Thanks to a series of county, state and federal grants received by the Mahopac Falls Fire Department throughout 2017, as well as some prudent budgeting, fire district residents got more bang for their buck as the department was able to upgrade its equipment with minimal financial impact.
In January, the department’s Underwater Search and Rescue (dive team) benefited from a state grant, received with the assistance of Sen. Terrence Murphy, that was used to purchase equipment to improve communication capabilities between the diver and those on land—a lifeline that secures the safety of the diver by his tender, which directs the diver in the water.
Monies were additionally received from a Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services grant for the purchase of new dry suits, personal floatation vests, flashlights, ropes, and other everyday items that were nearing the end of their life spans.
In February, the department allocated money for two LUCAS chest compression units; one for each ambulance. These units supply a consistent compression to the patient during CPR, freeing up the EMT or medic to provide attention to the full care of the patient.
A new tanker/pumper truck was purchased with department funds in March to replace a tanker that was more than 20 years old. The new truck and its equipment is more of a multi-functional tool added to the fleet.
The fire department received a second state grant in May to purchase a new cascade system for fire headquarters, replacing a 30-year-old unit that’s responsible for providing “safe air” for all self-contained breathing apparatus for both firefighters and the dive team.
A grant was also received through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase 35 new sets of turn-out gear, which includes bunker coats, bunker pants, helmets, boots, and gloves to replace aging and outdated equipment.
With the grants being received to purchase these crucial pieces of equipment, saving the department money, the membership voted to bring back a new Fire Prevention Safety House, replacing the original Mahopac Falls unit that lasted many years. The Safety House enabled thousands of students to get a safe firsthand look at what happens inside a fire. The original Fire Prevention Safety House was retired and in subsequent years, department officials have said that many students and teachers mention the memories of what they learned from the firefighters and asked if a new house was coming.
“We have the pleasure and privilege of saying that a new Safety House will be taking up residence at the Mahopac Falls fire headquarters in December,” said Jack Casey, department spokesman.
[Article provided by Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department]