MPR dive team receives command vehicle
Monday, 20 February 2012 by David Tuma
The Morgan's Point Resort Under-Water Recovery Team recently received a new command vehicle. The City of Belton donated the truck, which was a retired ambulance replaced a 1988 model that was out of date.
MPR's dive team is the official dive team for Bell County and serves every fire and police station in the county.
"Whatever department calls us, we take over the scene when we arrive," said MPR investigator Gus McMillen who is charge of MPR's dive team. The nearest dive teams are in Williams and Travis counties. There are state dive teams but the response time is within 24-48 hours.
What is crucial for Bell County residents is that the MPR's response time is within two hours. The team consists of divers and support personnel who perform underwater recoveries and other underwater recovery needs. There are currently 20 members of the team who are volunteers from every part of the county.
"It is one of those deals that nobody wants to maintain one until you really need it. I manage the business end of the team and Gus manages the dive team. The team meets twice a month to train no matter the weather conditions," said MPR Police Chief Fred Churchill.
Part of the funding for the dive team comes from Bell County and the team is a line item in the Bell County budget.
"What makes the vehicle unique is that the dive teams was a major part of how the vehicle was outfitted," said Churchill. "Gus saw the vehicle at the City of Belton's Avenue D shop and we meet several times and the City of Belton stepped forward and went far and beyond to help us."
Bell County, MPR and Billy Osborn owner of AATEX Signs made the dive team vehicle improvements possible. The members of the dive team involve every major police department in Bell County and include some U.S. Army soldiers.