Coweta firefighters to get new air-paks

Thu, 11/19/2009 - 4:01pm
By: Ben Nelms

Coweta firefighters can breathe a little easier with the unanimous decision Nov. 17 by county commissioners to approve the purchase of new breathing devices and other equipment. The new air-paks will replace the older, questionable equipment currently in use.

The $682,000 price tag will be covered by the voter-approved 1-cent sales tax and bond referendum funds.

Fire Chief Johnny Teeters said the purchase would allow the department to replace its aging inventory of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus that do not meet current standards in the areas of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection.

Teeters in a Nov. 9 memo said the purchase will also address what the department feels are potential liability issues concerning design flaws with the air-paks currently in use. He said the aim behind the request is to bring the department’s inventory into compliance with current National Fire Prevention Association standards designed to provide a higher level of safety to firefighters.

Obtaining the new equipment enables the department to significantly reduce the potential for litigation in the event of an incident of serious injury or death from to an air-pak failure due to known, documented and previously litigated design flaws like the ones associated with the department’s current air-pak inventory, Teeters said.

Bids were received from Municipal Emergency Services, Inc. at $682,076 and from American Safety & Fire House, Inc. at $706,730.

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