Fire Rescue team pleased to have sub shop as a partner - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fire Rescue team pleased to have sub shop as a partner

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -  The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation donated more than $20,000 worth of life saving equipment to Thomas County Fire Rescue Tuesday.

The equipment will go to the Thomas County Underwater Recovery Team, and the additional equipment will increase the number of divers capable of performing underwater rescues, as well as assisting other agencies with underwater searches.

Investigating a crime scene underwater, is a lot different than investigating one on dry land.

"Most of the time it is in zero visibility and everything is done by feel, you cant see," said Lisa Maxwell, Dive Team Commander.

The Thomas County underwater dive team works hard to help recover evidence and search for bodies. But now, the 14-member team has additional equipment that will help make them even more efficient.

"We were awarded several dry suits and underwater communications devices as well as side scan sonar," said  Thomas County Fire Chief Chris Jones.

Additional dry suits to help keep divers warm, and protected while diving in freezing waters.

"Every diver has their own dry suit fitted to them, and we have nine full face with communications in our trailer now," said Maxwell .

And full face masks, where divers can communicate safely with each other underwater, while avoiding any harmful containments in the waters.

And the side scan sonar can help detect object underwater. "You can take the side scan out and it will actually show you a outline of a car underwater," said Maxwell

Today The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation stopped by Firehouse Subs in Thomasville for a special donation ceremony of the Thomas County underwater recovery team more than 20,000 dollars in life saving equipment,

"Once the gear was put into service it was already needed within six days for a search and rescue," said  Robin Peters, Executive Director of the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

Just days after they got their equipment they put it to use, in the search for missing Lowndes County teen James Eunice.

"The water temperature was 43 degrees. A normal diver diving in a wet suit would have been able to stay in 3 to 4 minutes. I was in the water for almost an hour one day," said Maxwell.

The money comes from donation jars you can find by the cashier at any firehouse subs store. "It's amazing how fast 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents adds up to life saving gear, said Peters.

Firehouse has 400 stores across the nation. 

I'm told if everyone dropped 25 cents in one of those buckets at Firehouse Subs, the foundation could raise over $3 million, so just imagine what that money could do for our public safety departments.

The Firehouse Subs Foundation has already donated more than one million dollars in life saving equipment to many different public safety entities.

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