HELP WESTON AND THE WESTON FIRE DEPARTMENT!
AN URGENT MESSAGE to the citizens of the City of Weston and the Weston Fire District,
The Weston Fire Department (WFD) has been a proud supporter of this community, providing Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Service (EMS), since 1968. Recently, there has been discussion regarding the potential of redistricting the Fire Departments of Weston, Celina, and Anna. This redistricting of fire district lines is being reviewed at the same time the County has been advised the City of Anna will begin operating their own Ambulance Service on or about May 30, 2022. This could mean that the City of Anna, Celina, and potentially McKinney may be providing ambulance services to the unincorporated areas within the Weston Fire District while still providing services to their own Cities as well.
What does this mean to those within the Weston Fire District and the City of Weston? This could mean potentially longer response times for fire and EMS which would be coming from these other agencies. This would also include mutual aid or other agencies responding who are further away if the cities who are proposed to respond are unavailable, because of fire and EMS calls in their cities or UMB. Currently the contract in place with Collin County and American Medical Response (AMR), a private ambulance company, already addresses coverage and potential options for additional ambulances. Yes, the increase of ambulances to the northwest region of Collin County, especially in the City of Anna, will be available but as we see the population grow, we are only seeing an increased call volume. The increased response times are being addressed in the southeast portion of Collin County by the county with the potential of Anna and Celina agreeing to shift into the northwest portion of the unincorporated area of Collin County which is covered by AMR. Response times currently by Weston Fire Department in its district are approximately, 7 mins. 30 secs., which is below the national standard for rural areas and in line with the career departments. How does this impact those within the fire district? This will have a potential of reducing the fire district that Weston serves to only the city limits of Weston. Weston would still respond if requested for mutual aid, but only after the other agencies are responding or requested on initial dispatch, thus increasing the time to get fire and EMS services to those who are in our district.
There have been meetings between the County and the City of Weston addressing the proposed changes in early April of this year. The Weston Fire Department requested the county Fire Marshal meet with us on the status of the district and potential redistricting of fire and medical services to ensure transparency and facts impacting our services to our community. Should this redistricting be allowed to happen, your emergency services would come from the surrounding jurisdictions and dramatically increase response times, potentially placing your family’s lives and your property at greater risk. As stated by the County Fire Marshal, this would have to be agreed upon by the Fire Chiefs responsible for the services in their respective fire districts.
The Weston Fire Department and the City of Weston engaged on February 11, 2022, with an agreement to provide services to the City for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services. Last year, the city leadership requested the Fire Department to discuss and review the public safety service plan and other fire related matters. This shows the relationship the City is encouraging with the fire department. We have been actively engaged in a proposed contract with the City of Weston leadership and encouraged this will be in place soon to enhance the fire and medical services we are currently providing our community.
Most importantly, there is talk about the Weston Fire Department being removed completely and the services for fire and medical coming from outside the area to serve those once served by the Weston Fire Department. If this were to happen, this would be an even greater public safety risk to the community. This would also be the first step to see the city to potentially losing its identity and could become a district of one of the surrounding Cities. The Weston Fire Department will hold an important TOWN HALL MEETING ON THURSDAY, MAY 12TH, AT 6:30 PM (At the Weston Fire House). Please bring your questions and make every effort to attend as your public safety could be at risk!
Since my tenure began 13 months ago, our department has seen positive changes. One of these changes has been the increase in members with fire service certifications, EMT’s, and Paramedics. We acquired new fire apparatus, grants for equipment, and agencies supplying equipment to the department which were from outside the county and in some instances the state of Texas. Another significant change is improving the Public Protection Classification or ISO Rating within the City and District. With its improvement, it could potentially lower your fire insurance premiums and save you money.
Bart Chambers, Chief
Weston Fire and Rescue