CLIFTON PARK -- The Rexford Fire Department recently was able to purchase tools that help free people trapped in vehicles, thanks to a state grant.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, secured a $50,000 grant for the purchase of the tools, which cost the department a total of $53,000.
The various tools are able to pull and cut open car doors with relative ease.
Tedisco, who appeared with first responders and town officials on Thursday morning for a demonstration of the tools' abilities, lauded the Fire Department for being ready for action every single day.
"Sometimes we get some criticism, as public servants, that we're only around during election time. Well, the people here are not only around during election time. It's every day, 24/7," Tedisco said. "They're professionals. When they get there, whether it's a fire, whether it's an accident, whether it's action from nature with these storms that are taking place, they are trained to know what to do, to mitigate and save lives, to reduce the injuries that can take place."
The tools the Fire Department has been using are decades old, said Fire Commissioner Larry Gates.
"You know, the equipment we had was 30 plus years old, the company that manufactures it went out of business, we couldn't get repairs or parts from them, so this funding that [Tedisco] provided was a great asset to our district and will help us for years to come," Gates said.
Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett noted on Thursday that the Fire Department is always ready to serve, pointing out firefighters helped with cleanup efforts and calls for help after a rash of bad storms hit the area last weekend.
"We've had a few storms recently. Town personnel have been working overtime to clean the streets and I know that other municipalities have certainly been affected as well," Barrett said. "The Rexford Fire Department has been answering those calls with professionalism for many, many years. We do appreciate what you do, 365 days a year."