The Ballville Volunteer Fire Department received 16 new air packs as well as 30 new face pieces for each of their firefighters through the 2012 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.
The grant amounted to $102,000 and was awarded to the department in March 2013, but they received the new equipment in late June of this year to assure it was up to code. Fire Chief Doug Crowell said they are the first department in the county to receive the most updated equipment.
After about a month of using the new equipment, Crowell said there have been noticeable improvements in firefighter safety.
He said the department decided to receive larger air packs to give them more time on the scene of a fire. Crowell said the regulations for air consumption have changed. In the past, firefighters had to exit a fire scene when they had 25 percent of air left. Now, it is 33 percent.
The larger air packs will give them more time to assure everyone’s safety. Crowell said they will be especially useful in situations involving hazardous materials when firefighters might need extra air.
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