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County hears update from Fire and Rescue

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Carol Hennington with the Eddy County IT Department shared the redesigned Eddy County website at Tuesday’s Eddy County Commission meeting.

The website, created by CivicPlus, LLC, under a GSA pricing agreement, was launched Nov. 9 and is now available at co.eddy.nm.us.

In other business Tuesday, the commission approved the donation of the following Eddy County assets:

• 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe to the City of Artesia

• Four patrol cars and two L3 cameras to the Lincoln County Sherriff’s Office

• 2005 International fire truck to San Juan College.

Eddy County Fire and Rescue (ECFR) Chief Joshua Mack reported the Insurance Services Office (ISO) inspections will take place next week; the department received the transport-capable med rescue certification allowing Eddy County to transport medical patients in an ambulance if the City of Carlsbad or City of Artesia is not available.

A new ambulance arrived last week and will be at Station 2 in Artesia, and an upgrade of the radio system project is moving forward, with installs starting soon in Hope, Queen, two state sites, and Loving.

ECFR will have two new employees starting on Dec. 4. Five applicants took tests last week, interviews are happening tomorrow, and three or four more applicants are testing in December, and that should fill the nine open positions.

Battalion Chief David Watson was chosen as new Division Chief of Training Health and Safety, and the annual physical RFP was completed. The department recently had a successful graduation and swearing-in and completed a presentation to AARP in Carlsbad this week. Additionally, the Loving sleeping quarters got occupancy last week, the parking lot will be paved soon, a ribbon cutting ceremony is planned, and construction will start on the addition for a new bay on the other side of the building.

The department’s fire prevention and life safety division has completed 192 building pre-plans, 352 fire inspections, and 24 smoke detector/fire extinguisher installs since April. They are holding a drawing for a free family ride-along for all three Christmas Light parades in Loving, Carlsbad and Artesia. The department is also starting a six- to eight-month process of updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Over the last year, ECFR has reduced their fleet of vehicles from 174 to 98. They now have 26 engines with the water capability of 41,750 gallons and 15 tankers with a capacity of 50,100 gallons. The department capacity now exceeds the ISO recommendation for adequate water for a fire in the largest building in Eddy County which is 50,000 to 70,000 gallons to supply 250 gallons per minute for four hours.

Eddy County Sherriff Mark Cage reported the New Mexico Counties (NMC) legislative conference is coming up; the four sheriff’s office positions approved at the last meeting are also filled, making their roster full.

The commission additionally approved the following:

• Renewal of the contract with Bonfire Interactive Ltd., an electronic platform for government and public sector procurement teams to run bids and RFPs

• Service agreement with Spark’s Office Supply for Sharp MX 6070 copier/printer

• Awarding the third-party administrator for COBRA notifications for VSP and billing to Easi Gov Inc.

• Memorandum of agreement for the provision of school safety resources to the Carlsbad Municipal Schools to provide $50,000 annually to assist in the funding of a school resource officer, school safety equipment, or school safety supplies for four years

• Memorandum of agreement for the provision of school safety resources to the Loving Municipal Schools to provide $25,000 annually to assist in the funding of a school resource officer, school safety equipment, or school safety supplies for four years

• Juan Zamarron, Orlando Moreno, and Daniel Taschner to attend Survival Tactics 1 course in Saginaw, TX, on November 26 through December 2, 2023.

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