Grant helps purchase upgraded breathing apparatus kits for Bulloch Co. firefighters

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 4:08 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Dozens of firefighters in Bulloch County will soon be breathing easier, thanks to a federal grant.

In simplest of terms, you can’t fight the fire if you can’t breathe. The grant will help them upgrade the equipment fire crews use the most.

The $269,000 grant from FEMA will help replace and upgrade self-contained breathing apparatus kits. It will mean models that weigh less but hold more air.

Bulloch County’s fire chief says a higher quality of equipment can make a difference to a firefighter’s health but also whether someone wants to work there or not.

“When people see the new apparatuses that we’re purchasing. When they see the trucks that we’re replacing. When they see the level of commitment the commissioners have, that goes a lot,” Bulloch Fire Chief Ben Tapley said.

He says they applied for this federal grant at the beginning of the year.

Each kit runs about $10,000 each and they must be replaced every 12 to 15 years. These actually weigh less and carry more oxygen for firefighters.