Police chief uses seized money to buy rescue tools for fire dept.

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 13, 2007 - Sulphur Springs firefighters will be better equipped the next time they are called upon to extricate someone from a crashed car, and they have the police chief to thank.

Staff Photo by Angela PItts

Sulphur Spring firemen show off their new rescue tools. Pictured (left to right) are Danny Crawford with Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc., Police Chief Jim Bayuk, and firefighters Danny Haywood (kneeling), Aaron Kager, Charlie Vaughn, Chris Penny, investigator David James, Doug Clay and John Lambert.

After learning the fire department was operating with nearly 30-year-old rescue tools, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk authorized the purchase of nearly $20,000 in new equipment.

The money came from the police department's forfeiture fund, which is money involved in illegal activities that has been seized by law enforcement agencies. The law allows the funds to be used for public safety purposes.

"These tools are for public safety, for rescuing residents and visitors of Sulphur Springs who get in situations requiring a rescue," Bayuk said.

Bayuk was on hand Tuesday for the initial shipment of $12,900 worth of tools. When Danny Crawford with Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc.tested the new Hurst spreaders, cutters and hoses, he learned the old pump wasn't equipped for use of both tools at the same time.

Bayuk, seeing the need for both tools in a rescue situation, then authorized the purchase of an additional $7,000 pump, which will power both tools simultaneously.

The new tools are quite a bit lighter and smaller than the older equipment, making them more compact and maneuverable. The "Jaws of Life" equipment is 74 pounds lighter than the 30-year-old gear.

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