Friday, May 25, 2007

Ketchum Fire department receives grant for safety equipment

Equipment and tools ?critical? to rescue safety and success


By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

Thanks to recently obtained grant money, the Ketchum Fire Department will be better suited to save the lives of firefighters caught in perilous situations.

According to Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle, a $5,666 grant from the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. and FIS Marine, an insurance brokerage firm, will be used to purchase an assortment of tools and equipment to be carried by members of the department's Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).

The RIT members are trained to conduct search-and-rescue operations for firefighters trapped or injured inside a burning building.

The funds will provide for a new RIT kit, which, among other things, includes an air tank, rescue rope, axe and strobe light.

"This grant greatly enhances our ability to save our own firefighters should the worst case scenario happen during a fire or other emergency," Elle said. "It is critical that our RIT members have the proper equipment and tools they need when performing these rescues."

Remaining funds will be used to purchase 11 45-pound weight vests, used by firefighters during training exercises.

The grant package is part of a nationwide program funded by Fireman's Fund to provide equipment, training and educational tools to fire departments, a press release from the Ketchum Fire department states. According to the release, more than $12 million has been awarded to different departments by the program since 2004. FIS Marine was instrumental in directing this grant to the Ketchum Fire Department, the release states.

Chief Elle, Ketchum firefighters, and representatives of FIS Marine and Fireman's Fund will take part in an event during the annual Fire Services Appreciation Day in which the grant package will be formally presented. The ceremony will take place Saturday, May 26, at 11 a.m. at the Sun Valley Festival Field.




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