MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/1/13) – Last Wednesday afternoon Congressman Ed Whitfield presented a check of $205,569 to the Madisonville Fire Department for new oxygen equipment.
Mayor David Jackson expressed, “Congressman Whitfield continues to be a strong advocate of our protective services personnel. In his lending support to our grant application, which played an important role in the city of Madisonville being selected for this award.” This particular grant program is highly competitive. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) receives 25,000 applicants each year.
A demonstration of both the new and old equipment was given to show the differences and improvements of the equipment. Major Ray Wyatt expressed, “We are so grateful for the grant the government has allotted us. We firefighters rely on air packs, it is our life line.” Other than the visible differences in the packs, even though the new packs are smaller, they still hold the same pressure as the old ones, which is very important. “The air packs have an alarm that signals when there is a low pressure, which allows them to know when they have gotten to point where they need to turn around and back out. The new packs, when the air supply is at 25% it alarms. There is a new standard at 33% and our old packs are out of date,” stated Wyatt. Another new feature that the air packs have to allow for more efficient rescue is the capability to go in with another air supply and hook right up to the other air pack and equalize the air pressure in the tank. The old ones do not have this feature. The speaking apparatus and the pack belts have also been improved, which is a huge advancement and ensures more safety.
“Since this fire grant program began, I believe that Madisonville has received over a million dollars in grants and that speaks well not only for the grant writers but the team that is in line of protection for citizens. And I want to thank them, for their contribution they make. It’s not an easy job, a lot of danger involved, and we can’t thank you enough and appreciate for all that you do,” stated Congressman Whitfield.
Currently they are training with the new equipment. However, they are still using old air packs in their daily routines. “We want to thank Congressman Whitfield for his support and making it possible for the city of Madisonville to receive this grant,” stated Mayor Jackson.
Photos Provided by Amber Mena
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