GURLEY, Ala. (WHNT) — A fundraising golf tournament hosted by the Gurley Fire & Rescue will help the crew expand their capabilities in responding to emergencies across the community.

The inaugural event is set to begin on Friday, September 2 at the RTJ Hampton Cove Highlands Course with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Funds raised through the event will make it possible for the fire department to develop Public Safety and Wildland Operations capabilities to enhance the “all-hazards” response.

Gurley Fire & Rescue Chief John “Boone” Ruffing says teams can register for $500, or individuals for $125. Lunch and a cart gift will be provided.

For teams, first place will be awarded $400, second will be awarded $300, and third will be awarded $200. There will also be a “closest to pin” contest for men and women.

Having the enhanced Public Safety capability will allow the department to provide improved land search and rescue along or on the Flint River, and in the rural hunting and fishing areas in the Gurley community.

All proceeds raised beyond the tournament entry fees will help purchase reflective numbered markers to place at various points along the Flint River, which will not only make it easier for anyone enjoying the water but will also be useful for search and rescue crews.

Funds raised will also help purchase some much-needed rescue equipment, like a side-by-side with a compact stretcher and attendant seat for remote rescue operations, a drone, life safety rope and medical-grade stretchers to help anyone injured in areas where the terrain is rugged.

The department will be able to purchase wildland firefighting clothing and gear to fight brush and wildland fires with the proceeds from the tournament.

August 22 is the tentative deadline to register, but organizers say if there aren’t enough participants by then, they may push back the date of the event to allow more people to sign up.

Ruffing says anyone who can’t physically make it to the event but still wants to support the event can sponsor a hole or make a monetary donation, which are 100% tax deductible, the Chief says.

For more information on the event, to sign up or to donate, you can visit the department’s page here, email here, or call 256-947-1049.