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NM VFDs to get funding for portable X-ray system, heavy rescue truck

Eddy County fire officials say the fire excise tax funds will help enhance rescue response and fire investigations

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The Eddy County Fire Service will receive $86,000 in fire excise tax funds to purchase a portable X-ray system that officials say will enhance fire investigations and fire prevention.

Photo/Eddy County Fire Service via MCT

Mike Smith
Carlsbad Current-Argus, N.M.

EDDY COUNTY, N.M. — Eddy County volunteer fire departments have a new tool to assist with fire investigations.

Tuesday, Eddy County Board of County Commissioners approved an $86,000 fire excise tax fund request from Eddy County Fire Service (ECFS) for a portable x-ray system during the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

ECFS Director Joshua Mack said the County requested assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF) in 2020 to x-ray some items.

“We identified the need. There is really nothing in this area this side of Texas as well. We could be called to assist other agencies and it would be a great asset to the team to enhance our capabilities,” he said.

Eddy County Manager Allen Davis said the x-ray equipment from Smartray Vision would enhance the work of Eddy County fire investigators.

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

In a memo to commissioners, Mack said the equipment could help in fire prevention along with investigations.

“The community will benefit by more thorough investigations which can identify fire hazards and dangers in the home as well as problems with consumer products being used in residences throughout the county that could pose a fire danger,” the memo stated.

Commissioners approved another fire excise tax request for $1 million to purchase a new heavy rescue truck for the Atoka Volunteer Fire Department.

Mack said the new unit would replace a 26-year-old vehicle transferred from the Happy Valley Volunteer Fire Department to Atoka. The current vehicle is costing the County money in repairs and upkeep.

“The new unit will be bigger and have the ability to house more needed gear and better accessibility and response as well as provide and indoor command area if needed on larger scenes,” Mack said in a separate memo to commissioners.

Located 10 miles south of Artesia, the Atoka fire personnel responded to 376 calls in 2020 and so far in 2021 crews responded to 91 service calls, per ECFS figures.

Mack said the new unit could serve multi functions for ECFS northern districts such as major accidents, technical rescue, and dive searches.


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