$5K grant to keep fire crews cooler

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With summer's swelter just around the corner, the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services received a $5,000 grant to fund cooling rehabilitation equipment for firefighters, officials said this week.

The Leavitt Group partnered with Fireman's Fund Insurance Company to make the $5,000 grant available to the department. The funds have been used to purchase a portable shelter, cooling chairs, portable toilets, a misting fan and core cooling towels.

The equipment will help firefighters rehydrate and recharge when faced with extreme temperatures, said department spokesman Lt. Eric Eberly.

The grant was approved by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in July, and the equipment was purchased in late 2011. The equipment has been placed strategically around the county on units that will quickly respond to firefighters' needs, Eberly said.