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Volunteer fire department gets funds to get some new gear - KOAM TV 7

Volunteer fire department gets funds to get some new gear

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Some northeast Oklahoma firefighters are getting some equipment intended to better protect them as they protect us.

Firefighters are encouraged to replace their fire resistant clothing every 10 years, but according to Fairland Volunteer Fire Chief Jeff Reynolds it's been 12 years since they have been able to replace any of their gear.

With 35 calls in April alone and the 17 person team covering 100 square miles, Reynolds says it takes its toll on the material.

"Put them in danger because their gear is not going to protect them if they get into something that a place they don't really need to be," says Reynolds.

He says the department received about $3,500 thanks to a grant out of Vinita, but that will only cover 30% of the cost for eight new suits, enough to cover half of his team.

"It's borderline being out of date, but it's still in pretty good shape, so between the eight sets that we're going to replace we'll be able to make sure the rest of them are in good, safe gear," says Reynolds.

Firefighters say the new suits are about five pounds lighter than their current ones, have extra pockets for things like refreshments, and that when they are out in the field fighting fires, it will make a big difference.

"You can breathe, allow your clothes to breathe a little better, you can cool off a little bit faster, it's a whale of a good deal," says volunteer firefighter Will Sampson.

Reynolds says the new equipment will be given to the top eight firefighters called out on the job, and that it will only help them support the surrounding community.

The full set of new gear is set to arrive in about two weeks.

The department says it hopes to raise enough money to buy enough gear for the entire department in the next few years.

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