Winston-Salem firefighters to get new equipment

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem city council members approved spending more than $600,000 this week to replace the fire department’s aging air packs.

The new breathing equipment will not only improve safety for crews but, through updated technology, the Winston-Salem Fire Department says it could also help save lives during emergencies.

WSFD says its current air packs, originally purchased in 1998, have started to show signs of deterioration which raises serious safety concerns.

Each of the city’s firefighters will receive a new face mask this year which is one component of the air packs. A total of 69 complete packs will be purchased.

Fire officials say this is only the first phase of a major overhaul of the department’s equipment.

The new packs will come with the latest safety features, including greater air capacity, improved voice system and technology to better help find firefighters in trouble.

Firefighters are expected to have the new packs in place by early next year.

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