The New York State Homeland Security's Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue grant program has awarded $147,960 to Orange County for vital life-saving equipment.

"This grant provides important funding that will greatly assist our emergency response capabilities in dealing with technical rescues," Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said.

Equipment funded through the grant will be used by the  Orange County Technical Rescue Team comprised of approximately 100 career and volunteer firefighters from throughout the county. The team responds to calls of structural collapses, confined space, trench rescue and high angle rope rescue incidents in Orange County and is available to other counties through the mutual aid plan.

"The Orange County Technical Rescue Team mission is to respond to some of the most complex rescue situations imaginable,” said Vini Tankasali, the County’s Deputy Commissioner of Fire Services. “It is critical for the team to be outfitted with the proper specialized equipment and gear. This grant will help us accomplish that."

Equipment that will be purchased through the grant includes:

Collapse Rescue Equipment: Shoring, cutting and disentanglement equipment/tools that would be used in structural collapse (building) type incidents.
Rope Rescue Equipment: Various rope, harnesses and gear utilized for high-angle rope rescues.
Personal Protective Equipment (gear) for team members.

"The Orange County Technical Rescue Team mission is to respond to some of the most complex rescue situations imaginable," Tankasali said. "It is critical for the team to be outfitted with the proper specialized equipment and gear. This grant will help us accomplish that."