Grant Adds Members to Fire Department’s Special Operations


A special operations team of high-tech first responders in Northwest Arkansas is ready to roll if tornadoes or other disasters strike.

Six members were added to the Rogers Fire Department’s team thanks to a $750,000 federal grant which will fund the team for the next three years.

Federal grant money was used in beefing up the team.

“It’s historical for the city of Rogers Fire Department because it’s the first time we really ever added firefighters to staff a fire truck without opening a station,” said Fire Chief Tom Jenkins.

The team is trained in technical rescues and hazardous materials.

“We have everything from a swift water gear to trench rescue gear, to high angle and low angle rescue gear, vehicle extraction, some hazmat monitors and some hazmat equipment on here,” Captain Jeremy Criner said.

Criner says the team uses a specific truck when responding to these kinds of disasters and without the added manpower but their response time was not where they wanted it.

“It’s absolutely needed, it’s been something that will benefit our department for years to come and something that we’ve needed for quite some time,” he said.

The team not only responds to disasters in the area but the entire region.

“These are the same crews that respond to federally declared disasters,” Jenkins said. “This crew was in Franklin County when they had tornadoes a couple years ago and they’ve also been to Joplin. So it makes sense that you would see the federal government stepping up and funding these specially trained individuals and making our response more reliable.”

Grant Adds Members to Fire Department’s Special Operations

A special operations team of high-tech first responders in Northwest Arkansas is ready to roll if tornadoes or other disasters strike.

Six members were added to the Rogers Fire Department’s team thanks to a $750,000 federal grant which will fund the team for the next three years.   

Federal grant money was used in beefing up the team.

“It’s historical for the city of Rogers Fire Department because it’s the first time we really ever added firefighters to staff a fire truck without opening a station,” said Fire Chief Tom Jenkins.

The team is trained in technical rescues and hazardous materials.

“We have everything from a swift water gear to trench rescue gear, to high angle and low angle rescue gear, vehicle extraction, some hazmat monitors and some hazmat equipment on here,” Captain Jeremy Criner said.

Criner says the team uses a specific truck when responding to these kinds of disasters and without the added manpower but their response time was not where they wanted it.

“It’s absolutely needed, it’s been something that will benefit our department for years to come and something that we’ve needed for quite some time,” he said.

The team not only responds to disasters in the area but the entire region.

“These are the same crews that respond to federally declared disasters,” Jenkins said. “This crew was in Franklin County when they had tornadoes a couple years ago and they’ve also been to Joplin. So it makes sense that you would see the federal government stepping up and funding these specially trained individuals and making our response more reliable.”

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