The proposal has been listed as a county capital improvement project for at least four years, according to county officials. Ed Tydings, Williamson County EMS division commander of Operations, said out of the 17 Williamson County EMS stations, 13 are housed in a fire station. In Cedar Park, there will be four with the completion of Fire Station No. 5.
"What’s common is trying to find the most cost effective way to put a station in the area, and more often than not it’s putting it in the fire station," Tydings said.
The first joint venture to house EMS in a fire station was with Round Rock in 1994.
Cedar Park City Council approved the agreement during the May 25 meeting, and according to city documents, the city and county have worked since 2015 to plan for the joint use facility to house both the city’s fire department and EMS personnel. Per the agreement, EMS will have exclusive use of five bedrooms, two offices, one storage room and a bay for emergency vehicles, as well as use of shared facilities.
In return for use of the fire station for 10 years, Williamson County will pay the City of Cedar Park $400,000 toward the construction costs of the fire station.
As stated in the City Council documents, “the City of Cedar Park and Williamson County agree to the joint use of the facility which will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of both services.”
Cedar Park’s fifth fire station, a $4.76 million building funded by 2007 and 2015 bond funds, is planned to open by 2018 on Cottonwood Creek Trail.