A large federal grant will equip Greenwood firefighters with new air packs, or devices that give them breathable air in smoke-filled, burning buildings.
The Greenwood Fire Department got a $358,350 federal grant to buy 64 new air packs, or enough for every full-time firefighter, chief James Sipes said. The department’s current air packs date back to the late 1990s, and have reached the end of their useful life, he said.
Greenwood last updated the air packs in 2003, so they could filter out chemical and biological agents. They needed to be replaced soon, and Greenwood taxpayers would have shouldered the entire cost if the city didn’t get the grant, Sipes said.
Greenwood will contribute about $35,000 in property tax dollars for the local share of the grant.
The city also recently received a grant of about $62,000 for air monitors for its hazardous materials team.