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City is getting new fire gear

November 03, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

The Hagerstown Fire Department will use more than $280,000 in federal money to replace old equipment and buy new equipment, Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said Monday.

For the city to use the money, it must spend about $31,000 to support the grant, for a total of $313,786 in new spending.

"A lot of the things have to do with firefighter safety," Hawbaker said.

Included in the new items are:

· Two Rapid Intervention Team packs, which contain an emergency air supply and tools, and aid firefighters who become trapped when responding to a fire or other emergency.

· A testing system for self-contained breathing equipment.

· Air bags and structural supports to be used in building collapses.

· New mechanical extracting and rescue devices.

The replacement and upgraded items include:

· Eighty sets of fire-resistant pants, coats, boots, gloves and safety helmets.

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· Water rescue equipment.

· Ten sets of emergency breathing equipment.

· Twelve sets of hazardous material resistant coveralls.

The city's was among 1,087 local fire departments that received money in this most recent round of grants under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, according to a release.

Last week, DHS announced a total of $89.5 million in grants under the program. Twelve fire departments in Maryland received awards.

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