r Mountain Times - Lead
  Your Mountain,
 Your Newspaper
· Home ·  Classifieds · Columnists · Events · Gallery · Opinion ·
· Local Links · Story Archives · Tell A Friend · Contact Us ·
Pic of the month

Main Menu
· Home
· Classifieds
· Columnists
· Event Calendar
· Gallery
· Lead Stories
· Tell A Friend
· View from the mountain

Who's Online
There are currently, 39 guest(s) and 0 Staff Online.

Search for stories containing:
Grant funding offers a new breath for HFD equipment posted on 02/01/2023

After an extensive testing and review process of leading self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), Hoodland Fire District (HFD) has added new SCBA’s that offer improvements in ease-of-use and ergonomics through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

“The new SCBAs have better visibility,” HFD Lieutenant/Paramedic Evan Jarvis said. “The mask doesn’t feel as heavy. They’re a lot more comfortable and easier to wear.”

The fire district was awarded the FEMA grant in August 2021 for the replacement of all the district’s SCBAs. The grants are offered by FEMA every year since 2001 to provide funding for “critically needed resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.”

“An SCBA is worn any time we’re working in a IDOH (In Danger of Hazard) environment,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshal/Paramedic Scott Kline said.

These critical pieces of protective gear were last upgraded in 2008 and met 2007 standards at the time. The SCBA’s are evaluated for safe use based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and become obsolete after approximately 15 years of usage.

“After 2022 (the district’s previous SCBAs) would not meet the safety standard set forth by the NFPA,” Kline said.

The district acquired the new SCBAs, produced by the company MSA Safety, in August and began utilizing the new protective gear in November after a two-month training period.

The training period assured that paid and volunteer staff would be adequately familiarized with the differences of the new equipment before having to use them at a major fire event.

“If something happens to the new packs, we wanted to be prepared to fix the issue,” Jarvis said.

A SCBA consists of a facemask, backpack, straps and an air bottle. A significant change with the new units is that the voice box and Bluetooth electronics used for communicating in the field have been shifted from the mask to the pack, which reduces the weight and strain on the firefighter’s head.

“The (new) pack is heavier than the old one but feels lighter due to improved ergonomics,” Jarvis said.

The new packs also have an adjustable lumbar plate to improve comfort for different height users.

“This is a great feature because firefighters come in all sizes,” HFD Senior Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Nicholson said.

The air bottles are now attached by quarter-turn quick-connect as opposed to a threaded attachment.

“This is a huge improvement that we really like,” Jarvis said.

He added that the quick-connect will allow firefighters to reduce the time needed to switch out the air bottles during a major fire.

The district tested three leading brands of SCBAs during the selection process. Paid staff and volunteers drilled with the gear and then submitted reviews based on a grading system which was then tallied to assure an objective process.

The MSA SCBAs substantially won the grading system review process. The packs also received positive review from neighboring fire districts that were previously using the gear.

The grant money will enable the district to purchase 31 masks and packs, 62 refillable bottles and ten extra masks.

More information about the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is available online at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters.

Hoodland Fire District can be contacted by email at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org or online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/.

By Ben Simpson/MT




Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

All material ©2008 The Mountain Times and may not be reproduced/distributed in any form without written permission from the publisher.
CONTACT US: Garth Guibord, Editor/Publisher
The Mountain Times, PO Box 1031, Welches OR 97067 
Peggy Wallace, peggy@mountaintimesoregon.com

Web Site Design Precision Artists 
PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.