Marion County Commission Helps Fund Search-And-Rescue Sub - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Marion County Commission Helps Fund Search-And-Rescue Sub

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FAIRMONT -

The Winfield District Volunteer Fire Department in Marion County now has an underwater search and rescue sub.

A camera is installed on the remote-controlled robot and firefighters said it can drive up to 500 feet.

In a case of a water rescue, the machine can grab a person's arm and bring them safely to shore.

The sub can also be used to help law enforcement if they are searching for a murder weapon or a missing person.

Firefighters said the "sonar" capability is its more important feature and its the first in the state.

"It enables us to be able to see in milky, murky water up to 300 feet away," said Barry Bledsoe, Marion County Fire Association. "Which will allow us to be able to find somebody when divers would have a really difficult time because you can only see as far as your vision will allow you."

The sub was purchased in October with the help of a grant from Consol Energy and $20,000 from the state.

The Marion County Fire Association said the department spent $30,000 of its own money to pay for extra costs that came with the sub.

The Marion County Commission passed a motion on Wednesday to give the association $5,000 to help pay for its sub.