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Newton County fire services to purchase new breathing apparatus

The Newton County Fire Services department will get 76 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) after the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved the purchase during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The new equipment will cost $599,973.65, with the funds coming from the Capital Fire Account. That account is a fund especially designed to be used for equipment purchases.

Recently hired fire services chief Jeffrey Monroe recommended to the BOC that the purchase be approved, due to the need for the new breathing apparatus.

Among the county’s SBCA’s, most are at the end of their life expectancy and would not meet OSHA standards, according to Monroe.

“They could not be used in any alarm with smoke or toxic gas,” Monroe said.

The new units will also contain a GPS tracker that could be vital in larger areas such as the Shire (formerly Baxalta) plant in Stanton Springs.