AAFD Awarded AFG Grant for SCBA Replacement
Fire Department Awarded $2.9 Million for Breathing Apparatus Replacement
United States Senator Barbara Mikulski today formally announced the awarding of $2.9 million in federal grant money to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department for replacement of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program award will be used to replace SCBA that has been in service since 2003.
The current SCBA purchased in 2003 was built to the 2002 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard. While the breathing apparatus are still serviceable, they are not compliant with two newer versions of the NFPA standards and are over 10 years old, ranking them as obsolete. More critically, they do not afford personnel the most technologically advanced level of protection available.
The grant will allow the Department to purchase 531 sets of SCBA- which is a complete replacement of all breathing apparatus used by career and volunteer firefighters. It also provides funding for the purchase of 1300 face-pieces allowing the continuation of the personal face-piece program, providing a personal face-piece for each response certified career and volunteer member of the Department.
The new SCBA will be built to the NFPA 2013 standard which provides enhanced safety features over the current SCBA. The new breathing apparatus will provide for a higher level of protection through improved lens durability (the weakest part of the respiratory protection system), improved speech communication and improved emergency breathing supply system. Additionally the new breathing apparatus provides for improvements in the integrated Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) by enhancing the device's sound patterns.
“Our current SCBA is nearing the end of its useful life and is outdated by two sets of NFPA standards. The grant will allow us to replace this vital equipment at a significant cost savings to the county tax payer and will help firefighters safely protect our citizens well into the future” said Fire Chief Michael Cox. Anne Arundel County’s portion of the purchase cost is approximately $400,000.