The firefighters at Agassiz Fire Hall are “elated” they’ll soon all be using the same safety equipment when entering a burning building.
The firehall has ordered 21 identical self-contained breathing apparatus packs, rather than their current varied supply.
The units are a mandatory item, but the models have been updated over the past several years. The Agassz Fire Department has three different versions. That means each firefighter needed to be trained on three different packs, and had to be aware of what pack they were wearing at all times.
“With only one type of pack, you’re taking that thought process out of the equation,” Fire Chief Wayne Dyer said.
“We needed to eliminate that,” he said.
The new packs are also an improvement in what the department is currently using. They can “buddy breathe” with someone who isn’t wearing a pack. That means quicker access to air for victims inside a burning building.
They also have a heat sensor that alert the firefighter when to leave a burning building, such as the recent house fire at Morrow Road.
“You could not go into the south side of the house without a breathing apparatus,” Dyer told council recently.
The department, which operates through the District of Kent, asked council for the money to buy the units last year, and $25,000 was put aside in the budget.
The total price of the 21 units is $111,302.86 plus GST. That cost will be spread over five years. They require 21 units, as that is the total number of seats available on all department trucks combined.
The amount was approved at the January 18 Kent council meeting, and includes a discount for selling back the old units to Rocky Mountain Phoenix, the company the units are being ordered from.