Wednesday, May 25 , 2016, 6:37 pm | A Few Clouds 68º




Santa Barbara Firefighters to Receive $591,000 DHS Grant

City department will use the federal funding to buy new breathing apparatus packs

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina |

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department will receive new breathing apparatus packs to help crews do their jobs.

"This truly is a career event for the current firefighters," Battalion Chief Mike De Ponce said. "It's a pretty amazing opportunity to truly get state-of-the-art equipment that will provide the top safety features for our Fire Department."

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday is expected to accept a $591,311 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase 85 self-contained breathing apparatus packs.

The packs contain face masks, spare cylinders, voice amplifiers and in-seat mounting brackets. The packs are to firefighters what SCUBA tanks are to divers; they allow the firefighters to breathe when fighting fires, entering hazardous material zones and many other situations firefighters encounter.

"Firefighters were getting killed or hurt by staying in the building, and they didn't have enough air to extricate themselves from the environment," De Ponce said. "These packs would give us additional time to get out of whatever environment we were in."

De Ponce said the packs are typically updated once a decade, but the Fire Department has not had new packs in more than 20 years.

The previous packs would alert firefighters through a vibration when they were down to 25 percent of their air; the new containers alert firefighters when they are at 33 percent and are color-coded so the firefighters also get a visual update.

The new packs will bring the Fire Department into compliance with current Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, which recently changed.

"The department is very pleased to received the grant for the extra protection and new equipment," administrative services manager Ronald Liechti said, adding that it is the largest grant in the Fire Department's history.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

 

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.