The Eddy County Fee approves new gear for fireplace departments

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Eddy County Fire Service Logo

Eddy County’s Volunteer Fire Brigades have a new tool to assist with fire investigations.

On Tuesday, the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners approved an Eddy County Fire Service (ECFS) application for a $ 86,000 portable x-ray system for fiscal year 2021/2022.

ECFS Director Joshua Mack said the county asked the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Bureau for assistance in 2020 to X-ray some items.

“We recognized the need. There’s really nothing in this area on this side of Texas. We could be called in to support other agencies and it would be a great asset for the team to improve our skills, ”he said.

More:Eddy County is recruiting volunteer firefighters for 11 fire districts

Allen Davis, Eddy County’s manager, said Smartray Vision’s x-ray equipment would improve the work of Eddy County’s fire investigators.

“The team is doing an excellent job. So we have a very good group of trained and qualified people. This is an additional piece of equipment that will help continue their excellent work, ”he said.

In a memo to the commissioners, Mack said the equipment, along with the investigation, could help with fire safety.

“The community will benefit from more thorough research that can identify household fire hazards and hazards and consumer product issues in residential buildings across the county that could pose a fire hazard,” the memo said.

More:Structure and brush fires kept Eddy County’s firefighters busy Tuesday

Commissioners approved another $ 1 million excise tax application for the purchase of a new heavy duty ambulance for the Atoka Volunteer Fire Department.

Mack said the new unit would replace a 26-year-old vehicle brought to Atoka by the Happy Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The current vehicle costs the district money for repairs and maintenance.

A sign from the Atoka Volunteer Fire Department greets visitors on May 4, 2021. Eddy County officials approved a $ 1 million tax break on a new fire truck for the division south of Artesia.

“The new unit will be larger and have the ability to accommodate more equipment and better accessibility and response, as well as providing an interior command area in larger scenes if necessary,” Mack said in a separate memo to the commissioners.

Atoka Fire Fighters located 10 miles south of Artesia responded to 376 calls in 2020 and so far in 2021 the crews responded to 91 service calls according to ECFS numbers.

Mack said the new unit could perform multi-functions for ECFS northern districts such as major accidents, technical rescue and diving research.

More:The bill, signed by the governor, gives voluntary fire departments unrestricted access to funds

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.