Protective gear grant helps FD staff who serve on SWAT
COTTONWOOD — Several items were covered at Tuesday’s regular Cottonwood Council meeting — some receiving more air time than others.
One item included on the Council’s consent agenda, which was approved unanimously, was acceptance of a no-match, $6,400 grant to the Cottonwood Fire & Medical Department for four “ballistic” vests and helmets to be used by its trained employees who are assigned as medics in the Verde Valley Regional SWAT Team.
The grant comes from the Homeland Security Fiscal 2019 Grant Program. Cottonwood Fire Chief Mike Kuykendall told the Verde Independent the grant is most welcome — partly because fire and police always appreciate grants for equipment, and partly because it reminds the public that medics are not simply stand-by support personnel — they are part of a SWAT team.
“They don’t actually go into structures or other places a SWAT team might go for law enforcement purposes, but they are needed on-scene, so this equipment is essential,” Kuykendall said. “Oftentimes, these medics are rendering aid right after arriving on scene, while SWAT is still doing its job.”
Kuykendall said three members of his staff are members of the Verde Valley Regional SWAT Team.
He said there is also one Cottonwood Police officer who is a retired emergency medical responder, who still maintains and EMS certification. There was no cost to the city to accept the grant.