It has been several weeks since I have had a chance to visit with everyone, but they have been busy weeks. We are doing our best to keep up with the New Year, but it is off and running at full speed. I still can't believe that it is already the second week of February. Well, let's get to it, shall we?
Man, was it cold last week and slicker than bear snot too. Emergency services were all running our tails off from one call to the next. The temperature was cold, but man that wind was a whole lot colder. I don't know why, but every time I'm on an accident scene and it's cold and wet, every drop of ice or rain seems to go right down the back of my neck. That will sure keep you awake though, I can promise you that much.
Looking back at the storm, we were in luck here in San Saba. We had several bad accidents with no injuries, EMS made numerous trips to the hospital without any accidents or damage to one of the ambulances, and we had a nasty structure fire with no injuries. God was looking out for us as usual and for all our first responders as well.
San Saba also saw its share of power problems during the cold. We were not notified until after the situation occurred, but with the help of Chief Riggs and the 911 dispatchers it got handled. The two biggest problems during the power outage were the traffic lights going out and the flood of calls.
The traffic light was handled by Chief Riggs and TxDOT. Chief Riggs was the one bundled up in the middle of the intersection with ice hanging off his ears, directing traffic until TxDOT arrived on scene to set up stop signs.
The next problem was the worst and that was the flood of calls at the jail asking about the power and even worse than that were individuals calling on 911. We had 3 dispatchers and myself answering the phone lines and 911. We were doing everything possible to get the right people the right information, and still keep the 911 system working properly. Yet, what some individuals do not understand is that you cannot call 911 for a question or to ask for a phone number or anything other than an emergency. One lady called and I answered and she wanted to know when her electricity was going to be back on. I informed her that she had called 911 and her answer was, "I know that, but all the other lines were busy." Well, that settled that then. Please refrain from calling 911 unless you have a real emergency. We do not mind and even expect multiple 911 calls on the same emergency, but not having power (except in medical situations) is not a 911 response. Please help us better serve the community by contacting us with non-emergencies at 325-372-5551 or 5432.
Richland Springs experienced one of their families losing their home due to fire this past week. It happened during the coldest day of the year and during the day. Everyone responded to assist, EMS, multiple fire departments, but due to the extreme cold weather and harsh working conditions the fire could not be contained and the structure was lost.
The fire departments did everything humanly possible and then some, but like departments all across Texas on that day, could not overcome the fire and the extreme weather conditions. EMS and the Sheriff's office were on scene as were numerous locals attempting to help. Everyone did all that they could and worked well together in this difficult situation. There was one thing that I would like to see changed and that was the traffic flow. We finally had to shut down the roadway to emergency traffic only because of so many on-lookers attempting to come down the road.
We will be responding extra deputies from this point forward to assist with traffic control due to this situation. We are asking people not to come out to watch, but to stay out of the area so that everyone can do their jobs.
If you would like to assist the family in their time of need, please contact us at the jail and we will provide you the information on who to contact to assist. If you have set something up for the family, please contact us and we will pass this information on to you.
It has been very busy and as some of you have noticed the burn ban was put back on right before the ice storm. That was done due to the fact that our local fire/rescue departments were getting pounded with calls on grass fires and control burns that got away from people.
All of our emergency services have been hit hard this last 30 days. Here are some numbers for you on emergency responses here in the county. January 23rd through the 31st, there were 26 non-law enforcement 911 calls for service. There were 12 EMS calls, two motor vehicle accidents, and 12 grass fires here in our county. Now from February 1st through the 6th there were 6 EMS calls, 6 motor vehicle accidents, 1 grass fire and 1 structure fire. That is a busy 15 days for our emergency responders here in the county. Now this does not include the law enforcement responses to these and other emergencies so you could add to that number. We also need to include the call outs for the City of San Saba water, street and electric departments as well as our TxDOT workers who have really had it hard this week.
Well, this is a short report, we know today that there is another storm approaching and we have to get ready for it. Keep our 911 responders and dispatchers in your prayers and all of those individuals that provide us with the things that keep us safe and comfortable every day.
If you need anything or have any information please give us a call at 325-372-5551 or 5432. We have had a hard time getting to all the calls and we apoligize for this, but as you can see, it has been very busy. We will return all of the calls as soon as possible. Thank you and keep us in your prayers.