Money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will buy 35 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, known as SCBA, and related equipment. The equipment consists of air packs firefighters wear on their backs when entering burning buildings or other hazardous situations.
“This is an important investment for North Olmsted,” Mayor Kevin Kennedy said. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, we need to make sure they have the right equipment to save lives. Federal funding will help our firefighters better serve their communities and save lives.”
Fire Chief Edward Schepp applied for the grant specifically to replace the firefighters’ breathing equipment.
“These packs have a limited lifespan,” Schepp said. “The packs we have now are in need of a lot of repair to keep them going, and some are past their lifespan. Typically, we have to have these tested annually, and some of our air packs are past their useful life.”
Schepp said that without the federal grant, the city could not have afforded to replace the old breathing equipment. Improved technology makes the new equipment lighter and safer, he said.
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