Being in the heart of lake country on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, responding to emergencies on the water is part of daily life for the Delta County’s Sheriff’s Office. That’s why TransCanada was glad to step in and help keep the county’s volunteer rescue dive team afloat with a $25,000 grant that will be used to purchase equipment and fund diver training.
“Without this donation from TransCanada, we wouldn’t be able to continue on,” said Delta County Sheriff Gary Ballweg. “We would probably have to shut down the dive team.”
“In this part of Michigan that is surrounded by lakes and waterways, we have to be able to respond to a variety of water-related emergencies,” said Ballweg. “Our agency is very appreciative of this financial investment made by TransCanada Corporation in the safety of the Delta County community.”
The majority of the donation will assist the Sheriff’s Office to purchase equipment, provide additional training for the agency’s volunteer public safety divers, and respond to aquatic emergencies.
The grant will also go to purchase items such as dry suits, buoyancy control devices, sleds, LED lights and regulators, as well as other equipment needed to protect the public. In addition, Dive Rescue Team members will undergo training next month that focuses on recovery operations and light salvage.
“It’s critically important for us to have this equipment,” said Mike Groleau, Deputy Sheriff and Assistant Director for the Delta County Sheriff Dive Rescue Team. “We dive in a wide range of water, so we’re dealing with anything from below freezing in the winter time below the ice to 80 or 90 degrees (F) in the summer.”
TransCanada has a significant presence in Michigan and has been an active neighbor for more than 60 years. TransCanada operates and owns Great Lakes Gas Transmission, ANR Pipeline Company and natural gas storage facilities in Michigan.
The company employs 208 full-time workers in Michigan, operates 2,600 miles of pipeline in 47 counties and has a regional office in Troy. In 2012, TransCanada contributed nearly $140,000 to 47 agencies and non-profits in Michigan.