(CBS) — The Elgin Fire Department divers have now taken their new state-of-the-art equipment out in open water — equipment that they got because of the luck of the draw.
For a few years now, the Elgin Fire Department divers have been eyeing new equipment. It’s 40 pounds lighter, and the supply of air comes from the shore, so, it’s basically limitless since it’s not self-contained.
But it’s expensive, a $140,000 system.
Then came a dive conference that Elgin representatives attended. And one team member bought a raffle ticket that took the grand prize: 70 percent off the new equipment the divers had been wanting.
“We were a little in shock at first. It was almost like winning the Lotto,” says Elgin Fire Department Lt. Dan Wagner.
Wagner says he and the other divers have now taken the new system — the Interspiro Surface Supplied Air System — out into open water.
“It was beyond our expectations,” he says.
The new system will make it safer for divers, he says.