FCTRT is Finishing Six Years of Service to the Mid-South

The Fayette County Technical Rescue Team is in the process of completing six years of volunteer service to the mid-south with its annual fundraising drive.  The Team is a Special Operations Rescue Squad that provides services not only in Fayette County but all over West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and East Arkansas that is comprised entirely of experienced and highly trained volunteers.  Its mission is to employ the use of specialized equipment and technical rescue skills for emergency events that are “outside the norm” of a typical emergency call for the local emergency response agencies such as search and rescue incidents for lost persons, water rescue incidents, dive rescue and recovery incidents, animal rescue incidents, natural disaster incidents, trench rescue incidents, rope rescue incidents, and more.  FCTRT is the only Active Unit Member of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads located in FayetteCounty and is comprised of current and former emergency responders, former military and police personnel, and individuals from the private sector to bring a diverse and broad base of backgrounds and experiences into one cohesive unit.  These individuals volunteer their time not because they have something to gain but because they want to help others using their background, training, and experience to help the residents and local emergency responders in the mid-south.

The Team responds, when requested by local emergency response agencies, with specialized technical rescue equipment that is typically not available or regularly used by local agencies to assist in these types of unique and unusual events.  Moreover, the Team members have extensive experience in technical rescue operations and have literally completed thousands of hours of training for unique and unusual events that may only occur in the mid-south once or twice per year.  More importantly, the Team’s members have completed certified training from some of the most esteemed rescue organizations all over the United States to be sure that its members receive the highest quality training available to first responder agencies and continue to use these skills by continuously training together for many hours each and every month to assist in these unique and unusual events.

“Almost every time a unique or unusual emergency event occurs, our Team receives telephone calls from local residents or concerned citizens wanting to know if we are responding or assisting with the operations,” said Commander Kevin Snider.  “While sometimes we are responding or assisting, we always have to inform the resident or concerned citizen that we can only respond to an emergency scene when we are requested by the local emergency response agency in charge of that particular scene.  If we don’t receive a telephone call requesting assistance from the agency in charge of that particular scene we cannot provide assistance or support as our Team cannot self-dispatch.  We are always just a phone call away and are always willing to provide assistance and work under the local emergency response agency whenever it is requested by that agency,” said Snider.

Since its inception in 2010, the Team has completed well over 100 activations, deployments, and operational readiness exercises from Dyersburg, Tennessee to Byhalia, Mississippi and everywhere in between, including FayetteCounty.  In particular, the Team has literally spent hundreds of volunteer hours in leading and participating in rescue operations all over the mid-south including a successful swiftwater rescue of an individual that had his vehicle swept off the road by raging floodwaters outside of Rossville, a large animal rescue in Moscow, a successful search for a lost hunter in Shelby County, search and rescue operations in the disappearance of Holly Bobo, dive rescue and recovery operations in Dyersburg, and many more.  In addition, the Team works regularly with local emergency response agencies such as the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit and has the only training facility in the mid-south that is solely dedicated to technical rescue and available for use at anytime by any other local emergency response agency.  Moreover, the Team believes in community outreach, community education, and assisting the citizens and local emergency response agencies in the mid-south area by providing dozens of free CPR classes to local residents, emergency vehicle operator courses to first responder agencies, vehicle extrication classes to first responder agencies, and many more.

“As a former Battalion Chief for a local fire department, municipal EMA official, and elected official, I am well aware of the internal politics and turf battles that go on with emergency scenes and requesting additional assistance from outside agencies – especially private volunteer rescue squads such as FCTRT,” commented Snider.  “However, when you have a large sanctioned rescue squad that is willing to assist with additional and specialized equipment as well as seasoned and highly trained emergency personnel that exceed the entry requirements of most local emergency response agencies in this area, it defies common sense that you would not request additional personnel that continuously and only train for these types of events with a simple telephone call,” stated Snider.  “Our Team can provide additional equipment and experienced personnel on these types of unusual scenes while working under the local agency in charge without any costs to the taxpayers of our area.  This not only provides additional resources to the agency in charge but improves and enhances the chances of a successful operation which is what the overall goal should always be,” said Snider.

In order to meet its mission and provide volunteer services all across the mid-south area, the Team relies upon the generosity of mid-south residents, community leaders, elected officials, private foundations, and businesses for support.  The  Team does not receive or accept any federal, state, county, or municipal government funding and pays for its own general liability insurance as well as workers compensation insurance on its members, so that it can be available to respond virtually anytime to anywhere it may be needed without any cost to the taxpayers of the mid-south.

“At this time, our Team is in the middle of its annual fundraising drive where we reach out to community-minded residents and business owners to solicit their support for our all volunteer Team,” said Commander Kevin Snider.  “Our Team has been very blessed over the past 6 years with tremendous community support for which we are eternally thankful.  We would like to encourage mid-south residents, community leaders, and business owners to consider making a tax deductible donation to our Team so that we can continue to enhance and improve our operations,” said Snider.

All of the money raised by this fundraising campaign is specifically spent to help the mid-south community through the Team’s services and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law as the Team is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  Please remember that every tax deductible donation makes a difference, regardless of size and the Team would welcome your consideration this year.  Please make all checks payable to “Fayette County TRT” and send them to the Team headquarters and training facility at 3565 Highway 57, Rossville, TN 38066.

Please check out the Team website at www.technicalrescueteam.com or on Facebook for additional information about the Team or feel free to call them anytime for assistance at (901) 496-6800.