Barberton Fire Department was able to purchase a new boat thanks to a generous donation from the City of Barberton Safety Services Fund held by Danny Sanchez at Barberton Community Foundation.
Lt. Mike Beckman said the fire department desperately needed a boat like this. “It’s quick, versatile, and deployable which is important. We can fill it up using the air at the station or off the truck,” he said. The boat is made of a heavy durable material, and has many straps for places to hold onto. When not in use, it collapses to the size of a duffle bag for easy storage on a truck. The boat was built by Phoenix Safety Services in Ohio.
Lt. Beckman explained that the boat could be used in many instances, such as ice rescue, in the canal, or during a flood. “We have a larger metal boat, but we can’t use that in knee deep water. With this boat, we can walk beside it, or row it,” he explained.
During the June floods Lt. Beckman said they received multiple calls for rescue. “In flood situations, a boat like this is handy for multiple rescues as we work down a street. Even in shallow water, you can’t always see where you’re walking. You don’t know where a curb or hole could be. Now we can help elderly or disabled individuals get out of their homes more safely.”
Lt. Beckman continued, “This boat has made our job a lot easier, so thank you to the Foundation and Danny Sanchez with the Safety Services Fund for making this possible. We really appreciate it.”
Danny Sanchez, from Casa Del Ranchero, said he had the idea to start a fund because he wanted to give back. “Both the Barberton fire and police have been coming to our place for years. We just really wanted to give back and do something for them.” Danny typically hosts a golf tournament every year to support his fund. “It has done more and grown bigger than I ever thought it would. Everyone wanted to get involved.”