Mukilteo firefighters get grant for new airpacks

MUKILTEO — Firefighters in Mukilteo should breathe more safely at their next big blaze.

The fire department recently received a $190,260 grant for new air packs, assistant chief Brian McMahan said.

The Department of Homeland Security grant is meant to help firefighters get their gear up to federal safety standards, he said.

“We need to make sure that if they’re going inside a fire, that they’re protecting their lungs from the toxic heat and smoke,” he said.

Air packs also are important when responding to hazardous materials calls, such as chemical spills, he said.

Mukilteo now has 34 new air packs, McMahan said. Fire officials worked with the vendor to trade in their old packs for a $32,000 credit off the bill. The old packs were set to expire later this year.

The city must match the grant with $18,075, McMahan said. That likely will include buying support equipment for the new packs, such as the brackets used to hold them on the fire engine.

The crews started training on the new packs in November. The packs are expected to last up to 15 years.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

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