The Woodlands Invest Nearly $700K to Firefighting Improvements
Since the funding proposals have received approval at a recent township board meeting, The Woodlands Fire Department now awaits major upgrades. With the new funding, each of the town’s 140 firefighters will have a second set of bunker gear. There will also be two additional high-water, heavy-duty trucks at their disposal. It will also be possible for them to change traffic signals faster and from farther away when they are on the road, moving at top speed to respond to a disaster.
Currently, the firefighters have only a single set of protective uniform. And in the case of two incidents happening one after another with only little time between them, the firefighting staff might remain without a usable uniform since theirs would still be in the process of decontamination, cleaning or drying.
Extra Gear to Reduce Cancer Risk
For Interim Fire Chief Doug Adams, those extra gears will allow them to respond to more incidents more safely and effectively.
“We are trying to reduce cancer risk due to exposure from fire incidents. Once we get back to the station, they clean their gear, which can take several hours. [And if there is a second fire] They borrow another firefighter’s set of gear but not everyone is the same size. We think [a second set of gear] is much safer for the firefighters and will allow for seamless service,” he said. They will cost the town a total of $448,000.
New Technology to Also Ensure Road Safety
Firefighters‘ quick arrival to the scene is undoubtedly of vital importance. And to change traffic signals in the process, they heavily rely on an old system. With the technological upgrade thanks to the new funding, an advanced system that is currently available at just about 30 intersections will replace the old one at every intersection in town. The firefighting personnel will then be able to change traffic signals from 6,000 feet away, instead of 2,000 feet that is possible with the old system. The result, according to Adams, will be safer roads for residents and drivers as well as less injuries and property damage in fire incidents. The town will pay an annual $190,000 for the expansion of the new system.
With the funding, the fire department will also double its number of high-water, heavy-duty trucks at a total cost of $40,000. They will strengthen the staff’s response to save lives in the case of floods.