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Firefighters to receive specialized equipment

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett firefighters will be better equipped to rescue people in danger, thanks to recent moves.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a new swift water rescue truck this week, allowing a specialized unit at Fire Station 14 in Buford to respond to emergencies on the Chattahoochee River or Lake Lanier.

The truck, built on a Ford F-550 chassis, is designed to transport rescue crews and equipment, which were especially important during the 2009 flood.

Southeastern Specialty Vehicles in North Carolina will be the truck company to comply with codes and standards of the National Fire Protection association, a press release said. The $229,461 contract reflects a negotiated savings of $36,647.

Commissioners also accepted two grants Tuesday that will help fund the life-saving crews.

A $20,000 grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency will replace tools and equipment on the department's Search and Rescue truck, based at Station 24 near the Mall of Georgia. And the Georgia Trauma Care Network will provide a $16,764 grant to pay the county back for equipment used to transport trauma patients that was not reimbursed by insurance companies.

"We're very grateful for these grants because they help reduce our operating costs and allow us to secure equipment that will enhance our emergency response capabilities," Fire Chief Bill Myers said in the release.