Plymouth Fire Department Gets New Rescue Tools
A firefighter’s job is unpredictable. It’s why the equipment they use is vital to their well-being and to the people they are rescuing.
New Rescue Boat
The Plymouth fire department recently acquired a new rescue boat that they can deploy for a water emergency. The boat inflates in 90 seconds, and is held in a small bag when not in use.
“There is limited capacity in our trucks,” said Plymouth Fire Chief Rodger Coppa. “We have to be very selective in what we put on [the truck]. If we can put that in a package that can fit on a truck and not be the size of a boat until we need it to be the size of a boat it actually really benefits us.”
Another benefit is the firefighter can walk inside the inflatable boat while holding its outer parts.
“Having the equipment there quickly and being able to utilize it like we need to makes it a lot safer for us,” added Coppa. “If we did not have this piece of equipment we would be going out just in our suits. Doing that adds a higher level of safety for us when we are performing that rescue.”
Another New Tool Helps Dry Equipment
While the boat makes life-saving rescues easier the department also acquired another piece of equipment that is vital to the health of firefighters.
“In the past people thought firefighters died because of trauma and because of fires,” said Coppa. “Firefighters are more apt to die from a cardiac event or cancer than a fire or a traumatic event. A lot of that comes from firefighters not cleaning their gear after a fire.”
The department already had special washing machine to clean their gear. However, they didn’t have a dryer. A matching grant from the State Fire Marshal’s office allowed Plymouth to purchase a dryer for their equipment. The dryer allows firefighters to dry their gear in 45 minutes. Before, first responders would have to wait up to three days for their equipment to dry.
“The drying equipment really goes toward the health and safety and longevity of the firefighter,” said Coppa.