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White County Starts Process Of Buying New Emergency Services Equipment

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Starts Process Of Buying New Emergency Services Equipment

White County Emergency Services will purchase new PPE equipment for the county’s various fire departments and the rescue squad.

The $36,000 price tag will provide all nine volunteer fire departments with a PPE suit. The rescue squad will get two. Emergency Management Agency Director Matt McBride said he worked with the county to secure the money.

“That was the thing we, I kind of put together to maybe help assist the county fire departments, given that PPE ages out, usually a shelf life of ten years or when it gets within its limits whichever fabric or manufacturers as far as their specs,” McBride said.

McBride said he has a meeting with the Finance Director Chad Marcum this week to begin the process of purchasing the PPE equipment. McBride said he hoped the county handling the purchase would help take pressure off the fire chiefs and the rescue squad chief.

“Maybe we get even a better price discount that there’s 10 or 12 sets of this coming at once coming in at once it could assist with, but it should take some of it off the fire chiefs as far as making the phone calls, setting up the sizing and getting people sized and as far as the logistics of ordering too,” McBride said. “That’s what we’re hoping to help too, maybe take some of that strain off.”

McBride said the idea came from a meeting when he and County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson sat down with local fire chiefs. McBride said funding is the biggest hurdle when it comes to staying up to date on emergency services equipment.

“With the price increase and it’s becoming even more with fundraisers being harder and more difficult to put on, having the manpower issues and stuff to raise money for these departments,” McBride said. “It becomes not only a financial strain, but also this should assist with helping the fire departments with the bidding process.”

PPE is the pants and jacket worn by firefighters and the rescue squad. The difference between the two, is the rescue squad’s suits do not have thermal protection.

“Basically, this will be the coat and pair of pants on the fire departments side that’ll go along with the firefighter’s helmet, gloves, hood and boots to allow firefighters be OSHA and FDA compliment as far as making structural, interior or firefighter activities, it makes them compliant,” McBride said.

McBride said it could take three to five months for the new PPE equipment to get in the hands of rescue workers. He said he appreciates the county commission for working with him on this.

“It shows a good step as far as their support for the fire departments and rescue squad here in this county,” McBride said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I will say I think the general consensus from each fire chief and the rescue squad chief would be a thank you to everyone that was involved in this process.”


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