Moorhead’s Fire and Rescue crew serves the public, as many other area departments do, with fewer volunteers than desired, many of whom work outside their community.
Occasionally, the rescue squad is called to help with just two volunteers. Until recently, the department was using a manual cot, which served its purpose well, but was a worry for crew.
“We are already short on numbers,” Rescue Captain Duane Renz said. “If one person struggles with a cot and injures their back, that’s bad, not only for our department, but for them personally.”
To aid the volunteers as they assist others, Fire Chief Jacob Archer applied for and received a $2,000 grant from Farm Credit Services to be used to purchase a refurbished Stryker Power Cot.
“It is going to save a lot of energy and reduce the amount of manpower we have to have on every call as well,” Archer said. “It is virtually brand new, except for the frame.”
New, these cots are more than $16,000, and the refurbished cot Moorhead bought was just over $9,000.
Since the grant did not cover the entire expense, donations were used to complete the purchase.
“For a service that does not bill or charge anything, that is a big chunk of change, but it is a cheap investment for what it can prevent,” Archer said.
Because four of their members are already trained on use of the power cot, they conducted an in-house training for the remainder of their crew as soon as it was received.
Additionally, the department recently received a new monitor from Mission Life Line, and in March, they received an $8,000 Monona County Community Partners grant that was used to purchase new air tanks for their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus.
“There are only a handful of crews that don’t charge anything,” Renz added. “The annual pancake breakfast and donations are how we fund it, and we get a lot of grants.”
The department is incredibly grateful for the grants received, as well as donations and support from the community
“This will be a 20-year investment, at least,” Archer said.