Great Falls Fire Rescue recently approved a purchase that's literally as important as the air they breathe, in the form of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
The units supply clean air while firefighters run into a fire. The department recently got a grant to buy new ones for about $8,000 each. They aren't cheap, but they are necessary - it's literally the air they breathe.
"It's an extreme benefit to us as a department, to the community that we're serving," Captain Trevor Johnson said. He was in charge of writing the grant request and added that their lifespan is about 15 years and are that much closer to completely outfitting their fleet.
They plan on buying 10 SCBAs with the $100,000 grant, and will use the remaining money to buy bottles and are excited to get the new units to help with firefighting efforts.
"With this, we're able to extend our fire operations for a large scale incident," Johnson said. "We can continue to carry our operation throughout more than one work period. So it's going to be extremely beneficial."
In addition to the extra packs, GFFR recently added four new firefighters as well.
Colter Lund is one of them. He's been on the job about a week but is getting plenty of experience and he is ready for something new and exciting. He's only used a SCBA in training but says he's learning a lot.
"Everything is fun. Got a lot of experience running medical calls, which was good for me because I had a previous experience with medicals, structures, things like that," Lund said. "It was just great to work with my engine company and get to know the guys. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and that'll be the goal throughout."
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