No longer will Grant Sheriff Steve McCain have to tell flood victims that help may be there the next day, not after obtaining a fleet of watercraft through a grant and a donation.
The three boats, an airboat and a personal watercraft -- a Sea-Doo search and rescue craft -- were added to the department through a $250,000 competitive grant secured through the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office and a donation from Clean Harbors in Colfax.
Jerry McPheron was admiring the airboat before it was launched into the Red River. He's the Clean Harbors general manager, and he said the company wholeheartedly supported the donation of the flat-bottom boat after locals spoke with McCain about his needs after the March floods.
"It's my community, too," said McPheron. Twelve of the 13 Clean Harbors employees in Grant Parish live there, he said. It might be a neighbor or coworker who is rescued with some of the equipment, he commented.
When the local office approached superiors with the request, he said it was "yes all the way to the corporate office." McPheron said he believes the sheriff's office is the best equipped in the state for water responses.
"It's the right thing for neighbors to do," he said.