Little Canada OKs new breathing apparatus for fire department

The Little Canada Fire Department is getting a new self-contained breathing apparatus.

The purchase of the equipment was approved Jan. 9 during the Little Canada City Council’s first meeting of the year.

The city budgeted $180,000 for the purpose in its 2019 general capital improvement fund, and the actual purchase price will come in at $177,514, according to a memo to the council.

“[The] self-contained breathing apparatus [is] by far the most important piece of personal safety equipment that we use,” Fire Chief Don Smiley said in the memo. The scuba tank-like gear is used so firefighters can breath in smoke-filled situations.

Smiley explained in the memo that the fire department’s current breathing apparatus was purchased in 2004, and per federal law, such equipment — specifically the air tanks — must be retired after 15 years of use. He added that since 2004 there have been multiple improvements and advancements in the gear.

The most costly piece of equipment the department will be purchasing, per the memo, is the harness system — it’s buying 22 of them at just more than $3,600 apiece.

Smiley said during the meeting the department is buying the same model it currently uses, and that while the new apparatus is more advanced, there should be some continuity to make the switchover go smoothly.

Council members noted that it was an expensive purchase, but necessary.

“This has been planned for a while and it’s good to make sure [the fire department has] the equipment you need,” Mayor John Keis said to Smiley.


—Mike Munzenrider

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