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HFD will receive $2M in new high water rescue equipment

HOUSTON – The Houston Fire Department will receive more than $2 million in new equipment for high water rescues after the Houston City Council voted Wednesday to approve the purchase. 

The purchase includes 16 additional vehicles for high water rescues and transports, four swift water rescue boats, 10 evacuation boats, four wave runners and a $30,000 drone, among other equipment needed during flood events.

READ: New problems with HFD emergency fleet

Houston firefighters made thousands of high water rescues during Hurricane Harvey.

In October, fire chief Samuel Pena told council the fire department's flood rescue resources were scarce. 

"As it stands right now, our abilities are limited in that we only have 10 boats for the whole city, six rescue boats and one high water vehicle," Pena said.

READ: HFD has inadequate equipment to handle floods

At that meeting, Pena asked for 20 evacuation boats, 10 rescue boats and eight high water vehicles.

Channel 2 Investigates has been tracking the city's lack of flood rescue resources since the Memorial Day flood in 2015.

[READ THE REPORT]

A lack of training in swift water rescue operations was noted as a factor in the deaths of three citizens who drowned after a HFD rescue boat capsized on a swollen Brays Bayou.