A Day Late, NOT A Dollar Short

Hanging rain gear

Thanks to generous support from our community, including donations and visitors to our breakfasts, active members of the Manchester Fire Department have all been issued new high visibility rain gear.

In the past, firefighters were often caught outdoors in the worst weather mother nature could provide while wearing full turnout pants and jackets. While turnout gear may seem appropriate, and often is the standard, there are many reasons why it’s not the preferred uniform for inclement weather.

Turnout gear:

  • Is heavy and bulky. Those heavy layers are important for protection from heat, but they don’t allow a firefighter to move around freely while not performing hazardous tasks.
  • Does not “breath”. Turnouts do have multiple layers, designed to keep us dry, but those layers can actually hold water instead of repelling it. Wet turnout gear is  dangerous for firefighters who might get called to a fire. Trapped moisture can quickly turn to steam, causing burns. Our new rain gear is a breathable material that will help us stay cool and dry from the inside out.
  • Is not “high-viz”. Even though our gear has reflective stripes, they are not enough to meet visibility standards. The new rain gear meets all current visibility standards to help keep us safe when working in roadways.

While it’s unfortunate that the order we placed arrived the day after crews spent time working in the rain and darkness, we a grateful to the community for supporting us and enabling us to be better prepared for situations that come in the future.


MFD Donates SCBA Equipment To Albany Volunteer Fire Department

Sorting through air packs for AVFD

In the early morning of August 11, 2013 the Albany Volunteer Fire Department of Albany, Vermont faced a devastating blow as they were notified that their fire house was burning. Without access to their own equipment, department members had limited resources, and were forced to rely on neighboring  departments to stop the fire.

Unfortunately much of the Department’s equipment, including one of their trucks, was either destroyed or severely damaged from the fire. Witnesses did see activity near the building before the fire began, and currently an investigation is underway for what appears to be a case of arson.

Air cylinders ready to go.

Over the last several years the Manchester (VT) Fire Department has been in the process of upgrading its self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) from older style 2216PSI systems to newer 4500PSI equipment. Throughout this transition the MFD has kept the older equipment for backup purposes. Now that this transition is nearly complete, there is no need to continue storing and maintaining the packs which require regular costly testing and certification.

On August 13, 2013 MFD 2nd Assistant Chief Mark Johnston will deliver 12 Scott 2216PSI SCBA air packs with air cylinders, PASS alarms and face pieces to members of the Albany Volunteer Fire Department. While this equipment may not be the newest equipment available, it will help their crews be prepared for future emergencies within their fire district, and with a “new” cost of several thousand dollars per system, enable the AVFD to focus on replacing other costly equipment.

Twelve systems ready to be delivered.

The Manchester Fire Department is honored to be able to support our fellow firefighters, and wish the AVFD a fast recovery during this time of distress.

For more information about the fire in Albany, VT see these links: