South Texas Emergency Care Foundation History

The Foundation completed 32 years of service to the area in 2011. The organization, incorporated in January of 1979 to provide pre-hospital emergency services has grown dramatically and is now one of the largest non-profit EMS/air medical programs in the State of Texas.

Harlingen citizens, led by a group of prominent local leaders created the system as a community based EMS program. Valley Baptist Medical Center played a key role by training the Paramedics, providing medical control and some of the advanced equipment, such as defibrillators, for the ambulances.

From the earliest days, the citizens decided that the new program would be a non-profit service, which would be governed by a Board of Directors comprised of local community leaders. The system would provide Emergency Medical Services to the cities and County.

The community effort paid off with the commencement of service on July 1st, 1979. The new service had become the first “Paramedic” level service in deep South Texas. Over the years, the Foundation grew to cover other communities such as Rio Hondo, Rancho Viejo, San Benito, Santa Rosa and La Feria.

Emergency medicine changes constantly. The ability to change medical and operational protocols to fit in with the comprehensive overall health care scheme of the local medical community is vital to keeping the system on the “cutting edge” of pre-hospital care. The success of the EMS program has proven that a community-based system can be developed to serve the citizen community while at the same time being responsive to the changing requirements and needs of the medical community.