Being located near the Savannah River Site is once again paying off for the City of Aiken.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the manager and operator of the site for the Department of Energy, recently donated a specialized rescue truck that's worth $1 million if purchased new to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
The truck will be used to transport people and equipment to places where a technical rescue is required.
Technical rescues can include vehicle extrication and those of a more infrequent nature involving confined space, trenches, structural collapse, water and wilderness search and rescue. These trucks often carry an assortment of supplies and equipment including electrical generators, the Jaws of Life, acetylene torches, winches, cranes, hi-lift jacks, ropes, pulleys and wooden support beams.
The City of Aiken’s technical rescue unit is also equipped to rescue large animals, such as horses.
The donation of the truck is the latest collaboration between the fire department serving the site and other local fire and rescue departments.
“We have mutual aid agreements in place with local fire departments throughout Aiken County,” said Rob Still, chief of the Savannah River Site Fire Department. “The resources available through these agreements creates an impressive, combined ability to handle virtually any emergency response we may encounter.”
According to Lt. Daymon Spann of Aiken Public Safety, technical rescue personnel from both the City and the site train together periodically and work side-by-side during emergencies. The two teams can now act, in essence, as one when duty calls.
“Unfortunately, the collapsing of buildings and trenches and other technical rescue challenges have and will continue to occur. But thanks to our partners at the Savannah River Site and the support we often provide for one another, the employees at SRS and area residents can be reassured we are well equipped and ready to help in their time of need,” he said. “The addition of this truck to our team will greatly reduce our response time and improve our capabilities to better serve our community.”