Fire Rescue Debuts Life Saving Emergency Response Equipment at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Press release from Alachua County Fire Rescue

In anticipation of the University of Florida’s upcoming Orange and Blue game, Alachua County Fire Rescue is proud to announce the debut of new life-saving emergency response equipment at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The purchasing of this equipment, which includes two LUCAS chest compression devices and battery-operated automated stair chairs, was made possible by generous contributions from both the University of Florida’s Athletic Association and Collegiate Veterans Society in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 

This previous September, Alachua County Fire Rescue partnered with the UF Collegiate Veterans Society to assist in hosting the UF 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, an event in which participants climbed the stadium 11 times to simulate the approximately 1,980 steps of the World Trade Center. The event is one of the largest memorial stairs climbs in the region and earned special recognition this September from ESPN, who both published a story on the event and hosted a live look-in on their SEC Network Gameday show. The proceeds of the stair climb were then generously donated to Alachua County Fire Rescue with the aim of funding new medical equipment for the department. Additionally, the University of Florida’s Athletic Association resolved to assist this cause by donating the proceeds of selling the commemorative helmets worn by University football players during the game played that Saturday.

The generous donations provided by the University Athletic Association and Collegiate Veterans Society will assist Alachua County Fire Rescue in providing excellent patient care in the event of a medical emergency during large-scale events at the stadium. “All of the proceeds from the stair climb and the helmets have been used to buy equipment that will serve the patrons of the stadium,” states Alachua County Fire Chief Harold Theus. “We are incredibly grateful to both the UF Collegiate Veterans Society and the University Athletic Association for their contributions to our department and thus the community as a whole.”

Alachua County Fire Rescue would like to recognize President Savanna Turner of the UF Collegiate Veterans Society and UF Director of Football Communications Rick Hurtado for their individual commitments to this matter and public safety in the greater Alachua County area.