FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Fire Department received a $10,000 grant from State Farm to improve community water safety and rescue. Local State Farm agent Jeff Roberts presented the money to the fire department Tuesday.
The grant will help outfit the department’s budding water safety and rescue program. The money will go toward personal protective gear and equipment, including life jackets and throw devices, to begin the training and certification process for rescuers, according to assistant fire chief Ryan Williams.
According to fire chief Dave Reichert, Fairborn recently reacquired portions of Bath Township coverage which includes Hebble Creek and other bodies of water. However, the Fairborn Fire Department, which serves both Bath Township and Fairborn, does not currently have a formal water rescue program.
While evaluating community risk reduction and target hazards, the department recognized the river and other bodies of water as “potential hazards for residents, neighbors, and visitors,” Williams said in a statement.
“A lot of times, we go years without [water rescue incidents],” Reichert said. “But about two or three years ago, we had three in one year. You get the waters up and moving, people go out and end up getting stuck, so this is going to help us out.”
“This is something now that’s back in our territory and I want to make sure we can respond to,” Reichert added.
This is the first time that that the Fairborn Fire Department has received a grant from State Farm. However, Roberts, who operates out of Fairborn, said that the insurance company is making a renewed effort to support agencies that enhance community safety.
“The real thanks goes to the fire department today,” Roberts said. “Firefighters are really the backbone of the community.”
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.