Salisbury Fire Department receives grant to enhance marine and dive operations

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury Fire Department is now one step closer to fully funding two critical projects for the department that will help them on the water.

47 ABC met with Deputy Fire Chief Jim Gladwell Wednesday who tells us a recent Port Security Grant worth more than $40,000 from the federal government will help take their marine and dive operations to the next level.  And of the coolest things coming with that is a forward looking infrared radar system also known as FLIR. Something that will help boat pilots steer their vessels in any reduced visibility situation.

“It’s kind of hard to run up and down the river in the middle of the night when you can’t see what you’re doing,” Gladwell said.

Another tool they’ll be getting, a side scan sonar device that can help with detecting debris, hazardous material, and more.

“You can find bodies with it, it’s also can be utilized to find anything from and IED, to a shipwreck, to a partially sunken boat,” said Gladwell.

Officials add that the equipment can also be used in evidence collection such as weapon or drug searches, which they say will play a vital role in helping the Salisbury Police Department.

“That’ll be helpful for looking for and securing evidence used during the commission of a crime,” said Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan.

And with department obtaining this type of rare equipment, they tell us they’ll be able to provide this type of assistance to other fire and emergency departments in the surrounding area.

“These two pieces of equipment, these two pieces of technology are very far reaching and we’re thrilled to have them right here in Salisbury,” said Duncan.

Officials add that the grant represents 75 %of the project’s total cost, the rest of the money we’re told will be fund raised. If everything goes as planned the equipment is expected to be installed and in service by March of this year.

Categories: Local News, Maryland