110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Jan 17, 2013 - 6:32:01am
Orange City’s Fire Department will get some new state-of-the-art rescue equipment, thanks to a grant by the Orange City Firehouse Subs restaurant. The grant will provide a stabilization kit, air chisel and reciprocating saw.
Fire Chief Chris Johnson told the City Council the Orange City Fire Department responds to a number of serious accidents, partly because three busy thoroughfares — Interstate 4, State Road 472 and U.S. Highway 17-92 — run through and around the city.
Orange City, Johnson said, is often the first responder for high-speed crashes on those roads. Under contract, Orange City also provides fire service for its neighbor, DeBary.
“The jewel of the equipment is that stabilization kit,” Johnson said.
The stabilization kit locks a wrecked vehicle in place — for example, if the vehicle is on its side, or upside-down — so the passengers aren’t unnecessarily moved while the first responders rescue them.
Johnson said injuries from crashes can be made worse if a victim is unnecessarily moved or jostled.
The kit is easier to use and takes less manpower than older stabilization equipment the Orange City Fire Department currently uses. Faster is better, Johnson said, because minutes count when getting a trapped person out of a vehicle.
“I believe we’ll probably use it 18-20 times each year,” Johnson said. “The other equipment we’ll use more than that.”
The Firehouse Subs grants are awarded quarterly. Johnson said Orange City applied for one last quarter, and was denied. He credited Battalion Chief Kevin Kennett and Firehouse Subs Manager Mike Kelly for the department receiving the award this year.
“Because we respond in several jurisdictions, our equipment is used for everyone, and it’s not fair for Orange City to pay all of the costs,” Johnson said. “The nice thing about this is it won’t cost the taxpayers anything.”
Some grants require a matched amount. The Firehouse Subs grant does not.
“We don’t have to do anything,” Johnson said. “We go through a list and tell them what we want. They contact the vendors and send it directly to us. That way, we can spend our time on training, instead of paperwork.”
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