Tulsa Firefighters Making Needed Upgrades to Equipment

An estimated $2 million is being spent to purchase new equipment for Tulsa firefighters that have been in use for more than 15 years.

Crews with the Tulsa Fire Department have been testing seven different models Friday morning over at the training center just west of downtown Tulsa. This is the final day of testing the equipment, also known as a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus.

"These apparatus allow firefighters to enter dangerous atmospheres, search for and rescue victims and mitigate the situation," TFD's Stan May told KTUL. Each individual unit is being evaluated through a series of scenarios.

May added that the primary reason for the purchase is due to the current equipment only having a shelf life of 15 years. One of them reportedly malfunctioned two years ago and injured a firefighter.

Newer models that have been introduced allow firefighters to easily determine how much air is available and calculate their breathing rate. They also are much more lighter.

TFD will spend an approximate $2.5 million for the new equipment. But it will all be paid for through a recently passed sales tax extension.