The Pea Ridge Fire-EMS Department recently received the self-contained breathing apparatus they ordered several months ago.
"We ordered them right after they were approved early last summer," Fire Chief Jared Powell said, explaining that the 20 SCBA packs and 40 bottles were approved for purchase in March.
"The old ones were out of compliance with NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association)," he said, adding that the old ones can be used for training not on live fires and to teach firefighters proper air management and SCBA confidence drills.
He said using the SCBA packs is not like breathing when one works out but has two settings and requires training to use effectively. "There is constant pressure inside the mask," he said.
The bottles will work with an air-filling station donated by Dr. Karen Sherman a couple of years ago, Powell said.
"We are able to assign a mask to every firefighter," he said.
"We've ordered, with that purchase, pack tracking software that allows us to download that software onto a Windows based tablet and know where every pack that is turned on is located," he said, explaining that can provide an additional safety mechanism for firefighters. "we can be sure it's turned on and functioning and get vital information off that pack including how much air is remaining... we have a whole lot better accountability for personnel and safety."
"I'm extremely grateful to the mayor, the council, the city for approving this purchase," Powell said. "We were all so excited. When they saw the truck coming in, they were waiting and rushed out to meet the driver. It was like Christmas!"