MARKED TREE (KAIT) - A Region 8 community is safer thanks to three grants.
Marked Tree recently received three grants to get new equipment for first responders.
Mayor Mary Ann Arnold said they now have money for two new turn-out uniforms for the fire department, body cameras and a restraining chair for the police department, and a new jaws of life.
"That is one of the most important pieces of equipment a city can have," Arnold said.
Marked Tree's jaws of life was damaged this summer while being used to save two men who were stuck in a grain bin.
Beyond being used for that accident, Arnold said that piece of equipment is used a lot for car accidents.
"I asked Jamie, our fire chief, how many times the jaws of life had been used since the first of January to the first of June, and there have been 14 wrecks," Arnold said.
The new jaws of life is also an upgrade to the previous version the city owned.
"The new one has the cutter, the spreader, and a ram," Arnold said. "So if the car is flipped over on its top they can use that ram to get the pressure off the victim."
The grants ranged from $2,500 for the turn-out uniforms to $12,000 for the jaws of life.
Arnold said any amount of funding helps their small community. "These small rural towns, it's very difficult to find the money for something like that that's needed," Arnold said.
The turn-out uniforms, body cams, and restraining chair are all on order.
Arnold said the jaws of life is already in Marked Tree ready to go.
As for more upgrades for the city, Arnold said the next grant they will apply for is one to update the radio system.
"We're analog right now, but soon we will be required to go to digital, and that's going to be very expensive because that is for the municipal building, and the fire, and the police," Arnold said.
That upgrade, Arnold said, could cost around $100,000.
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