Portage (IN) Fire Equipment Brings Departments Up to Standard

The Board of Works opened bids from two companies vying for a contract to supply firefighters with the latest self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment.

Bids were from Douglas Safety Systems of Sandford, Mich., at a cost of $814,035 and Five Alarm Fire of Merrillville at a cost of $890,147. The bids were taken under advisement and a contract will be awarded at the board’s next meeting.

Portage Assistant Fire Chief Tim Sosby said 90 percent of the funding will come from a regional grant awarded to the city through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The city received the $785,882 grant last August.

The funds will allow Portage, Chesterton, Ogden Dunes, South Haven, Burns Harbor and Porter to add the latest in SCBA technology to the department.

“All the SCBAs we are using are at least two safety units behind,” said Sosby, adding the new equipment will include an accountability system. The accountability system will allow incident commanders to monitor a firefighter’s oxygen level remotely and notify a firefighter when his oxygen tank is getting low.

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