— By CHRISTIN COYNE
The Parker County Hospital District board of directors Wednesday OK’ed the purchase of 2 acres of land near Brock to build the county’s first ambulance station west of Weatherford.
The district is expected to close on the property, located at 359 Farm-to-Market Road 1189 near Interstate 20, on Thursday and pay almost $197,000 for the land.
The district plans to build a small station big enough for two ambulance crews and three vehicles, but plans call for one ambulance crew operating out of the station to begin with, according to LifeCare EMS Director Paul Smith.
In normal traffic, it currently takes about 14 to 15 minutes for an ambulance responding from Weatherford to reach the area of the planned station, according to Smith.
The average response time for calls in the area of the county that includes Brock, Millsap and Dennis was more than 20 minutes last month, according to information presented to the board.
The western part of the county is a hard part of the county to cover because it doesn’t have a lot of roads that go straight through, Parker County Hospital District CEO Randall Young said.
Several volunteer fire departments in the western half of the county have begun providing first responder services in recent years to deal with the longer response times for medical calls in the area.
Other areas of the county are also expected to benefit from the new station because it gives EMS responders in the county more resources, Smith said.
LifeCare currently operates three ambulances from its Weatherford station, two from its Springtown station and one from the Willow Park station.
The Brock-area site is large enough to allow for district expansion in the future, Young said.
Young said he plans to bring a design contract to the board at the regular meeting in January and hopes to be in the building a year later.
About $250,000 has been budgeted to build the station, he said.
“It could save a life,” director Jamie Bodiford said about the reduced response time for the area, adding that she believed it was one of the best investments made by the board.