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Wilmer receives equipment grant

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press

WILMER - A grant of $67,807, part of a state homeland security grant program to ensure cities have the equipment needed if a natural disaster or terrorist attack hit its area, has been awarded to the city's police and fire departments.

Council members unanimously agreed to accept the grant from the Texas Engineering Extension Service.

Police Chief Robert Wells said the money would be shared between the city's fire and police department.

The fire department will get eight air packs, eight replacement air tanks, saws, spin wrenches, gas detectors and a defibrillator.

The saws will be strong enough to cut through metal, cars and masonry, Wells said.

Gas masks, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and an infrared laser, able to detect body heat, are being purchased for the police department.

'Let's say in the middle of the night we got a child lost, he might be out in the middle of the field. You can't see the child because of the high grass. Well, it (the laser) will pick up that body heat and show anything out there,' the chief said.

He told the council the grant program worked like a 'credit line.'

When items are bought the grant would pay for it directly, instead of the city paying out of pocket and later being reimbursed with the grant funds.

Wells said although this grant would not pay for much needed radios for the fire department, he was hopeful the city would be awarded another grant for the communication equipment.

Wilmer Mayor Linda Root congratulated Wells on receiving the grant telling the audience how hard it is to get a grant approved.

'So, hat's off really to you,' she said.

Wells said the equipment should arrive in six weeks.


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