Temple: Grant will pay for swift water rescue boat

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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Temple Fire & Rescue is one step closer to getting a much needed swift water rescue boat thanks to a grant from State Farm.

(Photo by Megan Vanselow)

The insurance company presented the department with a $20,000 check Thursday.

The money will cover the cost of the boat, motor and trailer.

“The department has worked with the state farm insurance in the past they have been very generously provided funding to the department.” Temple Fire & Rescue spokesman Thomas Pechal said.

Some firefighters on the Temple department are already trained swift water technicians.

Pachel says that training includes a long day of exercises.

“Those individuals are in the water for hours at a time when they're going through the training.”

“It's not something that every firefighter is trained in so these are individuals that have stepped forward and said they want to have the initial training and it provides that resource to the department.”

When the call for help comes, whether in the city limits or nearby, Temple responds, which was the case on Jan. 2 when a Troy man was rescued after his truck ended up stranded in high water.

“It will allow more of a cooperative initial response so that we can assist neighboring departments. That's what fire departments do, they work and assist each other in time of need,” Pechal said.

With the new boat, Pechal says, those missions will be both easier and safer for everyone.

“Previously the department would place swift water rescue technicians in the water to rescue and that puts those firefighters at additional risk. [There is] a lot of debris, swift water and the water itself are all potential hazards, so having the boat will provide safety for the firefighters.”

Once a bid on a new boat is in, Pechal says the department will have to wait for one to become available.

The department is hoping to have it by summer, he said.