Cattleman group donates nearly $130,000 to West EMS - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Cattleman group donates nearly $130,000 to West EMS


Earlier this month, EMS leaders shared their disappointment over the lack of donations coming in to the department. They blamed, in part, a misconception that they're linked to the fire department.

Today, their situation changed drastically.

When the medical director for West EMS found out they were getting a check for nearly $130,000 he was shocked.

George Smith says, "Yeah literally I was. I had no idea it was coming... This is awesome. We're just very overwhelmed with the generosity of these guys."

Those guys are also known as the creators of the Cattleman's Relief Fund of West.  And the idea to raise money by auctioning off livestock all started with a Facebook post.

West Auction auctioneer Brian Uptmore recalls, "He said, look. I'm tired of sitting around moping, let's do something, let's donate a calf. And I was like, donate a calf? Because I had so many friends out of state, out of the region wanting to help, wanting to do something."

Within a matter of months, $30,000 turned into nearly $130,000.  And now with donations and insurance money, West EMS can replace their lost ambulances. Essentially, they are the most critical aspect of their operation.

Smith says, "If somebody has a heart attack and we need to get them to the hospital so they can get to the cath lab and save their lives, we don't want the ambulance breaking down when we're going to get them."

Those types of needs really hit home with people far and wide.

Uptmore says, "A lot of the people who donated, a lot of them were local, but the ones from out of town, they have towns just like this where they're from and they could see it happening to them as well."

For now, West EMS first responders are using borrowed and donated equipment.

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