KULPMONT — The Kulpmont Fire Department was recently recipient of new protective equipment received through a state grant (along with firefighter relief funding) of approximately $40,000.
“It’s recommended that PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) be replaced every 7 to 10 years or sooner, depending on wear and damage,” noted Matt Siko, who was very pleased and thankful regarding the equipment upgrade. “The last major purchase for the Kulpmont Fire Department was in 2004.”
“At that time, the purchase was paid for by a federal grant,” explained Siko. “Unfortunately, we were denied twice for federal funding to purchase PPE, thus this purchase was paid for through state grants and with firefighter relief funding.”
The equipment was purchased by the department from 911 Rapid Response, of Annville, whom Siko described as “a pleasure to deal with throughout the entire process.”
On top of the structural PPE, several sets of non-structural PPE were purchased through a package option. According to Siko, this was done to help offset the wear and potential damage caused to structural PPE at non-structural incidents such as vehicle collisions and other rescue assignments.
“The cost to replace non-structural PPE is approximately one-third of that to replace structural PPE,” Siko added.
As part of the gear package, new fire protection hoods were purchased for each firefighter, designed to prevent and lower the risk of cancer-causing contaminants.
Siko noted a major attribute of the new gear is it’s lighter than the prior equipment.
“It certainly further aids us in doing our job as it cuts down exertion due to the weight of gear,” Siko added.
According to Siko, the next major equipment purchase will be focused on replacing aging self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and upgrading firefighting accessories like boots and gloves.