RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Fire Department recently purchased new emergency tools through the fundraising efforts of its firefighter association, an anonymous donor and a safety intervention grant of roughly $24,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation; a project all-in-all totaling around $32,500.
“It’s important that we continue updating our equipment and especially with what we recently obtained because we’re right by U.S. 35 and assist with wrecks there,” said Rio Grande Fire Chief Tim Hemmerick. “We really appreciate everyone’s support in this project.”
The department purchased a hydraulic ram, a hydraulic cutter and a hydraulic spreader. The department also purchased a reciprocating saw that is designed to cut through vehicles and a glass cutter.
“These are state-of-the-art, battery-operated rescue tools,” said Hemmerick. “The hydraulics are all inside so we don’t have a pump and hoses to run to the tools. It freed us up to do simultaneous operations like on an (emergency vehicle occupant extraction). The cutter is designed to cut through things like windshields and as it cuts it through about 95 percent of the glass shaves to the outside of the vehicle.”
The chief said the department will soon be applying for other emergency grant dollars in the hopes of getting an updated fire engine.
According to Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter, the funds to match the safety intervention grant came from community support of firefighting fundraising efforts.
“The new tools greatly improve the rescue and extraction services that the fire department provides to the community,” said the mayor.
Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.