currently have 4 stations:
- Station 1— 8849 FM 729 at Johnson Creek
- Station 2 — 12728 FM 729 about 3 miles past Alley Creek
- Station 3 — 144 Apache Dr. in Pine Harbor
- Station 4 — 9902 FM 729 at Victory School
The new station is almost in the center of our coverage area. We are trying to get it up and running. There is a great deal that needs to be done on the inside. We have had some very generous people help us get this far. We will lose the Johnson Creek station when they start building the bridge there.
GIVE THESE GUYS A PAT ON THE BACK
At the awards dinner, this year John Powell was recognized as the Firefighter of the year. Missi Viola was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Marie Dunn and June Rose were recognized for their dedication and hard work for the annual fundraiser. The Ladies Auxiliary and The Breakfast Bunch were given plaques for their dedication service, time and commitment. Chief Russell Yates was given the Leadership Award Plaque. The firefighters, EMS, dispatchers and board members were all given gift bags. All the above made it a great year. They worked many hours for us.
We would like to thank everyone that worked so hard for the event to happen. We had a great turnout, and everyone enjoyed the day. The event was held at the Victory School fire station, so everyone had the chance to see the new building. In case you did not know, this event keeps the fire department going financially until the end of the year. Our net profit after all expenses were paid was $26,940.99.
We need 4 to 6 people to get auction items, and people to sell raffle tickets at different locations. Please volunteer for this as it is critical for the survival of the fire department. Call the office (903-755-4112) or Coordinator Marie Dunn (903-665-0828) to volunteer.