An expanded Williams County dive rescue team is in the works due to a $129,000 grant that was secured.
Williams County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ben Baldwin is heading up the project and reported on the progress Tuesday to the Williams County commissioners.
He said he is currently putting together the bid packages for the equipment that will be needed. The estimate for the equipment is $105,000. Baldwin said the remainder of the grant would be used to pay for training.
The members of the 10-person team will be made up of emergency responders from various agencies, including the sheriff’s office, fire departments and EMS.
“Our thought was, a lot of dive teams are made up completely from the sheriff’s office or a fire department, but if you have some sort of large incident, we can’t take all our road deputies off the road,” Baldwin said.
“We also can’t deplete a fire department of all its members,” he added. “So by picking from some of these different public safety entities, we should be able to at least get four or five personnel and not deplete any one agency of all its members and complete whatever task it is.”
He added there would also be the possibility of two, five-man teams if a situation calls for it.
Baldwin said he hopes to be able to work with the Bryan YMCA and the Boy Scout camp for training when pool work is required, while there are a number of area lakes and quarries that can be used when open water training is needed.