Archive for Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Water rescue squad worth an investment

October 16, 2002

During the past two years, Leavenworth County's water rescue squad has matured quickly.

Members of the young squad, which is comprised of volunteer firefighters throughout the county, have spent countless hours in training. They've worked weekends to perfect their skills.

And those skills certainly have been necessary during the past few months, as the squad helped with the recovery of three bodies two this summer from the Missouri River near Leavenworth and another last weekend from the Kansas River near the De Soto bridge.

The team also has rescued several people who have been trapped in flood waters along Stranger Creek.

It's amazing how far this team of men and women has come during its two years of existence.

When the squad first organized, many members used their own equipment. There simply wasn't any money earmarked to purchase supplies for the team. But as word filtered throughout the county about the squad and its work, some donations came in, including enough money to purchase a motor for the squad's boat. Area retailers helped out, as did the city of Tonganoxie. Team members have raised several thousand dollars by working at the Kansas Speedway and other events.

But the squad is far from solvent. Members still need about $10,000 worth of specialized equipment to help them with the dangerous tasks they take on, all on behalf of the public.

With Leavenworth County's location on two rivers and with temperamental Stranger Creek slicing through the county the rescue squad's work is necessary and highly valuable to residents. Helping their cause benefits us all.

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