City of Burlington firefighters attack the flames during a training exercise in an abandoned house at 560 Smith St. earlier this year. The fire department is seeking new turnout gear for 20 firefighters to replace current gear that doesn’t meet safety standards. (Photo by Chad Hensiak)

Nearly half does not meet specifications

By Jason Arndt


While the City of Burlington Fire Department has 50 sets of turnout gear for its firefighters, department officials found 20 of them do not meet National Fire Protection Association standards.

Turnout gear includes boots, jackets, pants and helmets, among other items worn by firefighters.

Fire Chief Alan Babe, who is lobbying for replacements, told the Common Council his department looks to purchase new sets at a total cost of $20,080.

If the city decides to purchase the gear, which could happen at a Dec. 4 Common Council meeting, the cost will be split between the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

“We have approximately 20 sets of turnout gear that does not meet NFPA standards,” Babe said at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

NFPA standards require fire departments to retire turnout gear after 10 years.

“We have done a very good job of looking at our current supplier and two others for turnout gear.”

To read the entire story see the Nov. 22 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.