Fire Department seeks $475,000 for breathing units today
Posted: 01/25/2010 12:00:00 AM MST
EL PASO -- The city Fire Department continues to stock up on equipment and plan for a regional disaster or terrorist attack. Firefighters will ask the City Council on Tuesday to approve spending $475,000 of federal grant money to purchase about 120 self-contained breathing units. If approved, this would be the second significant purchase by the Fire Department in as many weeks using federal funds. Last week, the council approved spending $900,000 to buy a state-of-the-art mobile command vehicle. This purchase is part of an effort to equip all fire departments in the region with interchangeable equipment, El Paso Fire Chief Otto Drozd said. It also is intended to improve coordination among different agencies that would respond to a major emergency, he said. Many of the region's fire departments currently use different types of breathing equipment, he said. These new self-contained breathing units would be used by the city and by smaller fire departments such as Horizon City, West Valley, Socorro, San Elizario, Fabens, Clint and Montana Vista. "This will improve the region's ability to respond as a unified force to large-scale natural and man-made disasters," he said. No city funds are needed for the purchase, Drozd said. The units would include air tanks, packs to hold the tanks and masks. They would be bought from Fire Service Equipment Inc. of El Paso.