Unedited & Written by Ryan Dunn
Mineral Wells Fire/EMS is a dual-focused department that provides firefighters and EMS personnel many opportunities to obtain experience quickly on the job. As a dual-focused department, it is extremely busy. Most days the department answers the calls minimally staffed, with seven fire/EMS responders, supplemented with a lean volunteer force. We are tasked with covering 22 sq. miles of city and another 147 sq. miles of Palo Pinto County.
The month of August 2021 was one of the most difficult, overwhelming, and taxing months our service has experienced. On average our service will respond to approximately 300 fire/EMS calls per month, which averages roughly 10 calls per day. Most EMS calls take around 1 hour to complete, not including the reporting requirements. Fire calls, depending on the complexity of the incident, average 1 to 4 hours, without clean up and report writing.
In all, the department responded to over 3,200 calls in 2020’s calendar year. The number of calls is expected to increase in 2021. During the month of August 2021 alone, we experienced a 20% increase in call volume, with the department responding to 373 calls. This has been the highest total call volume in a single month since 2003 when electronic reporting started. This also may be the highest one month call volume in the history of Mineral Wells Fire/EMS.
This increase has been due to COVID-19 and more specifically the Delta variant of the virus. We also, as first responders, get sick and the department had numerous employees out at one time due to COVID-19. Fatigued, tired, and sick, the men and women of the department persevered and answered the calls without hesitation.
They spend time away from their families to make sure that the citizens of Mineral Wells and the surrounding Palo Pinto County are taken care of. It is an honor for me to work beside such resilient men and women who continue to take risk to help others. If you see a first responder, please tell them thank you. It is tough for everyone right now.
We will soon be publishing The Leaders of Mineral Wells page on our website where influential people within Mineral Wells will share their thoughts and opinions on topics pertaining to their professions. More details to come soon.
Founder | Self-taught in all forms of creativity with a passion for photography of landscapes and architecture. Devoted to helping the Mineral Wells community.