West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department Budget Stretched Thin

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

WEST ODESSA- They're not ready to close up shop and hand over the reins to the city just yet, but the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department is struggling to balance the high number of calls with an ever shrinking budget.

"It's just a never ending battle, to fight it. Our budget's already gone," Chief Jimmy Ellis with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department, said.

Ellis says the department gets $3200 dollars a month from Ector County, but considering the department usually goes on 600 runs on a busy year, and this year they've already gone on 350, and with diesel fuel costing $4 dollars a gallon, it's not hard to see why they're in such a pinch.

"With that we have to pay all the electrical bills down at the station, all of our truck repairs, fuel station bills, electric, water, gas for two stations and any repairs we do," said Ellis, "Stuff like that eats into your budget real quick, and that's where we get into a bind."

Ellis says several oil companies have come forward to help with fuel costs, but it's still going to take more to make it through the year.

"If the price of stuff keeps going up, and we don't get some more money or get some help, we're not going to be here," he said.

Ellis plans to go to the County Commissioners on Monday to talk about any additional resources they may find available.