HOBART, Wis. (WFRV) – The Hobart-Lawrence Police Department, alongside the Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue, received some much-needed lifesaving equipment on Thursday.

Through Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We Energies charitable foundations, the Brown and Outagamie first responders were rewarded as part of the Rewarding Responders Grant programs.

The grant is helping the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department purchase a new safe detection system for hazardous substances. At the same time, Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue will receive a new multi-gas detection meter through its grant.

Hobart-Lawrence’s new equipment will allow its officers to safely process evidence and test unknown or suspected narcotics.

“It’s going to allow our officers to be safer as they are testing these unknown or suspected narcotics,” said Michael Renkas, Captain with the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department. “

Neenah-Menasha’s four-gas meter will help detect different gas levels while working on an emergency scene.

“We Energies is a partner and will come out and help us in a lot of these situations,” explained Shane Krueger, Deputy Chief of Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue. “These tools are actually very similar to what We Energies use.”

“Oftentimes, we have first responders that are working side-by-side with our personnel, our natural gas workers, our line workers that are working on our equipment or electric equipment,” said Matt Cullen, spokesperson for WPS and We Energies. “Everyone’s goal is to make sure that everyone is staying safe.”

WPS and We Energies foundations are awarding a total of $150,000 through their grant programs this year, and since 2014, the two foundations have donated more than $700,000 to help more than 350 agencies across Wisconsin.

“We appreciate the tireless efforts that our first responders put in to be able to keep all of us safe,” added Cullen.