By Sarah Peters
The Palm Beach Post
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The city is outfitting firefighter-paramedics with a second set of gear to slide into when their first gets covered in ash or contaminated with blood.
When the protective gear gets soiled, it’s out of service for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, said Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue spokesman Shon Broedell.
Fire-rescue has been buying bunker gear — think protective jackets, pants and suspenders — for all of its front line staff, about 120 people in all, Broedell said. City council is set to approve another order for 34 firefighter-paramedics at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday. The gear will cost about $90,000, according to city documents.
Firefighter-paramedics, captains, district captains and battalion chiefs are getting the spare set of protective duds.
“The second set is becoming more and more of a common practice in the fire service,” Broedell said.
If firefighters can wash the gear in-house, it takes about an hour to wash and three or four hours to dry, he said. If they need to send it to a laundry service in Miami, the turnaround is one to two days.
Bennett Fire Products of Woodstock, Georgia, is the only distributor of the Globe protective clothing for Florida and Georgia, according to its website. The company has a contract with Lake County, Florida, that Palm Beach Gardens can access to buy discounted gear, as much as 42 percent off the manufacturer’s prices, according to city documents.
The supplier has been in business since 1994, and is highly-regarded in the industry, according to Palm Beach Gardens.
Fire rescue departments in Broward, Pasco, Brevard counties also have used Bennett Fire Products’ services, according to a list of references.
Copyright 2019 The Palm Beach Post