In the year 2000 the citizens of DeSoto Parish recognized a need for a parish-owned ambulance service and a proposal was formed and brought before the parish. A four percent millage tax was passed and on August 31, 2001 DeSoto Parish EMS was officially formed. We began our journey with just two ALS units servicing over 30,000 residents. We operated out of DeSoto Regional hospital and as the needs of our parish have grown so have we. We now have five stations and we operate six full time ALS ambulances 365 days a year in an attempt to provide the most effective coverage for our citizens.
Over the years of our operation we have encountered loss within our ranks, with the untimely loss of two of our best; Paramedic Shane Brown and EMT Joe Prock. They will always be remembered and missed.
Throughout our time we have also taken part in the recovery efforts for the natural disasters of hurricane Katrina, Rita, Gustave and Issac. We have had boots on the ground at each of them in an effort to serve our state and its people.
With the discovery of the Haynesville Shale here within the parish, not only has it created an influx in our economy it has also created an opportunity for us here at DeSoto EMS to work closely with the companies involved in their safety. We have answered the call many times to the needs of gas well sites incidents and have found the cooperation of the companies involved to be invaluable in ensuring the safety of all involved. Companies such as Encana, EOG, British Petroleum and Shell have graciously donated funds for us to be able to purchase equipment that we have used for safer extraction of people in locations that would have been otherwise difficult to reach.