HFD gets new eqiupment to battle high-rise fires

November 18, 2011 10:10:28 AM PST
Houston firefighters are showing off some new equipment for battling high rise fires.

The City of Houston has more than 400 high rise buildings. Those are most buildings over 75 feet that includes office buildings, condos and hotels.

This new money, $88,000 is paying for new tools and equipment that will enable crews to fight fires in those high rises.

The money comes from Chevron through the Fire Fighters Foundation of Houston. Considering the budget problems facing the fire department and certainly the city, this is money and equipment that the Houston fire dept likely wouldn't have seen, had it not been for this partnership.

Chevron's leaders say they believe their company is an example they hope other companies will follow.

"High rise fires are high risk, low frequency events and when we do have one, you have to be very prepared for those fires," said Chief Terry Garrison with the Houston Fire Department. "So we train. We spend a good amount of time training on them and we want to make sure we have the specific equipment that will enable us to do a better job. You can only imagine, time is critical."

In all, 87 fire engines will be equipped with these new tools that include inline pressure gauges, industrial pipe wrenches, high-rise bags, and iron straps. By comparison they're lighter; more advanced, more streamlined and will allow crews to fight fires faster and more efficiently.

The new equipment should be in all the trucks by the start of the New Year.


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