The Stowe town government has been awarded a $1,988 grant that will allow Stowe Mountain Rescue to buy additional equipment.

The federal money was awarded through the State Homeland Security Grant Program.

The grant will allow the team to buy an emergency all-weather shelter, a new eight-man base camp tent, and a titanium litter handle system that complements a Cascade Advanced Series titanium litter and litter wheel system purchased through a 2016 grant.

This equipment will upgrade the rescue team’s existing capability and replace some aging equipment.

“The equipment purchased with these funds will allow us to safely and efficiently rescue people in backcountry and other hazardous environments, such as technical rope rescues at Bingham Falls, Smugglers Notch and Moss Glen Falls,” said Doug Veliko, Stowe Mountain Rescue Team chief. “The new equipment will be purchased by the grant funds, with no cost to the taxpayers of Stowe.”

Stowe Mountain Rescue is a volunteer first-responder team that responds to roughly 35 to 40 calls each year. Calls typically involve injured or missing hikers, bikers, climbers, backcountry skiers or swimmers. The team works closely with local and state police and fire departments, local search and rescue teams, and fish and wildlife agencies.

The team is also prepared to respond to incidents of flooding, storm damage, forest fires or acts of terrorism.

Stowe Mountain Rescue is funded primarily through the Stowe town budget, and also receives donations and grants to supplement its operation.

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