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Odessa City Council planning to put CARES Act money towards protecting first responders

"You know we don't want to expose them, so protecting us, protects the community."

The City of Odessa is using money from the CARES Act to ensure first responders and the community are protected from COVID-19.

These days, responding to emergencies takes a whole lot more diligence.

"Our guys are having to wash after each run from being exposed with COVID," Danny Chavez, City of Odessa EMS Training Captain said.

It also requires much more costly, equipment.

On Tuesday, Odessa city council members discussed using about $315,000 dollars from the CARES Act to purchase things like automatic CPR devices and PPE uniforms, all in hopes of getting in front of the virus.

"With our economy being so depressed with this, it was a blessing in disguise the CARES Act," Chavez said.

Council is considering buying:

  • 1 defibrillator
  • 9 automatic CPR devices
  • More virus protective uniforms for Odessa Fire
  • Glide-scope pro, a tool that allows the first responders to see a person's airway without getting too close.

All this equipment would add up to be about $314,954.

"It's worth it because it's about protecting our community, it would almost be negligent for us to not seek measures like that," Chavez said. "Whether you believe in COVID or not people are getting sick and it's going to protect our community."

By protecting first responders, citizens are safer too. 

"You know we don't want to expose them, so protecting us, protects the community," Chavez said.

Now those purchases are not final.

Chavez tells NewsWest 9 city council will vote on the equipment Tuesday, August 11. 

First responders would start using that equipment in the next month or so.