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Murphy's aid arrives... a bit late

Nov 23, 2010 9:24 am
Ever wondered what the dreaded term of the season "earmarks" means on a local basis? A story in today's Catskill Daily Mail by Melanie Lekocevic charts the recent receipt of federal funding for important firefighting equipment for the Athens Volunteer Fire Company via a $94,000 grant secured through U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy’s office before his loss to rformer marine Chris Gibson, a conservative Republican, earlier this month.

Announced several months ago, the grant has finally come in, and so has the equipment.

The Athens fire department used the money to purchase 25 sets of full turnout gear for its firefighters, including the jackets, pants, helmets and boots they need to go into a burning building. Purchase of the gear took up about half of the federal grant money.

As part of the turnout gear, the department also purchased the integrated escape harnesses that attach to the jackets, and are now required – but not paid for – by the state.

“If you need to leave a building rapidly, the escape harness allows you to leave through a window and let yourself down to the ground in a safe manner,” Fire Chief John Greco said.

The equipment also includes a “drag device” on the jacket’s back, which enables a firefighter to physically drag a fallen comrade out of a burning building.

The 25 sets of turnout gear were critical because the department’s old gear was due to be replaced for safety’s sake.

For full story click HERE.