South Chilton Fire receives FEMA grant

Published 11:09 am Monday, December 24, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

South Chilton Fire and Rescue has received a FEMA grant to replace outdated equipment.

Fire Chief Jordan Davis said the department was able to purchase 10 self-controlled breathing apparatuses with accompanying air tanks using the funds.

“FEMA said everyone needed to update,” Davis said.

These new air packs have a new feature that will help keep the firefighters safe. Davis said each of the face masks is equipped with thermal imaging to allow firefighters to see better in smoke and find people faster.

“The thermal imaging is a game changer because you can go into a fire and see the person in front of you … it picks up body heat,” Davis said.

Davis said the department had previously used a bulkier thermal imaging machine, which had to be carried. Now, the firefighter will have the benefit of the equipment as well as a free hand.

The department also purchased a rapid intervention team kit.

“If a firefighter goes down, you can put this RIT kit on and give them air from that bottle,” Davis said.

In total, all the equipment purchased cost about $70,000.

Davis said the packs were purchased from Scott Fire & Safety because it was a lower price than some options, had the thermal imaging and had a good warranty.

South Chilton Fire and Rescue is a volunteer fire department with 11 members serving Maplesville addresses.