The Jackson County Commission discussed spending roughly 10% of their CARES Act funding on the purchase of CPR machines for Fire Departments throughout the County.

The proposal to purchase the machines for the County volunteer departments was brought before the commission by Commissioner Danny Rich, the representative for District 1.

The machines, called the Lucas Chest Compression System, cost roughly $15,000 each and are already in place at various departments throughout the region including Scottsboro Fire Department.

The system automates the CPR and are able to work on both battery power and when plugged in. This allows them to go with a patient through the hospital potentially saving a life that would otherwise have been lost.

"They've already saved lives," said Rich while discussing the devices in use by other departments.

This allows CPR to be performed for a longer sustained time, while freeing up hands on an EMS team to assist in other important portions of the emergency response. The system is not drop and go into a department and require firefighters and EMS workers to be trained on the device and receive a certification before it can be properly utilized.

The machines have a service life of approximately six years.

In total the county is discussing using CARES Act funding to purchase of 12 machines for the county’s fire departments, which will include various volunteer departments Jackson County.

Some department applied for a grant from the state for the machines earlier this month as part of the Gov. Kay Ivey's $35 million grant program to assist healthcare workers and emergency responders; however, the grant application window closed after only 11 days.

The CARES Act funding the County is interesting in using is available to be applied to up until Dec. 31. According to Rich, the county has not yet applied for any of the funding.

The Commission approved an application to the 2021 Rebuild Alabama Grant program.

The application was presented to the Jackson County Commission during its last meeting on Oct. 13 by the County Engineer, Johnathan Campbell. The proposed application would seek $250,000 from the Rebuild Alabama Act funds that are available to be applied for at the beginning of each fiscal year. The proposal would include the resurfacing of County Road 47 which was last resurfaced in 2007. In total, the project would cost approximately $464,000. Campbell noted that the road is on the borderline between needing to be completely repaved versus what is acceptable to continue preserve the current asphalt by resurfacing. If the road deteriorated to the point of needing to be completely repaved, he estimated that the project would cost roughly double at $837,000.

The commission also approved the 2021 holiday schedule, adding an additional administrative holiday for county workers on Nov. 25.

The meeting was the last for Commission members Mike Sisk, representative for District 4, and Melinda Gilbert, the representative for District 3. They were presented plaques by the County Commissioner in recognition of their service on the Commission.

Anthony J.H. Buckner is running to replace Gilbert and Kevin McBride is running to replace Sisk. They will appear on the ballot during the General Election on Nov. 3.

The Jackson County Commission will not hold another meeting until after the General Election.

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