PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panama City Fire Department is turning electric. The agency is replacing some of its gas-powered equipment with lighter electric tools.
The agency has received new ventilation fans, extrication tools and defibrillators. The equipment costs around $86,000.
Fire Chief David Collier said the equipment will make first responders’ jobs safer.
“It has the potential to reduce workplace injuries,” Collier said. “They’re quieter. So on-scene operations are a lot more efficient because we don’t have that background noise that we typically have to deal with.”
Collier said ventilation fans will be used to get rid of noxious gases from buildings. He said firefighters expect to use the equipment frequently.
“It’s not just confined to structure fires that you would typically see us in,” Collier said. “If we have a urban search and rescue team, if we have somebody trapped inside of a hole we can use that as a ventilation tool.”
Collier also said it will be easier for firefighters to carry the equipment in and out of the buildings quickly.
“Some of our ventilation fans, they’ve been phenomenal for our department,” Collier said. “They’re lighter weight. They give us more versatility working inside of fires or confined space rescues.”
The equipment is being funded by the fire assessment tax.