Breathable air is as critical as water to fighting a structure fire, which is why firefighters wear self-contained breathing apparatus.
On Friday, East Fork Fire Protection District announced it received a $630,000 grant to replace its self-contained breathing apparatus.
“With the grant and with the district’s 10 percent contribution, we will be able to replace all our (breathing apparatus) at one time and with latest technologies,” Chief Tod Carlini said.
The funding comes from a $1.77 million grant shared between five agencies with East Fork receiving the largest share due to its size.
The funding is provided by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
Each organization will be utilizing the grant to replace breathing apparatus equipment due to their fast-approaching operational life expectancy. The departments will soon be equipped with the most up-to-date safety features. The new apparatus will enhance interoperability between theses mutual aid partners.
The grant will be administered by the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.
Carlini thanked that agency, and their Chief, Ryan Sommers, for taking on this effort.
“The administration of federal grants can be a daunting task and requires high attention to detail and accounting,” Carlini said.
The breathing apparatus have a maximum life of 15 years.
Carlini said the units currently in service in East Fork are 13 years old. By the time the new units arrive, the 15-year life span will be coming to an end.
“It is absolutely critical that we do all we can to provide the safest and most current equipment that we can to our firefighters,” Carlini said.
Other agencies receiving funding include the Carson City Fire Department, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and Smith Valley Fire Protection District.