by John Earp
At last Monday night’s meeting of the Jal City Council, EMS Director Linda Allen mentioned that the department had been having mechanical problems with its primary ambulance. City Manager Matt White said, “We have one of our ambulances that we took to the Ford house. We didn’t like their answer; they wanted us to put a $20,000 engine in it, so we took it to somebody else. I talked to them Friday, and they’re still looking at it. Actually, they took it out and ran it and they said there’s nothing wrong with it. I said no, so they were going to run it harder and see if they could get it to do what it was. They haven’t called me back, so I’ll try to check on it tomorrow. It acts like the number 8 cylinder on it was missing or something. The Ford house said the crank shaft was out of balance or something, but these guys have said they don’t think so. We’re not sure what it is, so we’re still looking.” White said, “We took it to somebody else. There’s a mechanic up north of Hobbs a way that used to work at the Ford house and I really like him and trust him. I take all my vehicles there. So, they looked at it, and they just haven’t figured out what it is.” He added, “We did take the old ambulance, and put it back in service, so we at least have a backup.” Allen said, “It can almost run as fast as it drives. That’s what it feels like. I know it runs faster than that.” 
Mayor Aldridge mentioned that if anyone knows of any senior citizens in town who could be helped by having a lifeline, the Jal Hospital District pays for those, with no rental charge. He said, “If you know any other seniors in town that need a lifeline, let us know. We’d like to have everybody hooked up with one. There’s no sense in them laying there suffering.”  
In his City Manager’s Report, Matt White mentioned that the City still had not had any applicants to apply for the Paramedic or EMT positions with Jal EMS. He said the City would advertise it for a couple more weeks. He said, “I believe did have somebody from Kermit that might have expressed a little bit of a desire to know how much money we’re willing to pay, and so we’re talking to people.” Mayor Aldridge then asked this reporter if we would put out a call for those who would like to become EMS certified. He said, “We’ll get them trained up. I don’t know what else to do. We’ve asked and asked and called and called.” Linda Allen said that as of right now the City has three EMTs and one first responder. She added that they are two taking a class at the JC (junior college), who will start this month. She said that at the end of March the City would have two EMTs and one first responder. White said he had spoken to Hobbs and Eunice about helping if needed. He said, “We need to have a paramedic down here to have him on duty, or work in that direction. That’s another reason we’re working to get the housing in place, so we’ll have a place to put him. We’ll keep working in that direction.”  

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