Fire District board discusses ‘wish list’ equipment needs


Managing Editor

Members of the Rayne Volunteer Fire Department presented a fire-fighting equipment “wish list” during Monday night’s meeting of Fire District No. 9’s board of directors.

Topping that list were new Self-Containing Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs).

Though the department’s current SCBAs are operational, replacement parts cannot be obtained since the supplier went out of business.

Because the SCBAs must be worn by the volunteers, Chief Lee Hebert has arranged demonstrations by various suppliers, one of which has previously conducted a demonstration. Another firm demonstrated its model following the district board meeting and other suppliers are scheduled.

Chief Hebert advised the directors the board has various funding options, including borrowing the funds, dipping into department accounts or a combination of both.

The board president also reported the department would earn a free thermal imager, used to detect “hot spots” for every 15 SCBA units purchased.

Other “wish list” items include scene lights and voice pagers, both of which would contribute more points toward improving the district’s insurance rating.

Regarding the pagers, Chief Hebert reported some fire departments have been denied grant funds, but currently “no news is good news” for the Rayne Department.

Hebert added that if the local volunteer department is denied grant funds, the department would dip into its savings to purchase the voice pager system.

The fire chief also discussed thermal imagers, hoses, a smoke machine for use in the department’s training classroom and other supplies, including a washer and dryer to clean and dry several sets of bunker gear following a fire call. First Assistant Fire Chief Barry Granger also mentioned a hose washer costing about $500.

Chief Hebert reported the contracts have been signed for the new fire-fighting vehicles, costing approximately $860,000, leaving a balance of about $40,000 to use for other equipment needs.

Equipment purchases include a commercial pumper ($134,000) to replace the old pumper, a light rescue truck ($70,000), a custom 75-foot aerial ladder truck, ($402,000), and a conventional style tanker ($130,000).

The board plans to sell its current aerial ladder truck and a pumper to another fire department. Both units have been pump test and have passed inspection tests.

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