By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A federal grant will fund new air packs and face masks to help all Yukon firefighters breathe easier.
The Yukon Fire Department will receive $232,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to purchase 36 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units.
The City of Yukon will be responsible for a $23,200 cost share.
Funds will be used for the new SCBA units, which include 72 cylinders and 41 face masks.
“Every firefighter will get their own mask and we will have five extra masks for use,” Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt said.
These SCBA units will be the “latest and safest model” now available that meets or exceeds National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) safety standards, according to Vogt.
FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant award was approved at the Aug. 18 Yukon City Council meeting.
“Next year, our (SCBA) units are going to be 15 years old because we purchased them in 2006,” Chief Vogt explained. “Our maintenance cost on them has really increased and they’re starting to get pretty worn down.”
The current cylinders and air packs will longer meet the NFPA safety standards for firefighter breathing apparatus, the Yukon fire chief noted.
“We were talking with the City about purchasing new air packs in the coming year and were hoping to get this grant,” he said. “So, we were real excited to get the grant.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time actually, the way the economy is.”
The YFD was notified of the grant award on July 31.
The current YFD inventory consists of 25 SCBA units and 69 cylinders.
After the new equipment arrives, Yukon fire personnel will keep some of the older units for training and “surplus” or donate the rest.
FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, offered through the Department of Homeland Security, is “to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.”
Chief Vogt said he hopes to order the new grant-funded firefighter breathing equipment “in the next three to four months.”
11th STREET DRAINAGE
The Yukon City Council has approved spending $76,266.64 to alleviate some drainage issues along 11th Street, at the request of Ward 4 Council Member Aric Gilliland.
Brewer Construction Oklahoma LLC will regrade and replace driveway drainage culvert pipes on both side of the road between a drainage box at Taylor Park to the south driveway of a home at 900 N 11th.