Cookeville Fire Department hoping to gain some new swift water rescue equipment through a grant from the Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation.
Battalion Chief Daniel Snyder said that they will purchase life vests, rafts, and wet suits among other tools. He said they typically rely on the county’s team for swift water rescues.
“One of the things that I like to point out is that when there are significant weather events where there is flooding and there is swift water,” Snyder said. “A lot of times the rescue squad may be deployed out in the county doing their own rescues, so we need to be prepared as a city entity as a city fire department to be able to provide that service.”
Snyder said that there are currently eight firefighters with the department trained, at minimum, in the first level of swift water rescue. He said that all members of the department will go through swift water rescue basic knowledge training this month. City Council will consider awarding bids for the equipment at its meeting Thursday night.
Snyder said that the equipment will allow the city to form its own small unit for swift water rescues. He said that it will allow them to better serve the citizens of Cookeville.
“When the public calls 911 they expect somebody to respond and we need to be prepared for whatever they call 911 for,” Snyder said. “We are an all-hazards community, an all-hazards department, and we’re just not prepared so we’re just trying to look forward and what else can we prepare for? What type of incident can we prepare for? And that’s the chief’s vision, is to get us prepared before that call comes in so that we are ready to mitigate any hazard that they call us for.”