Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 6, 2013

Lifesaving tools Help for Bluefield firefighters

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— A recent federal funding award has been put to good use by the Bluefield Fire Department with the recent purchase of vital new lifesaving tools. The equipment that arrived earlier this week included two spreaders, two cutters, a hydraulic ram, two pumps for powering the equipment, and two stabilization struts, according to Bluefield Fire Chief Jeff Warden.

The equipment was purchased through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Without the outside federal funding assistance, Sutphin said the fire department would not have been able to purchase the equipment.

The grant covered the $37,000 purchase price. Training sessions with the new equipment are planned for this weekend. The fire department members will be cutting junked cars while learning to handle the rescue gear as part of the planned training sessions. Before the Bluefield Fire Department bought the new cutters and spreaders, firefighters had few tools to use when arriving at a crash scene, according to Captain Glenn Sutphin.

Once training is complete, the equipment will be placed in two fire engines. One will be at the main Bluefield station, and the other will be at the Cumberland Road substation.

We are glad to see the addition of this long-needed lifesaving equipment to the Bluefield Fire Department. It is critical for firefighters to have such tools at their disposal when responding to serious accidents. The new equipment will make a positive difference and, with hope, will save lives.


Unmarked cruiser a boost for aging fleet

The Princeton Police Department will soon have a new unmarked police cruiser thanks to a recent federal funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

Police Chief J. W. Howell says the new cruiser will bring the total number of vehicles to 20, including patrol and detective vehicles.

“This grant really helps us,” Howell said last week. “It will save us money. We are appreciative of the grant.”

Many of the existing police cruisers in the city are already in need of repair and replacement, according to City Manager Elke Doom.

“Our police vehicles are used around the clock and take a lot of wear and tear which makes regular replacement necessary,” Doom added. “With this grant we will use the funds toward the purchase of a new police cruiser to replace one of our older vehicles.”

The federal funding award was recently announced by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

 “The Princeton Police Department has proved time and again their incredible dedication to public safety,” Rockefeller correctly adds. “This award will give them many more necessary resources to continue their important work.”

We are glad to see that the Princeton Police Department is getting a new police cruiser. In this day and age of shrinking federal dollars, any and all funding awards that can assist localities such as Princeton are welcomed and strongly encouraged.