New Breathing Equipment Will Help Protect Firefighters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Breathing Equipment Will Help Protect Firefighters

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Some new equipment is on its way to help keep Yakima firefighters safe.

They're called self contained breathing apparatus and they're designed to give crews fresh air when they're fighting fires.
 
Officials say 85% of the departments current air packs are 10-years-old and are starting to get expensive to maintain.

Plus, the new packs will meet higher safety standards and better protect crews.

"A lot of it's just cost of operation and the safety of our people. They're our most important asset and if we can protect them then they can do their job better. And that's the bottom line," said Dep. Chief Mark Soptich.

The new packs aren't cheap though. They'll come at a cost of nearly $500,000.
 
The city is taking out a low interest loan from the state to pay for them.

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