New EMS Unit Coming to Odessa 01/30/14
January 30, 2014
Odessa - For the very first time the Odessa Fire Department will now have more EMS units than Fire units. Officials say the increase of traffic accidents in the area was a big influence on this decision. Just last year the department received more than 18 thousand 911 calls and almost 90 percent of those were EMS related.
“When we have all those calls, all of our units are out of service and it’s a call pending then we’re having to wait for units to go back in service,” said Fire Chief Roger Boyd.
Because of this, response times were slower than preferred, but now with the approval from Odessa City Council a solution has been made. “We will actually be adding one more of those to the fleet and you will see it running around this community helping people that need assistance. It will help alleviate all the burden for our EMS personnel,” said Boyd.
The new units are all equipped with top of the line lifesaving equipment. Like heart monitors that can almost instantly give you results. For those driving the trucks, the relief of having more man power is welcomed. “I think it will make everything a little lighter, the stress load will be lighter because we’ll have more people in the unit. We will also be able to cover more area and have quicker response times,” said Paramedic Josh Norrid.
The fire department says the extra unit will be put to use as soon as they hire six more employees to maintain and staff the truck. With this addition there will now be nine EMS units and eight Fire units.