New air packs, thermal imaging equipment soon for Rockland
ROCKLAND – Rockland Fire and EMS received word Monday, July 9, that a $239,000 grant request has been approved in full through the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
The fire department submitted a grant back in January of this year to replace the department's aging Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or SCBA, according to a news release.
"We hope to have the new equipment by early to mid-fall of this year," Fire and EMS Chief Chris Whytock said in the release.
With the funding now available, Rockland Fire and EMS will be replacing all of its 32 air packs with current NFPA-compliant packs, Whytock said in the release. This upgrade will bring with it many new safety features that will allow firefighters to operate more safely in an already dangerous condition.
Along with that, the department will purchase thermal imaging cameras that mount directly to the firefighters’ face pieces allowing them to harness lifesaving technology, all while doing it hands free.
Two Rapid Intervention Packs, which are used when a firefighter is hurt or trapped within a building, will also be purchased. This pack is used by a specially-trained group of firefighters in the event that a firefighter is in need of saving.
Rockland Fire and EMS would like to thank all who were involved in this long and sometimes stressful process.
“This successful grant didn't come without some struggles and trying times,” Whytock said. “We are very fortunate to always have the backing of City Hall and the Rockland City Council and we thank them for all they do for the employees and the citizens of this great city.”