It seems that this month is flying by and we are about as busy as we can stand right now. The field deputies are handling all the calls and are still generating new cases which result from patrol. Traffic contacts lead to all kinds of cases, with the most frequent being DWI's, narcotics, and illegal weapons. Traffic contacts are still the most dangerous job a patrol officer or deputy undertakes. There is no way to predict the outcome of any traffic stop, and there is no such thing as a "simple" traffic stop. Please remember to slow down when passing a patrol vehicle with their lights on and keep in mind that you must be 20 m.p.h. under the posted speed limit.
Last week when speaking on the radio, I put my foot in my mouth as usual. I was attempting to explain the difference between EMS and Fire/Rescue and really messed it up. I hope everyone understands that I have nothing but respect for firemen and that what I said was really taken out of context. All firemen are professionals, paid or unpaid they all receive the same basic training. Now full time paid firemen undergo an extreme amount of on the job training, where as volunteers get what training they can, but there is no difference between the two when it comes to the word professional, the only difference is the word paid. Now this comes right out of the mouths of the instructors at the fire academy in Bryan College Station, where most of them are paid firemen. I am proud to be a member of the San Saba Volunteer Fire Department and look forward to continuing to do everything I can to work with these men.
Speaking of fires, the San Saba Police Department, Sheriff's Office, San Saba Fire/Rescue, San Saba EMS, and the Richland Springs FD all responded to a structure fire Sunday, February 22nd located at 8th and Lewis. The structure was fully engulfed upon arrival and a perimeter attack was undertaken by the fire department. A tense moment occurred when a propane tank was in danger of exploding, but the fire department was able to attack that situation in time and shut down that problem rather quickly. It never ceases to amaze me what these scenes look like, early in the morning. I always think of an ant hill that someone kicked but even though it looks like chaos, it really isn't. There is lots of noise and yelling and a few choice words, but when you look closely you see training kicking in and people, working together toward a common goal and that is to protect our community. We want to thank all involved.
Every person at that scene was a volunteer of some type. Everyone there has a full time job, taking care of their family, trying to get some rest and then BAM just like that the pager goes off and someone is in trouble. It could be a fire or a car wreck or an individual who is having a heart attack. It could be a person choking or even a cat stuck under a house (I have seen that one), it doesn't matter, each and every one of those individuals run to their emergency vehicles and head toward the emergency. I have seen a lot of things in my 12 years in emergency service here in San Saba County, yet there is one thing that I have never seen and that's a volunteer who refused to go when called. Please pray for each of these brave individuals who volunteer their time and effort for the EMS and or Fire Departments across the county.
Just a quick reminder that EMS is having an open house on Thursday, March 26th at the EMS Barn. They are inviting you to come and see what it takes to be a volunteer for EMS, learn about the classes, the training, the equipment we have and the challenge of being a first responder with EMS. We all talk about EMS and all the training and such, but we must never forget the personal touch involved in the back of that ambulance. A three a.m. ride from the nursing home to the hospital with an 85 year old patient, who is not with family and is very scared, and who does not know you. Yet a kind word, a smile and holding on to that persons hand may be just the trick to easing the fear involved. EMS people are a special breed and need all the assistance that they can get, please pray about this very important issue and come to the open house.
Back to law enforcement. Chief Deputy Bill Price has been very busy working on the huge amount of opportunities at the county jail. Each and every day we come closer and closer to our goal and we will not stop until we reach it. We have seen a huge spike in warrant and warrantless arrests and the County Attorney, Tim Inman, has been really going after them in county court. As you might expect, we have been very busy at the jail. The dispatchers/jailers are all working double duty right now and with all the remodeling going on things can get quite hectic. Please bear with us as we are pushing forward with these projects as quickly as possible. We want to thank all those individuals who have assisted us, especially the County Judge and Commissioners, as well as the County Treasurer. This project is very important to the people of San Saba and everyone is going out of their way to assist us.
I am sure I have forgotten something and or left someone out, but that will give me something to talk about next week. We want to remind everyone to continue to pray for us and to keep calling in information. It works and the Sheriff's Office and the Police Department do respond to each and every call with merit. Once again, thank you for your prayers and support.