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Local first responders heading to New Jersey to help battle the coronavirus

Right now, New Jersey has roughly 75,000 cases of COVID-19 and just over 3,500 people have died.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two of our local first responders, including one coming out of retirement,   will be heading to New Jersey to help battle the coronavirus there.

Mariah Estrada and Ed Escobedo have been working together for an ambulance service for a year when they heard FEMA was looking for EMT's to help patients in New Jersey.

Estrada is a basic EMT and Escobedo is a retired Corpus Christi firefighter who has been working for a couple of private ambulance companies the past few years. Both are committed to helping people and their communities.

Unfortunately, by the time they responded to the first call, which was to New York, the offer was off the table. This time around there was no hesitation and they knew they would be heading to the garden state.

Right now, New Jersey has roughly 75,000 cases of COVID-19 and just over 3,500 people have died.

"Our hearts are definitely in EMS," Estada said. "We really do love this very much. We are taking a bunch of risks, but we had to kind of be selfless and say we are just going to have to get up and we are going to do this. You know there's not many people that can just get up and go and we are able to do that."

FEMA will fly Escobedo and Estrada either tonight or tomorrow for a 30-day rotation. Estrada and Escobedo say they are thankful for the protective gear donations they've received. They ask for the public to help first responders by taking care of themselves, meaning continuing to social distance and practice good hygiene.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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