September 28, 2023
Local News | The Times

Local News

Streator firefighters receive new air packs from $143,000 FEMA grant

Equipment expected to go into use this week

The Streator Fire Department joked it must be Christmas.

On the same day the city received about an inch of snow, firefighters received new air packs with the help of a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant of $143,000.

The Streator Fire Department received 20 air packs, 40 carbon fiber bottles and 20 masks.

Streator Fire Chief Gary Bird had said in September, at the time the City Council approved the grant, the old self-contained breathing apparatuses were reaching their out-of-date use. The old air packs were nearly 20 years old.

The Streator Fire Department matched 5% of the grant.

"When we take ownership of new equipment it doesn't go straight on the trucks," Streator Fire Fighters Local 56 posted on Facebook.
"The self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA for short) allows firefighters to go into places where they cannot breathe the air because of fire or some other hazardous condition."

The packs will be unpacked, inspected and labeled. Over a four-day period, firefighters trained and familiarized themselves with the equipment so that starting Monday it can be put into service.

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello is the news editor for The Times in Ottawa and NewsTribune in La Salle, part of Shaw Local News Network, covering La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties. He covers local and breaking news in the areas of government, education, business and crime and courts, among others.