TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, was recently awarded nearly a half-million-dollar grant from the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to replace the department’s stock of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
“It’s a huge safety improvement for the entire department,” said Jim Dickerson, Assistant Fire Chief of Operations.
The new SCBA will be equipped with several new safety features, including a “heads-up display,” that shows firefighters how much air is left in their breathing apparatus and a “transfill hose,” which allows a firefighter to transfer air from the breathing apparatus he or she is wearing to the apparatus of another firefighter. Another invaluable safety requirement on the new SCBA that was implemented after Sept. 11, 2001, is exposure protection to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear related agents.
“The new grant will allow every firefighter on duty to have one of the upgraded breathing apparatus,” Dickerson said.
The Lake County Fire Rescue Division currently employs 180 professional firefighters that are dual trained as either emergency medical technicians or paramedics. These firefighters staff 18 fire stations throughout the County 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the Lake County Fire Rescue Division, call (352) 343-9458.