FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – New and stronger tools are helping firefighters in Florence extricate victims more quickly.
The West Florence Fire Department spent $160,000 on new equipment to add to their line-up.
West Florence Battalion Chief Jonathan Moore says some of their equipment is more than fifteen years old.
The department spent one $150,000 on a new jaws of life. The money used to pay for it comes from the departments’ reserve funds, according to Battalion Chief Moore.
Battalion Chief Moore says a new jaws of life will help the department improve response times.
“It’s going to increase our capabilities as far as being able to cut tougher material, the one step coupler that we have on the tools now is going to allow us to utilize more people instead of having somebody sit at the pump,” said Moore.
In addition, the department spent $10,000 for water rescue equipment like dry suits and helmets.
Fire officials say they are also is in the process of forming a specialized dive team who are trained with specialties in public safety diving and search and rescue.
“The biggest thing that really started that was the flood and Hurricane Matthew, I actually saw a couple of fire departments who didn’t have the equipment they needed so I didn’t want that to be us,” explained Battalion Chief Jonathan Moore.
The West Florence Fire Department is also planning to move forward with buying more equipment improvements this year like a new fire engine that it is expected to be in operation next month.