Commission Facilitates Needs of Rescue Squad

After last weeks heated county commission meeting, commissioners are doing what they can to facilitate the needs of the Houston County Rescue Squad.

Houston County Rescue Squad members have recently relied on their personal vehicles to get to scenes, but the commission is taking steps to try and change that.

On Friday, one day after the commission meeting that featured a walkout by rescue personnel who were honored earlier in the meeting, Chairman Mark Culver met with members concerning options for a new and used vehicle.

"While all that's going on, we're working to be sure they get the best price on the new vehicle they're looking at, while at the same time, pursuing funding to help them purchase that new vehicle," Culver said.

A 1987 Suburban has been in service to the volunteer rescue team for over 20 years and is now starting to show it's age; it is one of the many reasons the rescue team contacted the commission in the first place.

Paul Grimes, with the Houston County Rescue Unit said, "It still runs, it still pulls one of our boats, but it's the only one we've got. But it's constantly breaking down you know, we've had to have it jumped off a couple of times; we've had to put new batteries in it."

Responding to a man who went missing in Clio this summer, the Houston County Rescue Team lost power steering on the car and had to cut cables to get to the scene to assist in the search. Then, they had to have the vehicle towed home. That's why the commission offered one of the county trucks Monday morning.

Culver said, "They're still evaluating whether or not that truck will meet their needs. We hope it will at least on a temporary basis; the situation they are in is pretty dire with the vehicle they've got."

Grimes added, "It takes a little bit of time to make things happen when they involve this much money."

One thing team members say makes their situation different is other rescue agencies can charge insurance companies, while they cannot.

Now, the volunteers who constantly take time to help are in need of some.

The new fully equipped vehicles the rescue squad wants to purchase cost about $30,000 dollars each.

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