ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The Albany Fire Department must replace all its emergency breathing next year. The units' service life ends in 2011.
The city and county bought more than 100 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus in 1996. The National Fire Protection Association says they can't be used longer than 15 years.
It'll cost about $800,000 to buy new tanks, backpack harnesses, regulators, and face masks. Firefighters say the latest technology will be a big improvement.
"It'll be a lot better on the firemen as far as weight. The distribution of the weight, things of that nature. Because with the clothes they are wearing in these hazardous atmospheres is up around 50 pounds. With the new equipment we can reduce some of that weight on them," said Deputy Chief Ron Rowe.
If Dougherty County voters approve extending the SPLOST, sales tax revenue will be used to buy the equipment. If not, the units will have to be paid for out of the city and county budgets.