New year means new gear for Richland Fire Department - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New year means new gear for Richland Fire Department

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HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) -

Jackets are something people might take for granted, but for a firefighter it's a life-saving device. For the Richland Fire Department, a new year means new gear.

Thanks to a $32,000 grant through the Department of Homeland Security, the Richland Fire Department was able to make necessary upgrades to their gear.

"If it wasn't for these grants, Richland would only be able to buy one or two sets of gear a year," said Shane Rigney. "But because of this funding, we have gotten to buy 18 sets at one time."

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that turnout gear, which is a firefighter's first line of defense from fire, cold weather, and blood borne pathogens, be replaced every 10 years.

"The sets that we have currently in use are about 10-12 years old, so we definitely needed to upgrade over the newer stuff," said Shane.

If a firefighter is wearing outdated gear and gets injured, officials said workman's compensation could chose to not pay for the injury. 

This grant helped protect the volunteers both physically and in their wallet.

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