Cityof Fairfield to Replace Old Fire Equipment PDF  ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP  E-mail
Written by Karen Leidy   


ff_city_council_vfd_air_packs_030817Members of Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department demonstrated old and new air packs to City Council during the regular meeting on February 28, 2017.
According to Fire Chief Matt Foree, some of the older packs are starting to fail and the old valves are expired and past the point of service.
“We are below regulation,” says Foree, explaining that the old packs are under 2000-2001 standards because of their age.
Chief Foree researched manufacturers and pricing over the last three months, before presenting their best choice to Council members.
The air supply on the new packs lasts up to 40 minutes, at least 10 minutes longer than the old ones, which extends the time firefighters have to conduct rescues.
The packs include an integrated voice system that improves communication so that firefighters may be understood by both the responders and the citizens they are attempting to rescue.
In addition, the packs include two gauges for air and battery indicators, which incorporate lights that are easily visible to fellow firefighters.  They also feature padded straps that do a better job of distributing its weight for the firefighter wearing it, taking most of the weight off the shoulders.
The manufacturer of choice offers a 15-year warranty.  “That’s the life of the pack, basically,” says Foree.
Fire Chief Foree asked that the City replace 20 packs, pressure valves, masks and bottles at the total cost of $152,000. 
According to Foree, a local bank has already agreed to the loan; Foree suggests utilizing funds, already set aside in the budget, as a down payment.
Following questions and discussion of the City’s options, Council approved pursuing the project. 
Foree will work with City Administrator Jeff Looney in presenting a final proposal next month that will include interest rates for 3-, 5- and 7-year loans.
Other action taken, during the three-hour meeting, includes the following:
--Resignations approved for Byron Jones and Jerry Hughes; Retirement of Gary Crook accepted with thanks; and Employee contract approved for Misty Richardson as Administrative Assistant at $16.50 per hour.
--Purchased approved for new bumper gear and fire hose, as previously budgeted.
--Tabled approval of Fire Services Agreement between the City and Fairfield VFD to get volunteer firefighters time to look it over.
--New Fairfield EDC Board members, Don McLeod and Danny Wren, were approved.
--Annual Racial Profiling Report by Fairfield Police Department was presented and approved.
--Opal Oliver is approved as this year’s Election Judge.
--Contract approved with Freestone County for the use of election equipment.
--Update presented on asbestos removal for property located at 420 McDonald Street.  No action may be taken until State of Texas approves received.
--Limited extensions and/or city clean up approved following Hearing regarding six dilapidated properties.
--Resolution approved in support of 2017 Homeland Security Grant for a new police repeater, which will improve radio communication.
--Continuation of standard agreement approved with Edward Jones for the City’s additional retirement plan.
--Council made aware that lights at rodeo arena no longer meets code for ONCOR.  Cost expected to be under $6,000.
--Annual contract approved with the Girls Softball Association.  No changes from last year.
--New policy approved for Burning Debris in the City Limits.  Residents encouraged to contact City Hall, as well as the Fire Department, before conducting a burn.
--Approved City Administrator’s recommendations for repair of pipeline damage to Reunion Street by Atmos Energy and MJ Pipeline.
--Approved two-year commitment to partnership in developing a community smart phone app that caters to the City of Fairfield business and tourism. 
--Replacement truck approved for TDCJ Ford pickup.