Firefighting safety support sought
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Jan 29, 2013 | 598 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun explains the need for 60 new self-contained breathing apparatuses Monday during the Cleveland City Council meeting. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun explains the need for 60 new self-contained breathing apparatuses Monday during the Cleveland City Council meeting. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
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Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun has continued a discussion on the need for new self-contained breathing apparatuses that protect firefighters in lethal environments.

Haun did a show-and-tell presentation for Cleveland City Council members Monday at the request of At-Large Councilman Richard Banks.

“Anything we can do to protect our personnel, we need to make sure we do that,” Banks said.

Haun requested $300,000 for 60 packs at the Jan. 14 Strategic Planning Workshop. The warranty expired after eight years. Repairs on regulators, the priciest malfunction, cost up to $1,500. New bottles carry a 10-year warranty and all repairs are covered without cost to the city.

Haun explained that air pack bottles store oxygen under 4,500 p.s.i. The pressure is reduced to a useable level.

In the past, bottles were made of steel. Fully outfitted in bunker gear, firefighters carried about 80 pounds. The 10-year-old bottle on display is made of plastic composite materials and, with bunker gear, firefighters carry about 35 pounds.

The breathing apparatus has other features to protect firefighters such as pressure monitors, buddy-breathing capability and an integrated feature that sounds an alarm after 15 seconds of no movement.

“If you get caught up in something and can’t move for 15 seconds, it will go off allowing other firefighters to hear where you’re at,” he said. “If you get somewhere and you’re hung and can’t get out of the building, we have the capability of hooking another pack to you and sharing air.”

Haun said the air packs are worn for everything from house fires, car fires, carbon monoxide checks — or in any atmosphere where safety is in doubt. Positive pressurized masks keeps firefighters from inhaling contaminants if a mask leaks.

“If you get a leak, you’ll hear air going by and that’s to keep the atmosphere inside the mask safe,” he said. “If you are in a harmful atmosphere, you don’t have the ability to inhale that atmosphere. It will blow it out.”

Research shows bunker gear is so much better that personnel can enter hotter situations than in the past.

“People are getting into situations where they don’t need to be,” he said. “The faceplates were actually getting so hot they were getting soft and sucking inward.”

Under the consent agenda, the Council approved Resolution No 2013-06, a 2012 Tax Refund for Little Caesars in the amount $404.

The Council took the following actions on items under new business:

- Approved Resolution 2013-07 to amend Animal Shelter policies to include holding owner-surrendered animals 72 hours;

- Approved Zoning Ordinance No: 2013-02 to rezone property at the corner of Foster Lane and 20th Street S.E. from R4 to R2;

- Approved Zoning Ordinance 2013-03 to rezone 5673 and 5693 Mouse Creek Road N.W. from R2 to Commercial Neighborhood by a vote of 7-1. Councilman Bill Estes opposed the ordinance.

- Approved a motion authorizing Tim Passmore to apply for an energy grant for replacing the South Cleveland Community Center roof.