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Mayor’s update January 25,2024

Posted on January 30, 2024


JANUARY 25, 2024



Marlin Animal Shelter Update:


Despite the tragic nature of the recent circumstances regarding the Marlin Animal Shelter, the events have provided the City of Marlin an opportunity to improve our policies and procedures with regard to the care and custody of impounded dogs.  The Police Chief, City Attorney and City Manager have been and remain in contact with several relevant agencies, consultants and veterinarians and are working diligently to review and expand existing protocols for the Marlin Animal Shelter. In as much as the Marlin Animal Shelter is the only animal shelter in Falls County, it is important to the City of Marlin to affect and implement changes that will significantly enhance future impoundment procedures, protocols and daily operations.


For the present, the Marlin Animal Shelter is closed pending proposed improvements to the facility.  The City of Marlin is grateful for the significant number of volunteers who have offered to provide assistance with the project.  While the Shelter is closed, animal emergencies will be handled through the police department and/or by certified Animal Control city personnel on a case-by-case basis.



First Responder Organization Provider Agreement With City Ambulance Service:


The following is an email I received this morning from Justin Parker, Marlin Fire Chief:


Mayor Byrd,


I just wanted to provide you and the City Council with an update on the new ambulance service and our department’s EMS program. It’s important to note that our department and its staff are stuck between a rock and a hard place in regards to this situation. We wish to provide our community’s citizens and visitors with the prompt and professional services they deserve. Unfortunately, the TX Department of State Health Service’s rules and regulations regarding First Responder Organizations (FROs) are very straightforward when it comes to licensing. Failure to strictly adhere to their rules and regulations could result in penalties such as fines, suspension (or revocation) of our department’s FRO license, and/or suspension (or revocation) of individual state Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certifications.

All recommended changes, for the FRO Agreement between our department and City Ambulance, were submitted to their (City Ambulance’s) Regional Director, Juan Valdes via email. I expect to receive the updated agreement any day. If any City Council meetings are held before the February 13th meeting, I respectfully request the agreement’s inclusion on the earlier meeting’s agenda. The sooner we can approve the agreement and submit it to TDSHS, the sooner we can resume our service as a licensed First Responder Organization.

The revised and signed FRO Agreement, which was discussed during the January meeting, is the final document needed to submit the provider change packet to TDSHS (TX Dept. of State Health Services) for review and final approval. Once this is complete, we may fully resume first responder (EMS) services under City Ambulance’s Clinical Protocols and Medical Director.

  1. I (Chief Parker) was placed in contact with Mark Koscielski, Falls County Operations Supervisor for City Ambulance. I am working closely with him to ensure interoperability, coordination, and communication between City Ambulance and City of Marlin Fire & Rescue Department resources are established, maintained, and routinely revisited for continuous quality improvement.
  1. As mentioned during the last council meeting, our department continues to respond to emergency medical incidents when specifically requested by the responding ambulance and/or if a life-threatening (or potentially life-threatening) injury or medical event has occurred (or is occurring). Unfortunately, we cannot currently administer any medications included in our MEL (Minimum Equipment List) until the FRO Agreement is signed by our city and submitted to TDSHS (along with all other required documents related to the provider change). We can, however, perform CPR and/or any other life-saving interventions that could be considered layperson first aid (e.g., bleeding control).

  2. On Monday, January 22nd, I (Chief Parker) submitted an email to TDSHS’ EMS Certifications Division regarding our current status as a First Responder Organization. Within this e-mail, I identified the critical role our Fire Department’s Firefighter/EMTs when it comes to patient care provisions. I also explained that our entire county is only serviced by two (2) ambulance and that one [the Rosebud unit] is only in operation for twelve (12) hours each day. Before concluding the email, I asked if there’s anything our [fire] department can do until all FRO paperwork is finalized, submitted, reviewed, and approved by TDSHS. As of 01/24/24, at 5:00 PM, we have not yet received a reply.
  3. An email notifying TDSHS’ EMS Certifications Division of the ambulance provider change and how it would temporarily affect our department’s EMS service provisions was sent on January 2, 2024. As of the present date, we still have not received a response regarding this email.


  1. In addition to the previously identified managerial employees from City Ambulance, I’ve also remained in close contact with FCHC’s Director of Nursing and ESD 1 Director Bill Range regarding the ambulance provider change and its effect on First Responder Organizations (FROs). Both individuals are very knowledgeable within their respective fields and have been extremely helpful.

Thank You,

Justin E. Parker

Fire Chief/EMC
City of Marlin, TX

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