Hancock County

Hancock County

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New fire equipment approved

Updated: Wednesday, December 4 2013, 07:03 PM EST

By Rich Pierce 

December 4, 2013 

Hancock County, W.Va. 

The Weirton City Finance Committee approved a $10,000 equipment purchase for the fire department.

The new piece of equipment is a face piece tester. It simulates working conditions for firefighters so masks can be properly fitted. The current one the department uses is 10 years old.

“It’s over 10 years old and we’re due for an upgrade,” Lt. Drew Coates said.

He is one of the two firefighters at the department certified in operating the device.

“The importance of it is face pieces come in multiple sizes. We need to know what size you wear and what effects work and movement have on the seal of the face piece,” Chief Jerry Shumate said.

The machine relies on a computer system that prompts users and tells them to do certain movements that mimic real-life situations.

“[A] firefighter puts on his face piece and connects it to the machine. Then, it simulates moving up and down, side to side, grimace, talking, bending over, touching the toes. The computer monitors what you do and it’s pass or fail,” Coates said.

“The new models now read more accurately the air inside the face piece as well as they put pressure on the mask that is the same pressure they would be under under working conditions,” Shumate said.

Once approved by council, the new device will be in use within a month. 

New fire equipment approved

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