KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Fire Department has purchased new equipment through federal funds, city officials said this week.

The city used $760,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to buy the equipment.

A good chunk of the money, $465,000, went toward the purchase of 60 self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), the newest versions within the specifications of the National Fire Protection Association, Kingsport Fire Chief Scott Boyd said.

The breathing apparatus systems arrived on Thursday.

“These will take care of all of our frontline firefighters, and the remaining SCBA to be replaced would be included in the upcoming capital projects list,” Boyd said in a press release. “The older ones were not failing. They had just hit their 10- to 15-year lifespan.”

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The breathing tanks hold approximately 20 to 30 minutes of oxygen and are worn by firefighters the entire time they’re fighting fires. The new breathing apparatuses will have additional heads-up displays and connections to allow supplemental air to be attached.

The remaining $300,000 in ARPA funds will go toward the purchase of new bunker gear — such as pants, coats, and helmets — and cardiac monitors, thermal cameras, and high-rise hose packs.

These packs contain 150 feet of hose with nozzles and adapters and are used to fight fires in taller buildings.

“All of this equipment was in our budget last year, but it got cut due to COVID,” Boyd said. “Through the use of the ARPA funds, we’ve been able to go back and fulfill these requests. We’re thankful we’re able to do that for our firefighters and the citizens of Kingsport.”

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