Emsworth donates $30,000 to VFC

A one-time donation to the Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company, approved by Emsworth Borough Council at its regular meeting on Wednesday, will help the borough’s firefighters keep up with national standards.

Council member Dave Heflin told members at the meeting that the fire company had asked the borough for $32,000 to upgrade their breathing apparatus.

Heflin said that without the equipment, the fire company would not be able to provide adequate fire protection service.

Fire Chief Mike Adams told council members that the air packs that they now have, purchased in 2000 for some $50,000, are not up to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. He said that the NFPA changed its standards on how packs are manufactured in 2004, adding a number of safety features that should be on all of the breathing apparatus, which consist of a face piece, air cylinder and a regulator.

Adams said that the new equipment would make it safer for firefighters.

Adams also said that, by NFPA standards, every seat on the firetrucks needs to have a corresponding air pack. He told council that the fire company would need 18 packs in total, but that Emsworth had secured 13 of the packs from the disbanding Kilbuck Township Volunteer Fire Company.

Council president Maria West asked Adams if the fire company would be able to purchase the air packs without the donation.

"It would really strap us," Adams replied.

Heflin told council members that the borough still would maintain well over $300,000 in its reserve fund if it decided to make the donation to the fire company.

Council member Paul Getz said that he agreed with the donation as long as the borough solicitor approved.

Getz said that because the packs are not in the budget, and will cost more than $10,000, the purchase may have to go out for bid first.

The borough approved the donation, pending the solicitor’s approval, to purchase 13 face pieces, 10 air cylinders and five regulators.

Council members Ed Politylo and Rob Bennett were absent.

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