News Columns & Blogs

Ferndale firefighters get new rescue tools in $195,000 grant

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.

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.