Pflugerville residents continue calls for EMS services amid district overlay proposal

While discussion regarding the proposal for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17 was not included in the agenda for Pflugerville City Council's Dec. 8 meeting, some residents continued their calls for council to include the item for consideration on the May 2021 ballot. (Community Impact staff)
While discussion regarding the proposal for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17 was not included in the agenda for Pflugerville City Council's Dec. 8 meeting, some residents continued their calls for council to include the item for consideration on the May 2021 ballot. (Community Impact staff)

While discussion regarding the proposal for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17 was not included in the agenda for Pflugerville City Council's Dec. 8 meeting, some residents continued their calls for council to include the item for consideration on the May 2021 ballot. (Community Impact staff)

While discussion regarding the proposal for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17 was not included in the agenda for Pflugerville City Council's Dec. 8 meeting, some residents continued their calls for council to include the item for consideration on the May 2021 ballot.

The Pflugerville Professional Firefighters Association announced a petition Sept. 11 to include a new emergency services district on the May 2021 ballot, citing funding shortfalls for Travis County ESD No. 2 as well as with population growth within the service area.

In a Nov. 13 letter to Pflugerville City Council, the Pflugerville Fire Department, which is overseen by Travis County ESD No. 2, said it may have to discontinue ambulance services and advanced life support if additional funds are not made available.

To date, more than 4,700 Travis County voters and property owners have signed the petition to support the proposal's conclusion on the next election's ballot.

Council has yet to schedule a public agenda item to discuss the proposal—a discussion that resident Chris Wolff said needs to be held.


"I understand that this body is fearful of taking any action that can be seen as raising taxes," Wolff said in a written comment submitted to council. "Although the fire department is not a part of the city, the service they provide is an essential part of the community. EMS service, along with fire and police, are the most critical life safety services provided and should be front and center in any discussion."

Resident Brandon Barkley said a new ESD overlay would help the city tackle the heightened volume of emergency service requests it has seen of late. He further argued that the level of service provided should ultimately be a taxpayer decision.

"This overlay district will determine how fast our EMS will get there and what level of service they can provide for our families," Barkley said. "This is literally life and death."

PPFA representative Trevor Stokes said the pressure council might be facing to discuss this proposal is nothing compared to the pressure firefighters are under when ambulance call times stretch.

In 2013, Stokes said advanced life support was available to residents 50% of the time, which he described as "a flip of a coin." He said the ESD unsuccessfully asked for help from the city in 2013.

"What has the city done to be part of the success of the ESD?" Stokes said. "I ask you—I plead with you: Let the citizens vote."