Firefighters will be getting some much needed extra money for more equipment.  The new breathing equipment will be used by firefighters when they are responding to calls.

The Lafayette Fire Department's grant request to FEMA asking for over 400,000 dollars to buy new SCBA, or Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses.  They allow firefighters to perform primary search/rescue and interior attack operations rapidly and efficiently in an effort to reduce the risks of injury or death while minimizing property losses.

In a press release from Lafayette Consolidated Government, they said, "The Lafayette Fire Department reviewed goals, objectives, and needs of the department and how to best serve the community. After this “risk assessment”, officials concluded that self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) [as well as a dedicated Rapid Intervention Team (RIT)] were the two top priorities to be addressed in order to enhance the Department’s basic firefighting abilities and to further protect the health and safety of firefighters and the citizens of Lafayette. "

The current units are obsolete now because standards have been improved.

Fire Chief Robert Benoit offered this statement, “We are very proud to receive this grant as they are extremely competitive.  This equipment is state-of-the-art and will be one of the many tools that we use to keep our community and our firefighters safe.  Lafayette has made significant investments in fire protection over the last several years with the construction of two new fire stations, and this equipment furthers our objective to help make our community even safer.”

City-Parish President Joey Durel added, “When you rely on firefighters for protection of your life and your property, you want them to have the best equipment available to do their job safely and effectively.  This grant will give our firefighters the equipment to match their training and help ensure our community’s safety.”

As common with many federal funds, Lafayette Consolidated Government is required to fund a 20% match of the grant totaling $101,308.  An ordinance to appropriate those funds was introduced before the Council on April 5th and will be up for final adoption on April 19th.