Firefighters in Ferndale will have five new sets of rescue tools to free people trapped in crashed cars, thanks to a $195,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
The specialized gear can safely cut away car doors and roofs. Unlike the bulky hydraulic tools used by Fire District 7 for the past two decades, the new Hurst-brand tools — five cutters, five spreaders and five rams — will be battery-powered and better at getting into precarious spaces.
“We had an incident earlier this year where a car went over an embankment, and we had a hard time reaching it because of the hydraulic charging equipment,” said Assistant Fire Chief Larry Hoffman.
Firefighters in District 7 also will receive a set of rescue “ air bags,” for heavy lifting, and training on how to use the new equipment, as part of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
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The district must cover 10 percent of the total cost, or roughly $21,000. The rescue tools should be equipped on five Ferndale-based fire and aid trucks by late October.
Firefighters in the district serve Ferndale and its surroundings, generally from Aldrich Road to Point Whitehorn.