City’s Fire Department receives water rescue equipment

Published 4:06 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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The City of Washington received new and upgraded water rescue equipment on Friday, May 31 just in time for the upcoming hurricane season. 

They were able to make upgrades and acquire new equipment thanks to funding Representative Keith Kidwell was able to secure in November of 2022. Kidwell helped the fire department get $155,000 in state funding for water rescue equipment. 

With the funding, the fire department made upgrades to its existing rescue boat which include: installing a new motor, installing a water pump to give the department marine firefighting capabilities, upgrading electronics, installing a night vision camera system, installing new marine radios, upgrading its sonar system and upgrading emergency lighting. 

They also purchased two zodiac inflatable boats with motors which will be used for swift water rescues during flooding events, and they were able to purchase a double decker trailer to transport the inflatable boats and related equipment. In addition, they purchased an enclosed cargo trailer to transport all other related water rescue equipment. 

Chief R.M. Flowers previously told the Daily News that the upgrades and purchases will help the fire department immensely, because they will no longer have to rely on assistance from outside agencies or a federal rescue team. The fire department can now “immediately deploy at any point and time we need to deploy.” 

Thirteen certified swift water rescue crew members from the fire department will use the new and upgraded equipment.