Fire Department seeks upgrades

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:00am

The Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is seeking two pieces of key equipment for personnel, one of which, a washer and dryer, might not quite seem so important at first. 

Department Secretary Beth Rousseau said the department was seeking an industrial washer and dryer specifically made to clean turnout gear. Rousseau noted that fires can often emit toxic chemicals and other substances that can cling to uniforms. Those fumes can be inhaled or attach themselves to the wearer’s skin, so the regular cleaning of uniforms can become a necessary factor in maintaining staff health, explained Rousseau.

The department is also seeking to upgrade to a lithium battery-powered hydraulic rescue tool. The generator-powered tool takes longer to start, said Rousseau. Lithium batteries also last longer. Rousseau said the fire company would demonstrate the new tool in early December. 

Nominations for department officers have also been made. Tristan Payne has been nominated for captain; Kate McConville for Rescue Department Chief, and Peter Gempp as Chief of the Fire Department. Nominations will remain open through December, and elections will take place at the meeting in January.