The purchase is part of a three-month strategic plan to ensure the county has enough equipment to avoid supply chain challenges when resources are needed in the future, the agenda read. The total amount is for the entire three months, County Director of Emergency Services Michael Shoe said.
The stockpile will include masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and more, he added.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said he also wants a plan in place so the equipment does not expire, which Shoe said has already been established.
The court also approved an approximately $12,398 purchase of antibody tests to be used for small county fire departments and smaller law enforcement agencies as well as a $14,250 purchase of antibody tests for the sheriff’s office. This information will be used to determine the extent to which the virus has affected first responders in the community, county officials said.
The county previously agreed to purchase antibody tests for its paramedics.
The items passed 4-1, with Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook coting against the item after sharing concerns about the immediate need for the tests with low accuracy.
Senior Director of Emergency Services Chris Connealy said the test results will provide another benchmark to determine how well the county is doing in protecting its first responders with protective equipment.
Connealy said the antibody tests will also provide information on the prevalence of the disease in the community.
“[The antibody tests] another means of identifying those who have had infections,” Connealy said. He added that he understood Cook’s debate on the quality of the antibody tests but that the tests he wanted to buy are 90% effective.