Wellesley firefighters will soon be decked out in much safer outerwear thanks to a $19,000 grant through the state’s Department of Fire Services.
More than 300 fire departments across the state received a total of $5 million in grants, with a maximum amount per community based on population.
Members of the Wellesley Fire Department divvy up the responsibility for applying to grant programs. In this case, Deputy Chief Nathaniel Brady secured the funds and said they will supply 50-plus EMS extrication suits, enough for the whole department.
“These are used for car accidents and other non-fire related runs,” he says.
The firefighters will likely be donning black and yellow reflective suits. Brady just laughed when I asked if these will be fashion knockouts.
The key here is that these uniforms aren’t coated with the same sort of toxic compounds used in the turnout gear firefighters use when responding to blazes. Such gear has been linked to cancer. Brady says firefighters tend to wear their turnout gear even for non-fire-related calls, and the new gear should allow them to shift away from that practice.
“I’m very proud of the work Deputy Chief Nat Brady did in securing this equipment grant and what we were looking to accomplish in regards to firefighter heath and safety,” said Chief Rick DeLorie.
The department regularly secures grants, including for public fire safety education.