Two Texas VFD's Contracts Terminated

SAN ANTONIO --

Crews with the Ata-Bexar and Sandy Oaks Volunteer fire departments are pleading with Bexar County Emergency Services District 6 to not terminate their contracts.

Starting on Nov. 1, 2010, the Ata-Bexar and Sandy Oaks Volunteer fire departments will not be responding to calls in South Bexar County.

South Bexar will be on the only station responding to calls in Emergency Services District 6.

In a heated meeting Sunday afternoon, concerned residents and volunteer firefighters addressed Sylvia Middleton of Bexar County Emergency Services, pleading with her to keep the two fire stations open.

Middleton told KSAT-12 that they were informed that the departments would not service the outer areas and that they did not have the appropriate paperwork from the departments to show everyone was certified.

"We have a duty to do that because we have had complaints among the community," said Middleton. "One of them was at Heritage that they had a med tech go and respond. The nurse asked for tech certification and he was not certified."

Middleton told KSAT-12 that is why Emergency Services District 6 made the decision to only have South Bexar respond to all calls starting Nov. 1.

However, volunteer firefighters with Ata-Bexar and Sandy Oaks said the decision was based on a political dispute and that the South Bexar Station is not big enough or equipped enough to service the entire area.

"One department is being left for the entire district to cover that and they don't have the equipment, they don't have the man power," said Shonda Farinacci, the Ata-Bexar Fire Chief. "And, why should the rest of our community suffer because of disagreements."

Another meeting will be held on Wednesday over the issue.

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