By Alton Porter
CROCKETT – Members of Houston County Emergency Services District No. 2 (ESD2) are considering making some software adjustments to the website they’re having developed.
The ESD2 members heard a presentation given by Keith E. Tate, of Emergency Solutions, Inc., based in Whitehouse, who is offering to make the upgrade adjustments to the district’s future website at an ESD2 board of commissioners meeting Thursday, May 27.
Tate was asked to make the presentation to the ESD2 members and introduced by former ESD2 Board Secretary Roy Langford, who also is assisting ESD2 members in having the website developed by Aaron Wells, of Tyler.
“I know I’m not part of the board anymore, but I am part of the county,” said Langford. “So, guys, whenever I see something or hear something that I think would be good for the county, the ESD or the fire departments, then I’m going to let you know about it. What he’s (Tate) fixin’ to talk to you all about, I think would be good for you guys—for the fire departments.”
Tate said he and some fellow firefighters started the software company, Emergency Solutions, for fire departments. “We started it because our ESD was really struggling with the fact that we had four or five pieces of software to do our day-to-day business as firefighters.
“And none of that software talked to each other. And we were running into conflicts and problems, and we were losing a lot of time because we were putting same or similar data into two or three software packages,” he said.
Tate and his fellow firefighters wrote their own replacement software that combined all of their previous ones and Emergency Solutions was born, he said.
“So, what our company (Emergency Solutions) does is we do full fire department records management. This handles your … fire report; it handles all of your asset tracking, your personnel tracking, including training, emergency contacts, health records—all of that kind of stuff—all of your equipment tracking, all in one seamless program.
Tate said Emergency Solutions charges $100 a month for the use of its software “per department and that gets you the first 25 users.” The cost per department is reduced if more than one department decides to purchase the software, Tate said.
ESD2 Board President William Money asked representatives of various fire departments in the county that are ESD2 members to discuss this matter with their department members and decide whether they want to purchase software from Emergency Solutions and implement a program with the company.
“It’s going to make things easier on everybody at some point if we do something like this,” Money said. “That’s something that the (Houston County) Firefighters Association needs to discuss.
“If you all want to move forward with it, then come by and let (ESD2 Treasurer) Peggy (Patrick) and us (other ESD2 board members) know and we’ll follow suit with whatever we need to do to support it. I can see it’s a lot of things on there that will actually benefit us in tracking expenses.”
In other business, Wells, of Tyler, gave a presentation, offering suggestions and collecting information from the ESD2 members, regarding the website he is building for them.
While another agenda item was being discussed, ESD2 Commissioner Greg Brooks announced that Justin Kellum is the new chief of the Belott Volunteer Fire Department and Charles Scruggs is that department’s new assistant chief.
Patrick noted that ESD2 officials now have on hand the latest two versions of proposals to amend and renew a nearly 12-year-old contract the district has with the city of Crockett. The ESD2 members tabled action on the contract until their next meeting, which will be held Thursday, June 24.
In a similar action, ESD2 members tabled, until their next meeting, action regarding the purchase of a new pickup truck or chassis for the Weldon Volunteer Fire Department, following a presentation by Weldon VFD representative Dennis Taylor.
And the ESD2 members declined to take action at that time on spending $21,500 regarding an air compressor for the Latexo Volunteer Fire Department station, after a presentation by Latexo VFD representative Paul Blaylock.