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franklin county times
Shane Mansell displays one of Russellville Fire Department’s air packs. The RFD is teaming up with JMCM Consulting to write a grant that would give the department 25 new air packs to replace the current ones.

RFD aims for new air packs

At the Oct. 16 Russellville City Council meeting, the council approved a request for the Russellville Fire Department to apply for the 2017 Assistance Firefighters Grant for new air packs.

According to RFD’s Rhett Bradford, the new air packs will bring the department up to the compliance standards set by the National Fire Protection Association.

This is the third year the department will have applied for the grant, but this year RFD is doing it a little bit differently.

“We’re working with the JMCM consulting service to help us write the grant. They have a high success rate, so we’re hopeful,” Bradford said.

He said part of working with JMCM requires that the service receives 5 percent of the federally-funded amount given to the department if the grant is approved.

The last time RFD received new air packs through the grant was in 2005.

“We want to replace those SCBAs. We can’t do our jobs without them,” Bradford said.

SCBA stands for self-contained breathing apparatus. The grant would supply the department with 25 of those air packs at roughly $160,000.

Bradford said each of those units would contain the harness, two bottles and the face mask.

According to Fire Chief Joe Mansell, the department’s current air masks will go out of date in 2020 because they have a shelf life of 15 years.

“Our air masks are at least two upgrades behind since we received these in 2005. That doesn’t mean ours are bad, but we’re quickly approaching the deadline for needing new ones,” Mansell said.

He said the upgrades included in the new air masks include a new low air alarm that alerts the firefighter when he or she has only about 10 minutes of air left; RFD’s current packs send out the alert at five minutes. It is also a rule now that all of the alarms emit the same sound, even though the packs might be made by different companies.

Another upgrade is that the mask will be able to withstand higher temperatures.

“We’re grateful that the mayor and the council understand how important this is,” Mansell said.

The council also voted on the following issues:

  • Declared October as Cares Enough to Wear Pink Month for the firefighters and Oct. 16 as Cares Enough to Wear Pink Day to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness.
  • Approved a proposal for engineering services for 2016 TAP Project on Lauderdale Street, Madison Street and Coffee Avenue sidewalks
  • Approved the Russellville Municipal Airport to apply for a grant for federal assistance.
  • Approved the revised volunteer firefighter roster.
  • Accepted the letter of resignation from Sgt. Jessica Clements in the Russellville Police Department.
  • Declared a vacancy for sergeant in RPD.
  • Approved claim submitted by Mary Abernathy to have the city pay for the replacement of her tire after a car incident.

 

 

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