Public Safety a Growth Industry for Austin

The EMS and fire department for Austin (TX) is growing. But, next year’s proposed budget offers little relieft for the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Service. The city’s budget of $56 million (up 11% over the current budget) offers only minor relief. Specifically, the budget proposes adding six new paramedics to staff a “demand unit”–an ambulance operating 12 hours a day, housed in an already busy station, but able to move around the city to plug service gaps.

The budget for the Austin Fire Department is growing to add more staff. Chief among the highlights of the Austin Fire Department’s proposed $144 million budget (roughly 96% of which comes from city general funds) is the addition of $5.1 million in grant money to train 36 new firefighters to achieve four-person staffing on every fire apparatus — a major advance that would allow the department to be more flexible in responding quickly to all manner of fire emergencies.

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