Gun Lake Casino gifts lifesaving tools to first responders

Allegan County

WAYLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Police, firefighters and search and rescue teams in Allegan County have some new tools to help save lives.

First responders from Allegan, Leighton Township and Hopkins Township visited Gun Lake Casino Tuesday to show off their new devices made possible by nearly $40,000 in casino donations.

“We couldn’t be prouder to help you gentlemen do the work that you do. It’s critical work, right. You guys are running in when we’re running out… and we’re really proud to be able to give you some tools,” said Jose Flores, vice president and general manager of the casino.

Allegan police said their new drone equipped with a thermal camera has already helped in two nighttime searches.

(In this Aug. 17, 2021 photo, an officer with the Allegan Police Department shows off the agency’s new drone equipped with thermal imaging, paid for by a donation from Gun Lake Casino.)

Firefighters from Leighton and Hopkins townships said the LUCAS 3 chest compression machines they now have are crucial for medical calls, freeing up a first responder to handle a patient’s other needs at a time when seconds matter, staffing is limited and distances are long.

(In this Aug. 17, 2021 photo, firefighters from the Leighton Township Fire Department show off the agency’s new LUCAS 3 chest compression system, paid for by a donation from Gun Lake Casino.)

“It’s a great asset for all of our communities and it’s definitely something that is very needed in our rural areas where CPR can be ongoing for a long time and hospital trips are at least a 25-minute drive,” said Eric Alberda from the Hopkins Township Fire Department.

The Wayland Fire Department received a similar CPR device through casino donations a couple of years ago, which neighboring agencies have been sharing during emergencies.

“As the communities grow, it keeps getting pulled in different directions. So… we’ve really witnessed how it works and makes a difference in our community and we’re very excited to add that to our own,” Leighton Township Fire Chief Matt Weston said.

The casino also donated $1,000 to support Allegan County Search and Rescue to help during missing persons searches.

Members of Allegan County Search and Rescue join leaders of Gun Lake Casino for a check ceremony on Aug. 17, 2021.

All of the agencies said they plan to share their new equipment with neighboring communities when needed.

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