Utah Fire Departments Receive FEMA Grants

Nearly a dozen Utah fire departments awarded federal grants for new safety equipment are now working to purchase the gear.

Roy Fire Department applied for the 2012 FEMA Assistance for Fire Fighters Grant about one year ago. They were recently advised they would be receiving the $64,300 to buy new turnout coats, pants and boots.

Their decade-old ensembles are nearing retirement. New synthetic building materials are making structure fires hotter, and technologically advanced suits are safer.

“We do have gear that’s up past the 10-year mark, so that gear will be taken out of service,” said Roy Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Comeau. “Since we have changes in gear, and it’s gotten better through the years of technology, the fabrics that are used now are a lot better.”

Thirty-three new sets will supply their 33 full-time firefighters on a crew of 70 in all. Other coats, pants and boots that aren’t as old will still available.

Wearing gear that meets new standards is important because new synthetic building materials have made structure fires hotter, Comeau said.

“Twelve to fourteen hundred degrees is when you can have a total room engulfed in flames,” Comeau said. “And that’s scary for our firefighters.”

Just north in Ogden, the city’s 111 firefighters are awaiting their 59 new self-controlled breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), which they carry on their backs.

With a dry landscape and a busy fire season, Ogden crews rely heavily on the devices.

The FEMA grants allow the fire departments to outfit their crews with safer equipment without dipping into their already-tight budgets or burdening taxpayers with covering the price.

For more information, view www.kutv.com

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