The Searcy Fire Department recently was awarded a matching grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace the outdated airbags on its rescue truck.

“We have like 16 rescue airbags that are used on our truck for extraction or any kind of structural collapse and we got those in 2005 with a grant for our hazmat truck when we received it, and they outlasted their life expectancy,” Searcy Fire Chief Brian Dunavan said. “They are good for 15 years so they went out and we applied for another grant and we received it.”

According to Dunavan, the total grant was for just over $28,000. “Our part would be like 26 hundred and 26 dollars to replace those airbags,” he said.

Dunavan said these type of airbags are not used real frequently.

“We have used them a few times on some car wrecks to stabilize some stuff but mainly what they are used for is if you have some type of collapse – like building collapse, structural collapse – they would be used to stabilize stuff or lift things off of people,” he said. “Different bags lift different tonnage so that’s what the main use for them is like in structural collapse.”

Mayor Kyle Osborne explained to the Searcy City Council at Thursday’s agenda meeting that the city’s part of the grant would be 10 percent.

Dunavan also told the council that his department is still waiting on the delivery of a new fire truck, probably in mid- to late September. He said the department also has applied for some other grants but haven’t heard anything back on them.

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