Grant to improve fire rescue aquatic response


CARL SHANKSt. Johns County Fire Rescue Chief Carl Shank told local Historic City News reporters that on Tuesday, they are to receive the proceeds of a $5000 grant to help fund the purchase of aquatic response equipment and public training supplies.

Insurance brokerage Brown and Brown has joined with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to provide the grant during a presentation ceremony being held at St. Johns County Fire Rescue Headquarters located at 3657 Gaines Road in St. Augustine at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue officials, firefighters, and executives and employees from Brown and Brown and Fireman’s Fund will come together for the special public event where the grant package will be formally presented.

“With these funds, we hope to improve our response capabilities and further enhance our beach and water safety education efforts,” Shank said.

Lt. Jeremy Robshaw, public information officer for the county, informed us that the grant would allow the purchase of a new galvanized trailer for their 18-foot rescue boat, six hand-held portable GPS devices to be used on rescue vessels responding to emergencies, as well as public education supplies and safety handouts.

“The department has cross-trained firefighters to be able to respond to water rescues for the past three years,” Chief Shank told Historic City News. “During this process, departmental needs were identified and necessary pieces of equipment were purchased to support the water rescue team.”

Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has issued grants to more than 1,500 different departments totaling more than $28 million as part of a nationwide philanthropic program designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments.

Independent insurance agencies, like Brown & Brown, that sell Fireman’s Fund products, are able to direct these grants to support the fire service.

“We are honored to be able to give back to the local community in such a tangible way,” said Chris Fulton with Brown and Brown. “These firefighters risk their own lives to save others, and they deserve to work with the best equipment possible.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer