MFD to the rescue … in a new rescue trailer

From left, Capt. Tony Hall, Capt. Corey Plunkett and Fire Chief Brian Williams.

Minden Fire Department has acquired a new rescue trailer thanks to a grant from Claiborne Electric.

MFD Chief Brian Williams said he applied for a grant through Claiborne Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up in 2021 in order to purchase a new dive/water rescue trailer for the Minden Fire Department/Webster Parish Dive Team.

“The team outgrew the older trailer and it was no longer efficient,” Williams said. “The old dive trailer was provided by OHSEP (Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness). It will be repurposed and given to the Springhill Fire Department soon.”

Due to manufacturing delays, the trailer was not completed and put into service until recently.

Capt. Tony Hall, Dive Director with MFD agreed the dive team has outgrown the old trailer’s capabilities.

“The old trailer had a low ceiling that made it difficult to maneuver when getting into the dive gear,” Hall said. “The new trailer has a higher ceiling that includes a roof-mounted heating/AC unit, which is a necessity when diving in cold water and storing temperature sensitive equipment in hot environments.”

The new trailer has scene lights, automatic awnings and a propane-powered generator. It has custom storage compartments built by members of MFD to store dive gear.

“The Webster Parish OHSEP office provided some new gear for flood water/dive/rescue a couple of years ago,” Williams said. “But we did not have the proper storage for the equipment until now.”

With the new trailer, MFD is better equipped to respond faster when needed to provide assistance to the citizens of Webster Parish, as well as requests for assistance from neighboring parishes.

“We are proud to announce there are four members currently being trained in Open Water Diving, Advanced and Stress Rescue Diving and Public Safety Diver Search and Recovery,” said the chief. “Adding new divers is costly and would not be possible without the assistance of Webster Parish OHSEP and Claiborne Electric funding the new dive trailer.”