The Walden Fire District (WFD) is happy to announce the receipt of $50,000 in grant funding provided through the Office of New York Senator James Skoufis (39th District).
Chief Michael McNamee said the district was able to purchase 80 particulate blocking firefighting hoods. These hoods are a huge improvement over previous single layer hoods that acted generally as heat protection only. The new NFPA certified hoods are a special three-layer hood with the center layer specifically designed to filter out microscopic particulates that would normally make way onto the firefighters most vulnerable body area, the neck and head. The purchase of 80 allows the WFD to issue a hood to each of its 38 interior certified members, and retain a ready cache to be exchanged immediately after a fire.
Secondly, the WFD was able to purchase an additional 13 sets of structural firefighting turnout gear above the normal replacement budget. This has allowed them to schedule complete turnout gear replacement for all of interior certified members in 5 years. This new specification of turnout gear is similar to the hoods in that it is designed with features to prevent smoke exposure. Special skirts with elastic like bands prevent smoke from entering traditionally vulnerable areas like under the jacket and up pant legs.
Projecting forward, the WFD will now be able to plan to remove turnout gear from front line use before its mandated retirement age of 10 years, allowing them to readily fit newer interior members with approximately fitting equipment. After 10 years, they are regulated to using turnout gear only for exterior and support firefighters.