Greensboro Fire Department needs new equipment, chief says

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro Fire Department is in dire need of new equipment, according to the department's chief.

Chief Greg Grayson said they need to buy 275 new air packs. Those are the air tanks firefighters strap on to their backs when responding to fires. The cost for the new air packs will be $1.75 million.

"This is a safety issue, and it must be addressed," Grayson said.

The air packs Greensboro firefighters use now are working, but they're costly to maintain, according to Grayson. The department bought the current packs in 2002. Industry standards put a 10-year warranty on air packs.

Grayson said he submitted proposals to the city to buy new air packs for the last few years, but under tight city budgets, the money just wasn't there. He argues now the city can't wait any longer.

"In a smoky or toxic environment, they are totally dependent upon that device for air, so it's critical it works," Grayson said.