Clarendon firefighters soon-to-be better equippedOctober 10,2012By SANDI SWITZER
CLARENDON — Volunteer firefighters will be sporting new air packs next year thanks to a sizable FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant.
The Clarendon Fire Association was among the first fire departments in New England to receive the highly competitive grant, according to Matthew Jakubowski, the town’s emergency management director and a volunteer firefighter.
“The grant was for $91,194 with a federal share of $86,635 and a local share of $4,559,” he said.
Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will be used to purchase personal protective equipment and replace outdated items nearly two decades old.
“We’re going to use it to buy 10 new air packs, 20 face pieces and 24 cylinders,” Jakubowski said.
The old air cylinders were made of aluminum and steel, while the new ones would be comprised of fiberglass and about 5 pounds lighter, he explained.
“The old ones held 30 minutes of air and the new ones will hold 45 minutes of air,” Jakubowski said.
Other equipment features include “voice amps” on face masks to improve communication between firefighters as well as alert systems that sound off after two minutes of no movement, he said.
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