1. BS Police Chief Chad Williams advised that the BS Police Department received $21,508 through the Rifle-Resistant Body Armor Grant Program to purchase enough rifle-resistant vests for their department, which covers 48 officer spots. It was noted that these vests would not be worn everyday, but will be used for specific calls where it is believed that a rifle may be involved.
2. BS Public Works Director Johnny Womack advised that the lowering device that is currently in use for the local cemeteries is in need of replacement. According to Womack, there are "one-and-a-half" devices that the city has - one is in use and the other is used for parts to repair the device in use. $5,000 was requested from the General Fund to be added to the Cemetery Fund Budget to purchase a new lowering device.
3. Approval was obtained for a Non-Emergency Ambulance Operator's Permit for Acute Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Ector-Midland County Emergency Medical Services (EMCEMS).
During a public hearing held earlier in the meeting, Brian Taylor, West Texas Manager for Acute Medical Services dba EMCEMS, advised that they already had stations in Midland, Odessa, and Andrews and were looking to bring a station to Big Spring. He noted that they would not be answering 911 calls, but they would be able to provide transport services to hospitals/medical facilities outside of the city limits.
BS Fire Chief Craig Ferguson advised the City Council members that this was a service that is needed. He noted during the month of January, Scenic Mountain Medical Center transported 73 patients to other facilities. Ferguson stated that, unfortunately, it was a need that the BSFD was not able to meet due to staffing and their 911 call volume. According to Chief Ferguson, the call volume has increased and in February to an average of 18.3 calls per day, and this company would not be to the detriment of the department.