BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) -- First responders in Texas have spent many long days and nights knee deep in flood waters since Hurricane Harvey hit hard.
They have spent hours rescuing people and helping them rebuild their lives. Now, as things start falling back into place for people in Texas, first responder’s gear is falling apart. Bryant Police Sgt. Todd Crowson said police departments in Texas are desperate for new gear because their equipment has been ruined by the water.
“A lot of the gear we use is leather gear and that stuff gets water logged to the point where it just doesn’t work,” said Crowson.
That’s why the Bryant Police Department is organizing a Gear Drive asking people to donate anything they can to help. Crowson said the biggest needs are leather boots in sizes 9.5-12, socks, shoelaces, pants and more. Officers basically need all things ruined from flood waters.
“They don't care if they are old or used boots,” said Crowson. “They just need boots on their feet because the ones they have are falling apart.”
He said the first responders are so busy focusing on helping people that the last person they think of is themselves.
“They don't have time to reach out to others and ask for new equipment and so that's why we are stepping up and doing that for them,” said Crowson.
He said officers from smaller agencies in Texas have been hit the hardest because smaller agencies just don't have it in their budget to replace a lot of equipment.
“The stuff we are asking for is what they need to rely on to do their job and continue helping people,” he said.
Crowson said that while they are focusing on helping people in Texas right now, if Hurricane Irma hits Florida, they certainly want to help first responders there as well.
“If there are other agencies, first responders, and volunteers who need this kind of stuff, we want to help them out,” he said.
Crowson said people can also send monetary donations to the Bryant Fraternal Order of Police and they will use the money to purchase these much needed items.
If anyone would like to make a donation please contact Sgt. Todd Crowson or Det. Scott Courtney at 501-943-0943 for further details. They are accepting donations at the Bryant Police Department until they feel the needs have been met.