DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – Last summer, the Derby and Mulvane area got hit with a ton a rain leading to floods and residents being rescued from the waters.
These episodes took quite the toll on the Derby Fire Department’s rescue boat, but now, officials are a step closer to getting a new craft.
The flooding last year taught officials with the Derby Fire Department one valuable lesson; they needed a second boat to help in situations where people were stuck or stranded by floodwaters.
“The ultimate goal is to have the ability to respond to area needs in and outside of Derby,” explained Derby Fire Chief Brad Smith.
The fire department got a boost from the Derby Community Foundation. The group awarded them with a $1,500 grant to help fund their first inflatable boat.
“Everybody needs help sometimes with things and Derby community foundation is designed to be a giving organization,” said Justin Smith, the Chair of Derby Community Foundation.
The station’s 16 foot aluminum boat was purchased in 2006 and built to respond to retention pond calls in Sedgwick County. This means, their current boat doesn’t work well in flooding scenarios like we experienced back in August and September of last year. And officials say, being prepared for the worst is extremely important, especially when lives are on the line.
“We have to do this for the community,” said Chief Smith.
An anonymous donor recently gave an additional $1,000 towards the new inflatable boat. Which makes the fire house just $1,000 short of their goal.