During my time with the Zavalla Volunteer Fire Department, I was responsible for the First Responder/EMS program. Like most VFDs in this area, our funds were short but our needs were plenty. It was these two factors that made me seek out resources that could be used to benefit our First Responder Program. Many years ago I came upon a site known as the Texas Facility Commission, Federal Surplus Property Program, which has offices in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. The facilities receive large amounts of equipment from the military and other government organizations. This equipment is then made eligible to qualified organizations — primarily nonprofits — with the majority of this equipment being used or, in some cases, like-new condition as it comes from units that have disbanded, reorganized or have upgraded their equipment.

The other night I was scrolling through the site and I could not believe what I found: hospital beds, portable ventilators, gloves, gowns, masks, defibrillators, cardiac monitors, PT monitoring systems, exam tables, oxygen masks, infusion pumps, suction units, disposable basins and the list goes on.

So my question is, we know the medical facilities in this state are getting, or are going to get, hit hard so why has our state government not tapped into this resource? Granted, we may not be in as grave a situation as other states, but why wait? I urge everyone to contact your state representative and congressmen and ask them why this valuable resource has not been tapped into.

If anyone would like to see what I am talking about, type in tfc.state.tx.us.

When the site comes up, scroll down on the right side of the screen until you see “Surplus Property Program.” Click on this.

When the home page comes up, go to the top of the page and click on “Surplus Property.” You will be given an option of state or federal. Select “Federal.” After that, click on “Inventory.” Once you get into the inventory, scroll down to medical supplies/equipment.

I hope this helps.

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