Grant helps local fire district purchase new equipment to aid in search and rescue

Grant helps local fire district purchase new equipment to aid in search and rescue

The Dobbins-Oregon House Fire Protection District will be able to better search for victims lost in the Yuba County foothills with the help of a grant from Yuba County Water Agency.

The $5,000 grant, approved today by the water agency as a part of the Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, will help the local fire district purchase new thermal imagers.

Thermal imagers utilize an infrared camera to allow emergency responders to see areas of heat, such as a person, through smoke, darkness or heat-permeable barriers.

“The Dobbins-Oregon House Fire Protection District provides essential search-and-rescue and life-saving services to the areas around our New Colgate Powerhouse and New Bullards Bar Reservoir,” said Yuba County Water Agency Board Vice-Chairman Randy Fletcher. “We are so grateful for their services, and by ensuring they have critical equipment they can use to help us in an incident, we are able to also share that gift with the rest of the foothills.”

The Dobbins-Oregon House Fire Protection District is a completely volunteer, nonprofit organization that provides emergency first responder and fire services to a large portion of northeastern Yuba County.

“Thermal imaging capabilities will be a great addition to our department, allowing our firefighters to better serve and protect our community,” said Mike Lee, Dobbins-Oregon House Fire Protection District board chairman. “During critical first responder incidents, this technology will be invaluable in locating and rescuing potential victims of structure fires, traffic accidents, and search-and-rescue scenarios.”

This is another agency to benefit from Yuba County 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.