DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. (WLOX) - The Diamondhead Fire Department has new lifesaving equipment, purchased with the help of an $18,000 grant.
The grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation purchased a pair of battery-operated hydraulic rescue tools.
“This piece of equipment is battery operated. It allows our firefighters to be able to start the process of extricating a victim quicker and with less constraints because they’re not dragging hoses around,” said Fire Chief Michael Munger.
After an accident, every minute counts when trying to remove an injured victim from a crashed car. The traditional “jaws of life” requires setting up a generator and attaching hydraulic hoses. This new equipment can not only be deployed more quickly, but it is better equipped to handle the stronger material that cars are made of now.
“It’s a much-needed supplement that fills that void in the cutting capability,” Munger said. “And it allows us to operate in some areas where you’re way off the road, away from your apparatus, where hauling the equipment to the site would be difficult.”
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was formed in 2005 after the restaurant’s founders came to help Hurricane Katrina victims. They provide grants for first responders to buy equipment, get training and provide disaster relief. Last year they awarded five grants worth $56,000 in the Gulfport/Biloxi area.
“They created this foundation to give back to the community,” said Matthew Price, director of operations for Firehouse Subs in South Mississippi.
The money is raised through the sale of pickle buckets and direct donations from customers and through their rounding up program.
“What I love most about it is the fact that it does give back to local communities,” Price said.
The grant was one of 96 made by the foundation across the country totaling $1.8 million.