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Firefighters sport new air packs

Posted On: June 25, 2020

Firefighters sport new air packs

Volusia County firefighters are breathing easy with recent upgrades to their breathing equipment.

Earlier this month, Volusia County Fire Rescue placed 140 new self-contained breathing apparatus on all front-line fire trucks. The $1.1 million purchase followed months of staff research.

“By upgrading this equipment, we are providing our firefighters with the latest technology in breathing apparatus,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Hussey. “These devices are essential to the health and wellness of our employees and allow us to enter smoke-filled and hazardous environments to protect life and property.” 

The devices, which are not dependent on a remote supply, have three main components: a high-pressure tank, a pressure regulator, and an inhalation connection (mouthpiece, mouth mask or face mask) connected and mounted on a carrying frame. The design emphasis is on heat and flame resistance.

According to Hussey, firefighters will benefit from several important features.

First, each device contains a thermal imaging camera that allows every firefighter to see through smoke in low-visibility conditions. While thermal imaging cameras have been in use for several decades, typically only the crew leader had access to such a device. The new devices give every firefighter immediate access to thermal imaging cameras, helping them locate fire victims, quickly find fire within a structure, show exit pathways, and display fire environment temperatures for better situational awareness.

The devices are also equipped with digital displays that allow firefighters to monitor the air supply level in their bottle. This feature is important to ensure adequate time to exit a smoke-filled environment. 

Additionally, the devices are equipped with firefighter rescue devices and emergency "bail out" rope systems that can be used to rescue a firefighter from a life-threatening situation.

To view a video of Volusia County firefighters discussing and demonstrating the new equipment, visit https://youtu.be/8x6MZInl1IQ.

Caption: Lt. Medic Daniel Pronovost helps Firefighter/EMT Ronald Campe adjust his air tank.

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