The Portland Fire Bureau (OR) has received a $518,240 federal grant to replace the face masks for firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatus.
The City Council accepted the grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to use to replace the fire bureau’s outdated face masks.
The face masks protect firefighters from extreme heat, noxious smoke and toxic gas, while delivering clean air to breathe during firefighting or hazardous material calls, said Rich Chatman, fire bureau spokesman.
The Fire Bureau needed to replace the equipment to be compliant with National Fire Protection Association standards.
Recent studies have shown that the face mask now in use can put firefighters at risk because they can fail in certain heat conditions.
“Our current facepieces have exceeded their useful life, and have been identified to fail under certain circumstances, so the ability to replace them at this time is an enormous benefit,” said Fire Chief Erin Janssens.
The federal Department of Homeland Security, through its Federal Emergency Management Agency, awarded $518,240 to the city. Another $129,560 will be matched from the city fire bureau’s budget to help with the replacement of the face masks, according to the ordinance approved by council.
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