SIKESTON - Sikeston firefighters will soon sport new self-contained breathing apparatus.
The purchase of all new SCBA units for Department of Public Safety firefighters was approved by City Council members during their regular meeting Monday.
Director of Public Safety Drew Juden said this marks "the first time in the history of the department" that "wholesale replacement" of the self-contained breathing gear was possible due to the award of a Fire Act Grant.
The 35 SCBA units the department has now are 12 years old and in need of replacement, Juden said.
The purchase also upgrades the department from low pressure to high pressure units which will enable firefighters to stay in hazardous environments longer.
The cost for the new 35 and 70 spare bottles is $156,380. With the addition of radio interface for 20 units, the cost is $169,828 or about $166,544 with the trade in of the old equipment.
Juden said trading in the old equipment is a better choice than selling or donating to a smaller agency "due to liability," although he advised selling the 81 spare bottles for the old system would be a way to help out another agency and lower the city's out-of-pocket cost.
The city had previously budgeted $175,000 for this purchase with $100,000 coming from the Fire Act Grant.