Amboy Fire District awarded grant, crew gains lifesaving equipment

Behind the Badge

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Since 2015 ComEd has supported the safety needs of local communities through a grant, Amboy Fire District is one department that has recently benefited from this.

Deputy Chief Garrett Gerdes of the Amboy Fire District knows how important it is to have additional thermal imagers at their disposal.

“Adding two thermal imagers is huge,” Gerdes said. “Before we had one thermal imager per crew so basically one person can see in zero visibility and you kind of have to direct others. Now we’re going to have three people on crew that are all going to have thermal imagers, so in a zero visibility situation all three crew members will be able to see.”

With the advancement of technology the cameras have greatly improved.

“These actually have the battery life [of] about eight hours of working time, which is huge. The ones we currently have were about an hour. So this gives you much longer time to be efficient,” Gerdes said. “The image quality is much better, the screen is bigger. It’s just overall a better camera.”

The department was recently awarded a grant for $7,500 through ComEd and The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

George Gaulrapp is ComEd’s External Affairs Manager and works with communities first hand to coordinate grant eligibility.

“The purpose is to make sure firefighters are safe, community members are safe and also our own personnel are safe,” Gerdes said. “So anytime that we can help promote safety is a great thing.”

Since 2015 ComEd and The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has contributed around $675,000 to different communities for critical safety equipment.

“This makes us feel really good when the fire department can go into a fire. They can use equipment like this thermaling equipment. Find people rescue them keep them safe. ComEd just really thrives upon saftey,” Gerdes said.

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