New rescue tools impact Whiteface Volunteer Fire Department
The Whiteface Volunteer Fire Department purchased new rescue tools designed for quick extrication from entrapment. The tools include Jaws of Life, an impact grinder, cutting torch, saws and lighting.
“Our department serves an area that is very rural and with that comes the demand for response to farm equipment accidents as well as vehicle accidents,” said Fire Chief Bruce Heflin. “Accidents involving farm equipment usually entail dismantling the farm equipment in order to rescue the victim so this new torch, grinder and Jaws is essential for those type of rescues.”
The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program awarded the Whiteface VFD a $15,800 cost share grant administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.
“The battery operated tools will make for a more efficient rescue since there are no hoses or compressor to set up,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Paige Purvis. “Having a shorter set-up time is important when time is critical.”
Department members were trained on the proper use of the new equipment and will share their knowledge with fellow first responders.
The Whiteface VFD has been serving their community since 1965.
“We currently have open enrollment for adult volunteers and high school students,” said Heflin. “Anyone 14-18 years of age may apply to participate in our Explorer Program. Currently two program participants plan to enter emergency services to train as a firefighter and EMT after high school graduation.”
According to Heflin, the Explorer Program encourages participants to gear up on regular training nights and learn proper technique and the safety aspects of the profession.
For information on volunteering or enrolling in the Explorer Program contact the fire department at (806) 891-4572.