HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - An area town has been saving up for a much needed upgrade for their fire department’s self-contained breathing apparatus.
The masks that the Hoxie Fire Department uses for their self contained breathing apparatus are over 15 years old.
That's more than 15 years worth of wear and tear that have made the masks less effective at not only getting breathable air to the firefighters, but at allowing them to see clearly during a fire as well.
“The ones we have are starting to tear, the rubber inside is starting to deteriorate, the lenses are getting scratched up really bad and we basically can’t see anytime we’re wearing our SCBAs” said Fire Chief Chris Ditto.
Ditto said the new masks are fitted specially to each firefighter, which will help ensure extra protection from smoke inhalation on a call.
“We really push hard to wear our SCBA units at all times, on any type of fire. Vehicle, grass, we’re wearing it for anything to try and prevent firefighter death later on down the road.” said Ditto.
The Hoxie Fire Department raised over $2,000 for the new equipment through fundraisers.
Ditto said that SCBAs are a very important part of firefighter safety for every department, and it’s something they have been saving for quite some time.