Westfield Fire’s new air packs designed to improve firefighter safety

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The Westfield Fire Department spent more than $400,000 to outfit every ambulance and fire truck with updated air packs. The department purchased 52 of them for every firefighter to have, starting this year.

Ryan Herron, public information officer with Westfield Fire, said a firefighter can go 45 minutes before needing more air inside a burning building. The new air packs will sound off more quickly when oxygen gets low.

“The new packs will go off at 33% of our air left, where our old packs went off at 25% of air left. The advantage is it gives us a little more time to get out of the building before we completely run out of air,” said Herron.

Westfield is the only fire department in Hamilton County to have the new air packs and can help nearby departments when needed. The air packs will also improve firefighters’ safety.

“The cancer push and the reduction of firefighters is huge in the fire service right now,” said Herron. “With these new packs, we can strip the packs down and actually completely wash and decontaminate all the parts on it where we weren’t able to do (that to) our previous packs.”

The device also comes with a tracker to help find a firefighter during an emergency situation. It’s something Herron said the Westfield Fire Department has never had before.

“It’s always a stressful situation when we have to rescue one of our own firefighters. The addition of the pack tracker will give us a little more peace of mind, and we can accomplish that quicker and easier,” said Herron.