Alligator Point firefighters get training, equipment boost

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The Alligator Point Saint Teresa Volunteer Fire Department has been named a 2021 grant recipient by Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, receiving $32,030 funding to be used to purchase Hurst Extrication Tools.

“We’re so thankful for the support from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and our local Firehouse Subs restaurant, in Tallahassee,” said Robert Gates, president of the fire department. “The Hurst Extrication Equipment will help us safely and effectively rescue trapped occupants of vehicular accidents and remove barriers for rescue operations in structures.”

During the most recent grant cycle, the Foundation awarded 118 grants to public safety organizations across the country, totaling more than $2.5 million toward critical lifesaving equipment, a new record for the most money ever awarded in a single quarter.

The Alligator Point fire department was eligible for the grant funding because they fell just within the maximum distance from a Firehouse Sub location.

The members of the department trained on the tools last August and again earlier this month.

Under the leadership of Hugh Hartsfield, over the past 14 months the department has seen four members who completed the requirements for Firefighter 1 certification by the state of Florida. They include Hartsfield, Gates. Ken Clizbe,  vice president of the board, and Paul Parker, the longest tenured member of the department, and a former fire chief and president of the board.

In addition, the department now has two certified emergency medical technicians - Mike Avera and Gates. The department also has 16 members who are certified as emergency medical responders

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