HARLINGEN, TEXAS (July 22, 2019) – The South Texas Emergency Care Foundation, Inc. (STEC) recently celebrated 40 years of service. The non-profit began in 1979 when the City of Harlingen, Valley Baptist Medical Center, and the Rotary Club came together to find a solution to the lack of ambulance services.
Prior to STEC, Harlingen and neighboring communities didn’t have a dedicated 24/7 year-round ambulance service.
“Services were fly-by-night,” Rene Perez, RN Paramedic & STEC Director of Patient Transport Services, said.
“Sometimes they were open, sometimes they weren’t and if anyone needed an ambulance, people had to figure out how to take the person to the hospital.”
Currently, the non-profit has a staff of more than 80 medical personnel and dispatchers who take 911 calls out of the Harlingen-based MedComm Communications Systems center. The foundation continues to evolve with the latest medical trends in ambulance services.
Perez said they are currently working on a project that would bring care to patients who don’t necessarily need to go to the hospital. This service would treat patients in their home or transport them to an urgent care facility or a doctor’s office.
“South Texas Emergency Care is homegrown, I was born and raised in Harlingen, and it’s good to see that we have a system that has been in place for a long time located here,” he said.
He added that the organization doesn’t just provide ambulance service, but also works within the community to educate them about what to do during an emergency before the ambulance arrives.
“We reach out to our communities and want them to understand that we are a service for them, but we also give back and provide First Aid training and Stop the Bleed training.”
The non-profit has been servicing Cameron County and has contracts to provide ambulance transport and emergency medical services in the cities and towns of Harlingen, La Feria, Palm Valley, Primera, Rio Hondo, Santa Rosa, San Benito, and Combes.
“STEC and other organizations like it provide an invaluable service to the community. They help people in difficult times and we couldn’t be prouder of what they continue to do here in Harlingen,” Raudel Garza, Harlingen Economic Development Corporation CEO & manager, said.
STEC earns a majority of its earnings from billing for services rendered. Learn more about the non-profit and what they do for you here.