The Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency requires a 5 percent local match.
The money will be used to replace the department’s self-contained breathing apparatuses that are nearly 20 years old, Crockery Fire Chief Gary Dreyer said. Those masks were manufactured to the 1995 safety standard and no longer meet current standards.
“The breathing apparatus is one of the firefighter’s most important pieces of protective equipment,” Dreyer said. “If a unit fails while the firefighter is in a hazardous environment, it not only risks the life of the firefighter, but also that of the entire crew.”
Dreyer said the department’s air masks were upgraded several years ago to the most cost-effective point. It would cost almost as much to upgrade them again as it would to purchase the new masks, he said.