BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services is receiving equipment that will help them breathe a lot easier.
According to a BSO news release, all frontline fire rescue personnel will receive a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to replace their 2007 edition air packs.
SCBA is one of the most essential tools of personal protection for fire rescue personnel.
“The new SCBAs are up to date with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. The apparatuses are more comfortable and maneuverable to wear, and the masks have a higher temperature rating,” according to BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.
Authorities said the improvements will allow firefighters to stay in hazardous conditions longer, perform critical interior operations and save lives.
“The agency-wide upgrade was necessary and certainly well overdue,” said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony in a news release. “These are the air packs our firefighters wear when they’re dealing with fires or any type of hazardous environment that impacts their ability to breathe safely.”
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters.
Each apparatus contains a compressed air tank, harness and face mask and was designed to protect firefighters from breathing in toxins and dangerous chemicals.
“These new SCBAs will provide each firefighter clean air, allowing them to operate safely in the numerous environments they may enter that are imminently dangerous to life and health,” BSO Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Dorsette said in a news release. “They will allow us to operate more efficiently in our quest to preserve property and save lives.”