May 5 2015

Fire Department Receives Grant for Safety Equipment

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Fire Department recently received some federal funds to help keep its members safe as they put themselves on the line for public safety. 

“Fire Chief Steve Yetman is pleased to announce that the Burlington Fire Department was awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant in April in the amount of $327,656,” a release from the department states. 

The grant funding will be used to purchase 48 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) as well as 17 additional face pieces. The new equipment will meet the latest National Fire Protection Agency standards and will replace the department’s aging and obsolete breathing equipment.

The latest National Fire Protection Agency standard for SCBA includes the following safety improvements:

• Increased testing for the integrity of a face piece, which leads to a more durable lens when operating in a high heat environment.

• New voice communication intelligibility requirements that allow firefighters to communicate clearly when operating in a hostile environment. 

• Changes to the end of cylinder service time requirements from 25 percent to 33 percent. This will result in firefighters exiting a hostile environment prior to running low on air. 

• A universal personal alert safety system, which will give the same audible alarm on the fire ground no matter the manufacturer. 

• The approval of an emergency breathing safety system, or rapid intervention connection will allow firefighters to quickly fill the cylinders of those members who may be running dangerously low on air during an emergency situation.

"This critical grant will give the Burlington Fire Department the resources it needs to better protect our firefighters, who risk their lives during emergency situations every day," Chief Yetman said. "The updated equipment will also ensure Burlington fire is in line with national safety standards, allowing us to better serve our community."

As a condition of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, Burlington will match 10 percent of the federal contribution, or $32,765, the release states.  

“The Burlington Fire Department would like to thank FEMA’s Department of Homeland Security’s Region 1 Fire Program specialists David L. Parr and Lance D. Harbour for their assistance in better preparing the department with the skills to write a successful grant application,” the release says. “Members of the department also extend their thanks to U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Seth Moulton for their continued support of fire services.”

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