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Water rescue worth effort
Updated On: Apr 16, 2014


It's easy to see why Murfreesboro Fire Department has one of the highest ratings in the state. Its leaders are always looking for ways to improve services and boost public safety.

The department sports an Insurance Office rating of 2, one of only two departments in the state with that designation. No department in Tennessee has a rating of 1.

A few years ago, the department started its First Responders program, putting firefighters at the scene of car crashes in Murfreesboro in a matter of minutes to stabilize patients and clear the scene for other emergency vehicles. Now, the department is starting a water rescue team out of Fire Station 7 on Thompson Lane to give city residents better response during water-related emergencies.

Capt. Jeff Day will be the unit's coordinator, leading a group of 18 firefighters who will undergo training and be equipped with a boat and the necessary personal protective equipment to conduct water rescues. Capt. Blake Insell is handling the purchase of gear for the new unit.

Several unit members participated in water rescues during the early May flooding when they provided backup to Rutherford County's Special Operations Rescue Team.

MFD's new unit will complement the SORT unit to make sure rescuers can get to the scene of a water emergency quickly and to share expertise and experience.

We commend Day and Insell for pushing this initiative, in addition to Fire Chief Cumbey Gaines and Assistant Chief Roger Toombs for getting approval from the city administration.

Cost-effective efforts the fire department can undertake to improve public safety are worth the training and expense. You never know when you might be the one who needs rescue.

Get involved in a drainage study, as flat and rocky as Murfreesboro is, drainage is always a concern amid road projects and development. That's why we encourage people to attend a neighborhood meeting on the North Murfreesboro Drainage Study being conducted by Huddleston-Steele Engineering. The study is being funded with storm water user fees with authorization from the City Council and Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Board.

The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 15 at Erma Siegel Elementary to focus on draining surrounding Memorial Boulevard between Haynes Drive and DeJarnette Lane and Thompson Lane, including Compton Road. Information also will be taken about the areas of Hoopers Bottom and Regency Park, which are west of Memorial, and Dry Branch, east of Memorial. Drainage is not an emotional issue until the water is affecting your property. That's why it's important to get involved now, before your front yard is flooded. This is a good opportunity to let concerns be heard.

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