Janesville55°

Federal grant to buy rescue equipment

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
February 27, 2008
— Janesville will receive up to $84,000 from the federal Department of Homeland Security to replace rescue equipment and tools that do not now meet minimum performance requirements.

The grant requires the city provide matching local funds of 20 percent, or $21,000.


The technology of existing vehicles is outdated, with the age of equipment ranging between 10 and 20 years, said Jim Jensen, deputy fire chief.


Equipment should have higher cutting and spreading forces to remove victims from accidents because of today’s vehicle construction, he said. The new equipment would improve the ability to stabilize vehicles in a variety of positions.


The current hydraulic rescue tools are not uniform or compatible, Jensen said. That incompatibility limits rescue capabilities when multiple engines with different rescue tool systems respond to accidents.


“This is not only an operation problem, but also a safety concern,” Jensen said.


“Current department equipment does not meet minimum performance requirements or national safety standards for powered rescue tools,” he said. “This places our personnel and the public we serve at risk.”


A firefighter department equipment committee researched the department’s needs and made the recommendations on rescue equipment.


The council on Monday voted to accept the grant, and council member Russ Steeber said the equipment would give the firefighters “much needed upgrades.”



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