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Posted on Sep 17, 2015

New safety equipment coming to fire district

Staff report
Firefighters at Grant County Fire District No. 3 will be outfitted with new safety equipment, thanks to a large grant it recently received.
The fire district was awarded a $427,490 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money will be used to purchase 64 new self-contained breathing apparatus, called SCBA, that firefighters wear to provide oxygen in smoke-filled situations.
The grant, along with a $21,000 match from the fire district, provides enough money to replace all the SCBA used by the district and the City of Quincy, fire Chief Don Fortier said.
The use of SCBA is one of the most important things firefighters can do to ensure their safety in hazardous environments and help them to stay alive not only during an emergency but also in the future, as it eliminates ingesting carcinogens that may lead to cancer, according to a district press release.
With safety standards changing over time, the current equipment used by the fire district, which is more than 10 years old, is non-compliant and outdated, Fortier said.
The new equipment will give responders access to the latest technological advances in breathing apparatus, which means longer duration worktime in a hazardous environment, better voice communication, advanced Personal Alert Safety Systems and a lighter weight to help with firefighter fatigue when working.
And this translates to a safer environment for firefighters to perform their work as well as a higher level of service provided to the people they serve, Fortier said.
The awarding of the $427,490 grant also is good news to taxpayers, because the cost frees up money that can be used on other future projects, the chief added.