From left: Firefighter Dale Bornhorst in new gear, Fire Captain Mark Murray in old gear and Board President (and volunteer firefighter) Dick Horn with new SCBA.) Photo submitted

Major grant award for West Shore Fire Department

Aging safety gear is being replaced at Lake Almanor’s West Shore Fire Department thanks to a large FEMA grant. Sixteen sets of turnouts, the critical outerwear that protects firefighters, have just arrived, along with new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs). The new turnouts feature lighter weight headgear that have more of a crash helmet appearance.

Included in the $228,823 Assistance to Firefighters grant were funds for a new air compressor that replaces an old unit located at Chester Fire. The compressor is a shared asset that meets stringent breathing air requirements and refills the SCBA bottles used by all of the Lake Almanor basin fire departments.

The Lake Almanor West Volunteer Firefighters Association also added to the new equipment by purchasing several thermal imaging cameras (TICs) using donated funds. The cameras provide a rapid assessment capability to detect fires, hot spots or victims in smoky conditions, inside walls, in darkness or on the water.

The West Shore Fire Department is the combined emergency response team resulting from a Joint Powers Agreement between the Prattville-Almanor Fire Protection District and the West Almanor Community Services District.