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Posted on: October 9, 2018

Grant helps local fire districts purchase new swift water response equipment and training

Members of the regional Swift Water Rescue Response Team wearing their safety equipment stand in the

Three local fire districts will be able to better respond to water-related emergencies in Yuba County with the help of a grant from Yuba Water Agency.

The $15,000 joint grant, approved today as part of the Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, will help the recently formed regional Swift Water Rescue Response Team purchase personal protective equipment and accessories, rescue ropes and hardware, as well as training for an additional 10 people to become certified in swift water rescue operations. 

The new regional response team consists of members from the Linda Fire Protection District, Olivehurst Public Utility District Fire Department and Wheatland Fire Authority, and was formed to ensure an adequate, timely response to water rescue situations associated with the Yuba River and other waterways in Yuba County. 

“These three fire districts combined provide critical emergency services to more than 49,000 Yuba County residents,” said Yuba Water Agency Board Director Andy Vasquez. “Now they’ll all be that much better prepared and equipped to respond to dangerous situations on the Yuba River.” 

These three partner agencies provide fire and emergency medical response services to Yuba County residents living south of the Yuba River. By working together, they improve efficiency and share resources for swift water responses, and are able to combine their grants of $5,000 each for maximum value.

“Being able to purchase this new equipment and additional training will help the regional team improve efficiency and response times to situations on the Yuba River,” said Rich Webb, chief of the Linda Fire Protection District. 

These are three more agencies to benefit from Yuba Water Agency’s Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, which was created in January, 2018. These grants are designed for first responder agencies in Yuba County and will cover the one-time costs of up to $5,000 per applicant annually, associated with the purchase of rescue equipment or specialized personnel training. Grant funding requests must be connected to the agency’s missions of flood risk reduction, water supply reliability, hydropower generation, groundwater management, fisheries enhancement and recreation in and around New Bullards Bar Reservoir. The grant program was the idea of, and is named after, an employee who survived a potentially life-threatening injury, and who was extremely grateful for the emergency responders who helped save him.