Salute the Badge: Forest official gets fire departments livesaving equipment

By Jace Mills
WIBW – April 25, 2017


Eric Ward has worn many hats over the years. He’s been a paramedic, a Sheriff’s Deputy, a firefighter, and a fire chief. His 35 years of public service prepared him for the work he’s doing now at Kansas forest service.

Ward said he had three part-time jobs, including serving as a Fire Chief at a rural fire department when he started the Kansas Forest Service.

Now, 12 years later, Ward is down to just one job. His current position took him mostly off the front lines but is no less important. Three times a day, Ward scrolls through government databases looking for surplus equipment from the military and other federal agencies.

“It’s a sport to me, it’s a service as well, but there is really a sport to it,” said Ward.

Ward looks for equipment that can be re-purposed for fire departments that often cannot afford multi-million dollar trucks and expensive new fire protective gear.

He even recently obtained life saving defibrillators for fire stations.

“I was able to pick up enough hopefully to get through the waiting list,” said Ward. “They may be the first ones on scene when someone has a heart attack and if they have that piece of equipment, that could be a truly life or death change for somebody.”

Having a role in that lets Eric know he his right where he needs to be.

“In this case, I would not be the one saving that life it, would be whoever shows up on that fire truck with the defibrillator, but still to have a little hand in that, that’s exciting,” said Ward.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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