Fire department at risk of fines for old equipment

Fire department at risk of fines for old equipment
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

CARDWELL, MO (KAIT) - A local fire department does not have the funding to update its outdated equipment, so it is looking for the community's help.

Members of the Cardwell Fire Department worry how this could affect them.

"We could face a big fine," said Assistant Chief Lonnie Ward.

Ward said the city would be issued a fine if someone dies in a fire all because they have expired equipment.

"OSHA could fine you big time, up to $100,000 if they wanted to per violation," Ward said.

The firefighters are currently using material that expired several years ago.

Ward showed Region 8 News the rips and tears on a piece of turn out gear. Inside, the tag read that manufacturers made the product in 1998.

"The equipment expires after 10 years," Ward said. "This is 18 years old."

Cardwell volunteer firefighters still use the expired gear, though, even down to the water hose.

The department needs about $100,000 minimum to update all of the equipment.

"The state says you must update the equipment every 10 years," he said. "That means all the way up from your helmet down to your shoes."

Ward said the city does not have the funding for new equipment. He said they rely on the community.

"We do a lot of fundraisers," Ward said. "We are fundraising people to death."

According to Ward, the department has looked into grants but said they even ran into an issue with that.

"To get a grant they usually want you to have training and to train you have to have updated equipment," he said.

Anyone interested in donating to the Cardwell Fire Department can contact city hall at (573) 654-2112.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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