County approves rescue equipment
Fire crews across Marion County are getting new equipment to help rescue people trapped in vehicles.
County commissioners voted Monday to spend up to $26,000 for saws, lights, blowers, seatbelt knives, and other equipment.
Goessel chief Matthew Voth and Hillsboro Capt. Matt Hein spoke to commissioners about each type of equipment and how it’s used.
A Sawzall is used to extricate people from vehicles. It can remove a badly damaged roof, for example. A Hackzall is similar and designed for single-handed use. It’s best used for removal of laminated glass.
Rocket lights help illuminate a scene. Darkness is one of the biggest hazards in rescue, according to the Marion County Fire Chiefs Association. The association represents 12 fire departments in the county.
Commissioners also approved blowers to help clear roads as well as 204 window punch tools and 204 seatbelt cutters.
Seatbelts help keep people safe but can make it difficult to get people out of vehicles in crashes.
The association is ordering the equipment from Hillsboro Hardware and Municipal Emergency Services of Fremont, Nebraska.
Hillsboro city council members voted Tuesday to pay for the equipment upfront and later be reimbursed by the county.