As an update to the story posted on social media, and with FOX4KC on January 24th:
LSUR has been engaged with Jackson County, MO Legislator Theresa Galvin all week. She has been an outstanding advocate for all first responders, and certainly understands the communities need for specialized response teams like Lee’s Summit Underwater.
Through her diligent research and accountability, it looks like we were partially funded, through a different line item in the budget than we have been in years past. With this different line item, the process in which we are notified, and contracts are issued are not as streamlined as they have been in the past. The delivery of notification, and subsequent contract appears to be behind.
Theresa has called the appropriate persons to make sure they know how much we depend on this funding. Through her efforts, she assured us that our contract has been moved to the top of the pile for processing, and that we should be receiving notification of award, and our contract within short order. This means we are $20,000 closer to full funding.
Theresa’s effort happened alongside of an outside consultant audit of our Operating Guidelines, and available resources and equipment. This audit is a normal process for our re-certification as a Public Safety Dive Team by our national accrediting agency. This audit informs us that based on our size, and historical deployments they would expect our annual budget to be in the range of $250k-300k per year on training, equipment maintenance (and life-cycle replacement) and procurement of new equipment as technologies evolve.
Our consultant is amazed at what Lee’s Summit Underwater has been able to accomplish on such a shoestring budget but recommends that we start to reinvest funds into further modernization of our equipment and training protocols.
While a yearly fundraising target of $50K will keep the lights on, and allow us to operate, it will not allow us to keep up in replacing aging equipment that is needed to make sure we can be depended upon by our communities to be able to respond, and depended upon by our families and loved ones to be able to do so safely so that we may return home to them.
Your support, contributions and sponsorships, and comments help in spreading this message throughout our community is extremely valuable, and very much appreciated.
As a reminder, Lee’s Summit Underwater Recovery, Inc. (LSUR) is a 501c3 Organization that is operated by an all-volunteer staff of Public Safety Dive specialists. Funding for our operations and equipment comes from contracts and grants such as provided by Jackson County, and through community donations and support.
Join our mailing list by submitting your contact information here: http://www.lsur.org/contact/
On behalf of the Lee’s Summit Underwater Board of Directors ([email protected]):
Brian Meinershagen – Chief
Krista Block – Deputy Chief
Chris Luck – Deputy Chief
Michael Paulsen – External Consultant
We are also thankful to our community members support: Lisa Osgood, Lakewood Resident, has started a go-fund me for this effort. The information there was posted after the original story, but we applaud her effort in making sure we get our message out. You can check out the Go-Fund-Me here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/lee039s-summit-underwater-recovery-lost-funding