New gear from head to toe is on the way to several fire departments in Carter County.
Carter County commissioners approved the purchase of nine sets of bunker gear for Springer Fire Department, as well as several sets of wildland gear for the following fire departments: 20 for Dillard, 25 for Healdton, 18 for Springer, 10 for Sneed, 15 for Criner Hills and 22 for Fox/Graham.
District 1 Commissioner Joe McReynolds estimated the cost of bunker gear at about $2,025 per set, and wildland gear at about $1,100 per set, which may be purchased with state contract funds, he added.
Differences between these sets of gear comes down to fine details and the preferences of each fire department, McReynolds said. Each set, whether bunker or wildland, includes new helmets, hoods, jackets, pants, gloves and face shields.
“It’s like saying you want Wranglers when you go out for blue jeans,” McReynolds said. “It’s a brand.”
The commissioners expect to include various gear upgrades for county fire departments each month for the foreseeable future as their lifespans begin to expire. Dillard and Springer Fire Departments are currently using bunker gear purchased in 2007.
A class on liquified petroleum gas, to be created and taught by Oklahoma State University, was also approved. The class will allow up to 32 volunteer firefighters in the county to attend a specially designed curriculum, at a cost of $5,400.
District 3 Commissioner Jerry Alvord hesitated to commit to the class before having a list of committed firefighters, but area fire chiefs who attended the meeting Monday said several more than 32 have already expressed interest.
A 14-inch rescue saw with a blade was also approved for the Fox/Graham Fire Department.
Commissioners didn’t have an exact cost estimate, but Alvord said a previously purchased saw proved to be pricey.
“The last one we purchased was surprisingly expensive,” Alvord said.
Fire chiefs said these tools are becoming more necessary as more residents are putting tin roofs over buildings.