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Firefighters Breathe Easy With New Equipment

DeForest Area Fire and EMS Department

DEFOREST, Wisc. -- For about one year, the DeForest Area Fire and EMS Department has been using a grant-funded in-house air compressor and containment system and truck-mounted air cascade system for filling emergency air bottles onsite.

Department Chief Dave Arnold says these purchases have made a difference in improving the health and safety of their department's firefighters. The air system brings the department into compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standard 1910.134 because it ensures that firefighters are breathing clean air.

The air system brings the department into compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standard 1910.134 because it ensures that firefighters are breathing clean air.

Before getting the new containment system, the person filling an air bottle ran the risk of being seriously injured or killed should the bottle rupture during the process.

Said Chief Arnold: "When air bottles ran out at the scene of a fire, someone would have to drive to the station to refill bottles before personnel could return to fighting the fire."

This was a real problem for a rural fire department with a first-response area of 89 square miles.

The truck-mounted air cascade has made it possible to refill bottles onsite. The DeForest Department also serves the Wisconsin communities of Hampden, Vienna, Leeds and Windsor.

What they bought:

  • In-house air compressor and containment system
  • Truck-mounted air cascade filling station with containment system
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Last updated February 11, 2021