Valley Regional and Fire Department to have connecting bridge for easier access

Brownsville Fire Chief Jarett Sheldon speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony Monday as Valley Regional Medical Center in partnership with the City of Brownsville Fire Department and EMS station along Alton Gloor Boulevard to commemorte the building of a bridge that will allow EMS units to cross back to their Alton Gloor Boulevard station from the hospital. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The Brownsville Fire Emergency Management Services and Valley Regional Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday to commemorate the building of a bridge that will allow EMS units easier access back to the station from the hospital.

The bridge will improve the time it takes for EMS to return to their station to replenish supplies between calls, which will improve response times to other emergency calls.

“This station is the primary hub for EMS to keep all of their supplies, so they use it as a distribution center. So, now they will not only be able to get on the street faster because of this intersection being so busy, they will also be able to resource their trucks much faster which means teams can get out to different parts of the city much faster,” Art Garza, CEO at Valley Regional Medical Center, said.

“Overall the community benefits from being able to do this small project and it really means a lot to the City of Brownsville.”

Garza said the project is not very long and should be done within two weeks once the construction actually starts.

“I’m really excited that we are able to partner with Brownsville EMS and Fire this way,” he said. “These individuals are so dedicated to our city and to our citizens and they provide a tremendous service.”

Fire Department Chief Jarrett Sheldon said the project will have a great impact because the bridge will provide a safer environment for the fire fighters and EMS personnel.

“We are hoping it’s going to reduce response times, sitting in Alton Gloor for 15 minutes, it does take time to get an ambulance back in service, get our personnel restocked, so reducing that time will get us more ambulances on the street faster,” he said.

“Hopefully it will have an impact that when somebody needs an ambulance, our personnel can be ready to go a lot faster.”

Brownsville City Manager Noel Bernal said the bridge is symbolic of the partnership of the City of Brownsville and Valley Regional. He said the partnership should be celebrated because it is beneficial for the community to align missions.

“That bridge is very much symbolic of what we are trying to do with our community and with our partners, and that is to find ways to align resources, to align missions and as I’m hearing the background of how this came to be, I would say align cultures,” he said.

“One of the things that we’ve been doing a lot these last six months because of COVID … is we’ve had a ton of rapid micro-innovations that we had to do to respond to COVID and I’m very proud that I lead the team that we need at the organization of Brownsville.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com