Big Country

ECCA volunteer firefighters get grant approval for safer gear

New safer equipment for ECCA VFD

ELM CREEK CITIZENS ASSOCIATION, Texas - Elm Creek Citizens Association volunteer firefighters recently got approved for a grant for safer bunker gear.

According to ECCA Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Hall, the department only had to pay for 10 percent of the gear. The department purchased 12 sets of gear. Each set costs approximately $500, which is about half the cost of the gear the department used previously.

"The brand is called Tecgen and it's fairly high tech, fairly new to the fire service industry," Hall said. "It's very safe. It's ready for high temperatures and a lot better than any of the gear we've had in the past."

Hall said the new gear is thinner and lighter than what the department previously used.

"You don't have as much chance for heat exhaustion in some of those heat-related calls that we deal with a lot on our grassfires," Hall said.

Aside from structure fires, the gear can be used for a vast majority of the department's calls.

"Medical and car wrecks make up about 75 to 80 percent of what we do," Hall said. "The car wrecks on our highways--on our freeways and things--are very dangerous and so the reflective material on this gear helps with that and it also helps resist against blood borne pathogens and diseases and things that you can come in contact with."

Hall said he plans to distribute the gear within a week. 

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