Lift for life
By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Addison Township Fire Department acquired special rescue equipment with the help of a $5,000 grant from the Four County Community Foundation (4CCF).
The grant helped cover the purchase of a Paratech high pressure Air Lifting Bag kit. When inflated together, the kit’s five airbags can lift extremely heavy objects up to 117 US tons. The airbags are a thin, molded envelope made from three layers of Neoprene-covered aramid fiber reinforcement, according to the Paratech website.
“It’s a really nice set of equipment and enhances our capabilities for rescue,” said Lt. Ben Rice, the department’s EMS coordinator who wrote the grant. “This could be used in auto accidents, heavy machinery accidents, building collapses, or anytime we may need to lift a heavy object to get to rescue a patient.”
This new capability is not limited to Addison Township. The fire department will assist neighboring communities with the equipment through the mutual aid system.
The kit costs about $7,500, so 4CCF covered two-thirds of the price. “The Four County Community Foundation has been extremely generous to us over the years,” Rice said. “With their assistance we have been able to purchase safety and lifesaving equipment many times over the last decade.”
In recent years, the foundation’s contributions have helped the department obtain a thermal imaging camera, stair chairs, a fit testing machine, an automated CPR device, and Toughbook specialty laptops for patient care reporting.
Since 1987, the Almont-based foundation has awarded $175,000 for equipment to local fire departments throughout the corners of Oakland, Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties.