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Perrysburg Fire Division upgrades equipment

$167,000 federal grant helped purchase new gear for Perrysburg Fire Division.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WNWO) - The Perrysburg Fire Division received a federal grant for $167,000 to help purchase new rescue equipment. Some of their gear was in need of an upgrade.

"For firefighter safety we should be replacing certain things approximately every 10 years," said Fire Chief Rudy Ruiz. "These old SCBA's, self-contained breathing apparatus, are considered obsolete."

These items don't come cheap. A whole set can cost upwards of $6,000. Thanks to the grant, it was entirely covered.

"We were able to purchase 27 SCBA’s with an additional spare bottle," said Ruiz.

The crews are better equipped to do what they do best.

"Running EMS, being able to fight fires…it's every kids dream," said Kyle Schilkey, a firefighter and paramedic.

Aside from being the most up-to-date, the new gear has a few perks.

“It has more technology in it,” said Schilkey. “It can actually do data logging and tell what happened in the fire."

All of this helps those running into the fire to be more efficient in getting people out of the fire.

"We can read our gauges a bit better and see how much air we have left,” said Schilkey.

To put it into perspective, the old packs could only hold 30 minutes of air.

"Realistically, you only get about half that," said Schilkey. "With the bigger bottles we have more time to get in, get the job done and get back out."

The new SCBA’s have 45 minutes worth of air per bottle. The new packs are also going to put less strain on our firefighting teams.

“This is obviously lighter, provides less fatigue for firefighters, fits a little better,” said Ruiz.

The grant was also able to purchase each firefighter his or her own face mask.

"We make sure each face piece is fit to each firefighter," said Ruiz. "Now no one is sharing them.”

PFD’s face mask will also have Bluetooth technology, so firefighters can talk through radio easier.

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