Monday, August 11, 2014
A federal grant will allow the Ashley River Fire Department to replace all 34 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus on its trucks.
The $177,644 Assistance to Firefighters grant is a peer-reviewed, competitive federal grant.
Ashley River Fire Chief Scott Inabinet said the new breathing appartus are smaller and lighter than the old models, but also include new features including low air alarms, HUD technology, firefighter tracking electronics and extended air supply. They also sit lower on the firefighter’s back, providing a more ergonomic fit.
These improvements not only enhance firefighter safety, but allow for longer working times for firefighters resulting in lowered property loss, and a better chance of rescue for victims trapped in a building fire.
The department’s old air paks date to the late 1980s and the 1990s, and the cost of maintaining them has risen steadily over the last few years. Inabinet said they’ve essentially been worn out due to high use. An internal risk review by the department’s Equipment Committee rated replacement of the old paks as the highest equipment-related safety priority. The replacement provides significant relief to the department’s equipment maintenance budget because the new paks come with an eight-year warranty.
The Assistance to Firefighters grant gets 18,000 applications per year. This is Ashley River’s fourth award.