Fire Departments Getting New Equipment

The Manchester Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

MANCHESTER – Two volunteer fire departments will be getting much-needed replacement equipment at the cost of about $181,000.

The Manchester Township Council approved the appropriation of $195,000 from its capital improvement fund to purchase equipment for the Manchester and Whiting fire companies.
That equipment includes Scott Bottles, Scott Paks and Scott Masks, manufactured by 3M. Yes, the company that makes Scotchgard is one of the go-to companies for emergency response breathing apparatus.

“Moving forward they will need some replacement items but this current purchase we are considering more of an emergency purchase due to the fact that the oxygen bottles expire Jan 2019,” Township Business Administrator Donna Markulic told The Manchester Times.

The Manchester Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, located at 545 Commonwealth Blvd., will be getting 37 of its 62 bottles replaced, at a cost of $47,286. The “bottles” are cylinders that hold oxygen whose legal shelf life expires January 2019.

The Whiting Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Station 33, located at 120 Lacey Road, will be getting 32 Scott Bottles at $40,896; 14 Scott Paks at $86,499; and 22 Scott Masks at $6,050, for a total cost of $133,445.

The Whiting Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

Whiting’s current oxygen bottles have 30 minutes air time, Markulic said. The new trucks have 45-minute bottles, as will the new truck that should be arriving by the end of this year for Whiting.

“It is our mission to have interoperability between all three squads so they can share equipment in case trucks break down as well as have the ability to share equipment on large scale incidents with multiple departments present,” Markulic explained. “The 30-minute bottle system and 45-minute bottle system are not interoperable. Since Whiting’s new truck will have the longer lasting oxygen bottles we must upgrade their remaining equipment to match the new truck as well as to match Ridgeway’s current supply as well as the replacement bottles Manchester will be purchasing in this order.”

The initial estimated for equipment totaled $195,000. Markulic said the township shopped around and was able to secure better pricing for the approximately $181,000 price tag. Any money not used for the equipment in this purchase will be put back into the capital expenditure coffers.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at jpeacock@jerseyshoreonline.com.