TFD gets grant for extrication tool

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Thorsby Fire Department has been awarded a $20,000 Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Grant (CEDAP) for new hydraulic rescue tools.

CEDAP is sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of State and Local Government Coordination & Preparedness (SLGCP).

Thorsby Fire Chief Lee Gunn said the program is designed to assist smaller communities in acquiring and using commercially available equipment to prevent, deter and respond to terrorist attacks, as identified in state homeland security strategies and to be better able to respond to more typical daily emergencies.

“We’re very excited about the awarding of this grant,” Gunn said. “On the heels of other grants, the Thorsby Fire Department received for the last 10 years allocation of more than a half million dollars in federal, state and private grants.”

The new hydraulic rescue tools will be placed on a rescue truck that is based out Thorsby Fire Station located on U.S. Hwy 31.

“We will retire a set of smaller rescue tools that are nearly 16 years old. Having a set of larger rescue tools in the area will not only benefit Thorsby but also will also going to be useful in mutual aid calls to other department outside the city on complex rescue situations,” Gunn said.

The grants have helped the department:

purchase personal protective equipment

update radio equipment

obtain self contained breathing apparatus

purchase a state of the art compressor and filling system for SCBA

purchase a thermal imager for firefighters to help see in smoke filled environments

sponsor cadet firefighter leadership programs for high school students

purchase a new pumper truck for the town

obtain funding to staff an additional certified firefighter Monday through Friday.

Gunn said the department was also able to help the town acquire automated external defibrillators for Thorsby High School and vehicles for both the Police and Public Works departments.

“The award of these grants will help better equip the Thorsby Fire Department in serving our community,” he said.

“We are very proud of our record in pursuing equipment grants. Chilton County is one of the fastness growing counties in the state. Although Thorsby is a small town, through very hard work and determination we have been able to achieve a class 3 ISO insurance rating. This puts our town with the top 1 percent of the best fire departments in the state of Alabama,” Gunn added.

– Brent Maze can be reached at