New turnout gear is on the way for all Jackson County Fire Departments.
Jackson County Central Fire Department Chief Jeff Conn said each department could receive up to eight new suit through a Community Development Block Grant.
“Each set of gear entails what we would call bunker pants and a bunker coat, which is used for structural fire,” Conn said. “A new helmet along with new boots and gloves. We are getting new hoods that you use to wear in the fire, and they are actually carcinogen blocking to help prevent our members from getting cancer.”
Fire departments are not the only emergency service receiving upgrades. Conn said Jackson County EMS is getting two ambulances remounted, and new inflatable rafts and radios are coming to the county’s rescue squad.
“Every branch of emergency services in Jackson County is getting a benefit out of this,” Conn said. “Th county as a whole is getting a lot of new equipment.”
Conn said the improvements could also improve the county’s ISO rating, which determines property insurance costs. Conn said in some cases, turnout gear up to 10 years old is being replaced.
“Everybody has been fitted. We are finishing up the rounds of sizing for everybody,” Conn said. “It is all custom built for every member, so it will take a couple months to get it in. My department personally, it has been about 10 years since we had new gear, so this is a much needed thing.”