Saluda Fire &Rescue first in area to get heavy rescue certification

Published 3:21 pm Monday, June 9, 2008

The Saluda Fire and Rescue is now the first Polk County Department to achieve heavy rescue certification.

The department recently received a $30,000 matching grant to obtain necessary tools to be certified for heavy rescue operations.

Saluda Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Zach Pace says the department used funds from the grant from the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal to purchase various tools needed for heavy rescue operations, including air lift bags and hydraulic tools.

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The N.C. Association of Rescue and EMS recently visited Saluda&squo;s facility to conduct an inspection and awarded the department the certification.

Saluda Fire and Rescue currently has 50 people on its roster, with one full-time employee and a couple of part-time employees to cover weekends. The department currently has 17 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and 13 rescue technicians (RTs).

The Polk County Rescue Squad is also currently working on qualifying for the heavy rescue certification.