Potter County Fire Department approved for new equipment to protect firefighters from cancer

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POTTER COUNTY, Texas (KFDA) - Potter County commissioners approved about $500,000 in equipment for the Potter County Fire Department.

Potter County Fire Department Chief Richard Lake says the investment is important because it keeps crews safer from equipment issues that can appear over time.

“When you go to a structure fire, you have carcinogens contaminating smoke particles and things that basically degrade the gear,” said Chief Lake. “It exposes our members to carcinogens. We still have guys getting cancer, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it from happening. So, it we’re able to come back and say that this helped, then I’m all for it.”

There has been a need for more equipment to make sure firefighters are always protected from the cancer risk.

“The price of fire equipment has gone up and up in recent years, and a lot of that is due to mandates” said Chief Lake. “A lot of that is due to the fact that there has been an increase in diagnoses of first responders coming down with cancer, and finding scientifically they’re able to determine that the gear that is being exposed to these carcinogens during the fires, is what they call off-gassing after the fire, and is still contaminating people even after they’ve cleaned up.”

The department was approved for a new Freight-liner Pumper Firetruck from Daco Fire equipment for around $319,101.

Commissioners also approved money for 55 new ReTrack helmets, Gore hoods, leather gloves, 16 Vesapro Coats with name lettering, 16 Verapro Pants, and 16 42-inch length suspenders totaling around $49,388.00.

Firefighters will also be receiving 55 Globe boots, Gxtreme jackets, 55 Gxtreme pants, and 490 Scotch-lite letters totaling around $144,145.50.

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