The Kingston Springs Fire Department recently purchased equipment that will be especially helpful during this summer season.
Three new kayaks had to be added to the fleet as river levels have dropped too low for the regular rescue boats. The kayaks allow them to still take advantage of the water for transporting while water levels are so incredibly low. They also allow a lot of maneuverability around rocks, downed trees and other river obstacles.
“Many of the river rescues this time of year are people who just get ‘lost’ on the river, especially after dark,” said Chief Eugene Ivey. “Once they are located, we can send in firefighters on an ATV or on foot to help them out. Finding them is always the biggest challenge and sometimes it can take several hours.”
Last year during the summer, the fire department estimated that they were called to approximately 20 river rescues.
The department has also acquired some much needed specialty equipment to fit the department’s ATV. This equipment will allow firefighters to get to “hard to reach” spaces involved in grass and woods fires. It includes a tank that will carry 50 gallons of a foam and water mix and 50 feet of hose with a specialized nozzle. Last year the department responded to over 30 grass fire calls. This year’s dryness has put them on special alert as a grass fire could spread even faster than it would normally.
The county-wide burn ban is still in effect. Do not assume that a shower or two will lift the ban. Several inches of accumulated rain will have to fall before officials lift the ban. If you are caught with an open burning situation, you can receive a very costly ticket under state law.