New SCBA gear purchased

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By Jeffery Smith jsmith@the-leader.com

CORNING – City firefighters are currently being trained to use 24 self-contained breathing apparatus, a device worn to provide breathable air in an immediately dangerous to life or health atmosphere.

The Corning Fire Department received a $137,143 federal grant in May to replace the department’s current breathing apparatus, said City Manager Mark Ryckman. The local match was $11,473.

“These grants reduce the cost to property taxpayers,” said Mayor Rich Negri. “Each dollar in grant funding is one less property tax dollar that has to be raised.”

Ryckman agreed.

“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs,” Ryckman said. “I am proud of the staff’s efforts to efficiently manage budgets by using grants.”

Corning Fire Chief Brad Davies said firefighters are being trained on the operation of the new equipment and they will be placed in service by the end of September.

“This is essential equipment to allow firefighters to perform their duties in situations where the atmosphere is unbreathable,” Davies said.

A self-contained breathing apparatus sometimes referred to as a compression air breathing apparatus, is a device worn by rescue workers, firefighters and others to provide breathable air to firefighters.

The department’s current SCBA cylinders are reaching end of their service life, Ryckman said. They were purchased in 2003.

The new equipment will better protect firefighters while they are performing firefighting duties, Davies said. The new SCBA are expected to have a service life of 15 years.

Fire Department Lt. Thomas Margeson said the new breathing apparatus are more comfortable to wear and more effective than units currently used by city firefighters.

“These units will be a great improvement,” Margeson said.”We’re all looking forward to completing the training to use the (SCBA) equipment.” 

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