FEMA grant-funded safety gear deployed to firefighters in Washington County
In July, 235 new Scott 3X Pro self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and 700 air cylinders were deployed on all Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue frontline fire apparatus, thanks to a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
The grant application was submitted on behalf of all Washington County fire agencies by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue. Awarded grant funds were allocated to TVF&R, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District, Cornelius Fire Department, Cornelius Rural Fire Protection District, Gaston Rural Fire District, Banks Fire District, and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue to replace their current air pack equipment that was nearing and/or had reached their end of service life.
Extensive testing of multiple brands of SCBAs was performed before picking an option that included technological innovations and universal features that greatly improve firefighter performance and safety when battling fires.
Advancements include enhanced communication and amplification, which is critical to ensuring efficient and effective firefighting efforts and overall safety for responders. The selected air pack is also more ergonomic and lighter weight, allowing for a wider range of motion and reduced risk of injury.
“Replacing our air packs to the Scott 3X Pro model will be a game changer when it comes to firefighter performance and safety,” said TVF&R Respiratory Protection Program Coordinator John Lee, who led the deployment effort on July 12.
“The new SCBAs have technologically advanced capabilities that far surpass our existing, aged equipment,” he added. “We are grateful for the coordinated effort by our Washington County fire agency partners, who helped secure the grant, making this SCBA replacement come to fruition.”
The FEMA grant awarded to the Washington County fire agencies will cover 90 percent of overall costs for the regional SCBA replacement, with each agency contributing to the remaining 10 percent of the cost. By coordinating regionally, this also standardized equipment with all fire agencies, who often respond mutually on larger fires.
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