The Millburn Fire Department, which continuously strives to equip firefighters with the most innovative protective technologies available, recently announced the purchase of personal electric voltage meters for its personnel.

The V-Watch Personal Voltage Detectors, which are strapped to the front of each firefighter's uniform, are designed to warn the wearer of the presence of energized surfaces and dangerous high-voltage fields, such as those emitted by a downed power line. Ten of the devices have been purchased, and will be kept in Fire Department vehicles at all times.

"In a storm, or in any situation in which potentially deadly electrical activity may be present, these devices use visual and audible alarms to alert firefighters and other emergency first responders," explained Fire Chief Robert Echavarria. "This minimizes their risk of injury or electrocution and enables them to do their jobs more effectively."

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The purchase of the voltage meters was made possible through a gift from a Township resident, who asked to remain anonymous. "We're enormously grateful for the support of our generous donors," said Chief Echavarria. "Their assistance helps safeguard not only our hard-working firefighters, but also the families and businesses we proudly serve."

A number of safety and technology initiatives are under way at the Millburn Fire Department, which was recently awarded the Class-3 designation by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This distinction is earned by fewer than 4 percent of fire departments nationwide.