The Jackson County Rescue Squad has new equipment to make rescues more efficient and potentially save more lives.
The crews got the new tech Tuesday afternoon. It includes thermal, infrared and night vision technology.
"This is all brand new technology for us," said Eddie Teague, Jackson County Rescue Squad.
There's high-powered helmet lights to help crews see and be found if they get lost themselves. There's also tools that'll help crews see in the dark and find people faster.
"Instead of spending 6 hours out looking for someone in the woods you may be able go out and find them in the first two hours with thermal imaging," said Paul Smith, Jackson County EMA Director.
The about $10,000 worth of equipment is part of a grant emergency management got earlier this year from the Tides Foundation. The Jackson County Rescue Squad is made up of volunteers, but when a rescue happens other agencies funded by taxpayer money are frequently involved. A shorter time for that rescue means less resources used.
"Shorter rescues are safer rescues," said Smith.
Crews will need to train on the new equipment. They say hopefully they'll never have to use it, but are happy to have it ready to go.
"This is going to be a great tool for us," said Teague.
The Tides Foundation grant is also paying for upgrades to Jackson County EMA's communication system to increase connectiviy which can be a serious issue in areas where recues happen with limited service.