Hidalgo County commissioners approve construction of new emergency services facility
Hidalgo County Commissioners gave the green light Tuesday to begin design and construction on a new emergency services facility in San Carlos.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios said the closest aid is miles away from San Carlos, resulting in a 10 to 25-minute response time.
“Going back and seeing some of the things that have happened, of recent, we’ve lost a mother and her two children in a tragic fire,” said Palacios. “We feel that if these services are located closer to the vicinity of this area they're going to be a lot more protected."
Other residents shared their personal experience on how distance between their homes and the nearest aid has affected life and death situations.
"My house was gone because the firemen didn't arrive,” said Maria Preciado, a resident of Precinct 4.
Cenobia Cruz is also a resident of Precinct 4 and lost her brother from a heart attack.
"When my brother died, it took them like 25 minutes to get here."
Another resident, Edith Lopez recalls a time when her neighbor’s house was on fire.
"Several years ago in the neighborhood that I live exactly there was an emergency, a house that was on fire and it took a team of firefighters half an hour to get to the house.”
The new emergency services facility will serve more than 8,000 residents with fire protection, Emergency Management Services (EMS) and police presence.
Official groundbreaking for construction is expected to be held in the next 60-90 days.
Palacios added that the new emergency services facility will replicate the Linn-San Manuel Fire Station, which is in the northern part of Precinct 4.
Residents are excited that the plans for the new facility are in full effect.
"It's a very positive thing because we've lost a lot of lives because they didn't arrive quick enough,” said Preciado. “In my case, there was no tragedy, but with other people there has and this is going to bring the community benefits."