Canyon Fire Department gets nearly $300K to buy new air packs

Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 8:24 PM CDT
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CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - The Canyon Fire Department has secured approval for essential upgrades.

The Canyon City Commission approved the purchase of 30 new air packs for the fire department.

A firefighter’s air pack is a self-contained breathing apparatus and is a critical part in keeping firefighters protected.

The useful life of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is estimated to be about 15 years. The current SCBA units in use within Canyon’s fire department are 20 years old.

“It’s come to the point that our current SCBA’s that are in use, if one goes down, out of service, we are finding parts are not available just because of the age of them,” said Dennis Gwyn, fire chief, Canyon Fire Department.

The updated packs have many new safety features.

“We will be able to Bluetooth our communication devices into the masks for clearer communications, they will be up to NFPA standards now to get an early alert,” said Chief Gwyn.

He says they’ll also be lighter and more comfortable.

Beyond safety and functionality, it will also help with mutual aid.

“Right now, our packs aren’t compatible, they have the new packs and we have these packs that are older, so if we get in a situation where we are helping each other out inside a structure fire, they aren’t compatible. So if my pack went down I can’t borrow air from them,” said Lupe Avalos, firefighter, Canyon Fire Department.

The total cost for the new equipment is $280,870, which is coming from the city’s budget and cash reserves.

They are expected to come in and be ready to use in three to six months.

As for the old packs, the fire chief says they will be donated to Texas A&M Forest Service’s Helping Hands program, which donates old equipment to volunteer fire departments across the state that are in need.