Petersburg Fire Department recently purchased 10 individual air packs along with 20 air bottles.
The new packs have a PSI of 4500 and a duration of 45 minutes which does not seem like much but makes a big difference to a fireman who now has an extended search time. The packs are Bluetooth connected so a fireman inside a structure have the ability to speak to the command center outside, as well as fellow firemen. Air bottles can be refilled on site. This also includes a RIT or Rapid Intervention Team 60 minute air pack, this would be given to an individual or fireman possibly trapped allowing an hour of air and more time for rescue. Cost was approximately $70,000.
The obsolete system the department used was becoming unrepairable and was low pressure at 2216 PSI lasting a half hour.
The new system made it necessary for the department to purchase a new compressor to fill the air packs.
Read more in the March 25 Petersburg Press print and e-editions.