Six years ago, Yuba Water Agency employee Bill Shaw was involved in a catastrophic accident at work. After Shaw recovered and returned to work, he wanted to find a way to give back to the first responders who saved his life.
Today, the Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program has committed approximately $400,000 in funds to Yuba County first responders, thanks to Shaw’s vision and Yuba Water’s continued commitment to the program.
“It’s amazing that a mistake could turn into something so good,” Shaw said. “It’s exciting to see what the agency has done to keep the program going and all the ways it supports local emergency responders, many of whom are volunteers, and the citizens of Yuba County. I very much appreciate it, and I know they do too.”
The grants are exclusively for first-responder agencies in Yuba County and cover one-time costs of up to $10,000 per applicant, per fiscal year, associated with purchasing rescue equipment or specialized personnel training. The grants must be connected to Yuba Water’s missions to qualify.
Dozens of local police, fire, search and rescue and related groups have received funds in recent years to support swift water rescues, levee patrols, fire-fighting efforts, first-aid and emergency response training capabilities and more. Several of the grant recipients joined agency leadership, staff and other community members today to recognize Shaw, who retired in July.
“Over the last few years, we’ve been able to purchase all-terrain vehicles, a trailer and ramp for the ATVs, helmets and other safety gear, and we bought drones to monitor the levees in those hard-to-reach areas,” said Marysville Police Chief Chris Sachs. “In a time when so many are seeing rising costs and shrinking budgets, the Bill Shaw grant program has been a huge help for Marysville P.D.”
In addition to recognizing Shaw, the board approved a $400,000 grant to help Yuba County complete a drainage infrastructure improvement project in Linda and Olivehurst. Yuba Water previously committed $3.5 million for the project. The additional funds will cover an unexpected increase in costs due to supply-chain issues.