The Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department recently received grants to help them make a much needed upgrade to some of their equipment.
Fire Chief Randy Love says they are in need of new airpacks because some are over 20 years-old and the newest models are from 2003. The department received a $35,000 grant from Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation, a $11,196 grant from Greene County Community Foundation and $10,000 from the City of Jefferson. However, not all of the airpacks will be replaced this year because each new airpack is $8,000, but Love points out it could’ve been even more expensive.
“The only thing that we’re not getting them with is the radio integration. But we’re not too worried about that because we’re getting the amplifiers so that we can definitely hear each fireman clearly because it is kind of muffled inside the mask.”
One of the issues with the current airpacks is that they are not National Fire Protection Association certified, which Love adds doesn’t make the equipment unsafe. The airpacks do get used frequently by the department.
“They do get a lot of abuse because we’re crawling through tight areas and things like that. So we figured it’s just better off to replace them and get the new ones and hopefully that will last us quite a few years depending on their use.”
Love expects to replace at least half of the airpacks this year and replace the rest next year.