FVFD boasts new gear

Fairfield VFD volunteer Cody Blair and Chief Matt Foree gave city council members a demonstration of their new gear at the March 13 meeting.
Photo by April Walker

Fairfield Fire Chief Matt Foree and fellow volunteer Cody Blair gave a presentation of their new gear at the March 13 city council meeting. The department finally received the gear after numerous council meetings to discuss the need versus the cost.

Foree explained the department changed the color of their jackets and pants to black in lieu of the previous beige. “Everybody's in favor of the darker gear,” said Foree. “But it still takes the same amount of heat.”

Foree said the department's motto is “Two minutes or less.”

“That's part of the training,” he explained. “Get dressed in two minutes or less. Some can do it in less than a minute.”

The jackets have a removable outer shell which can be cleaned in an extractor to remove chemicals and other health hazards. Each fireman received custom fit gear along with the new air packs.

The previous air packs had a 30 minute life and Foree says firemen were able to get about 20 minutes of air from them. With the new air packs, firemen will have 45 minutes of air which, Foree says, “is important in case someone gets lost or trapped.”

Each air tank must be tested every five years, the pack is tested yearly, and the shelf life of both is about 15 years.

The air tank gauge can also be checked in the fireman's mask and a thermal imager is built into the packs for use in finding hot spots.

“We also now have a Buddy Breather on the tank,” said Foree. “This can be used in case a fireman is down or ran out of air in his tank.”

The Buddy Breather has a mouthpiece attached to a hose in the tank; however, Foree warns it can cut down on the amount of oxygen left with two people breathing at once.

One piece of equipment the department recently purchased – and have never had before – is the RIT bag. RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) bags usually include survival gear such as:



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