Federal grant to improve the health and safety of firefighters - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Federal grant to improve the health and safety of Wilbraham firefighters

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On Friday, Congressman Richard Neal visited the newly-finished Wilbraham Fire Department headquarters to officially announce a nearly $80,000 federal grant to the department.

The money will be used to install a new compressor system and a new diesel fuel hook-up at the station.

Before, Wilbraham firefighters had to travel to Ludlow to fuel-up their air tanks. However, the new compressor system allows firefighters to fuel their air tanks right at the station. These fuel tanks are vital to the work of firefighters, because they are required to be carried on firefighters' backs each time they are called out to respond to a fire.

The diesel fuel hook-up system, the other new addition to the station, will allow fumes from the fire trucks to be filtered out from the station. This will improve the air quality that firefighters have to breath at the station.

Both of these planned new features will allow firefighters to stay safer and healthier, while giving them the chance to serve their community more efficiently and effectively, according to Francis Nothe, Wilbraham's fire chief.

"It's like an army fights a war. You have to be ready to go at all times ... and the less steps we have to take to get on the equipment and go out the doors...this improves that greatly," Nothe said.  

The compressor system and diesel fuel hook up are set to be installed this spring.

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