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Kan. FD makes a switch to battery-operated extrication tools

Emporia firefighters will begin training on new extrication tools and additional forcible entry props thanks to capital improvement funding


Emporia Kansas Fire Department/Facebook

By Ryann Brooks
The Emporia Gazette

EMPORIA, Kan. — The Emporia Fire Department will transition from hydraulic extrication tools to battery-powered extrication tools, following Wednesday’s meeting of the Emporia City Commission.

According to Emporia Fire Chief Brandon Beck, EFD had chosen to work with TNT Rescue Systems for the upgrades, based on their reputation as well as the department’s previous favorable experiences with their equipment.

“In the past, we’ve had different sets of tools made by them,” he said.

Beck noted that the tools are distributed regionally, and TNT Rescue Systems is the Kansas-authorized dealer.

Battery-powered extrication tools represent a significant advancement in firefighting technology. Unlike hydraulic tools, these battery-powered counterparts operate independently, eliminating the need for a gas-powered generator. This independence allows firefighters to simultaneously use multiple tools, expediting rescue operations. Additionally, these tools are more environmentally friendly, producing no carbon emissions, and generate significantly less noise compared to hydraulic tools with generators. They maintain hydraulic tools’ capacity while requiring less maintenance and storage space and eliminate trip hazards associated with hoses.

The 2023 approved Capital Improvement Program budget allocated $34,000 for this purchase, and the cost of all three tools is $33,480. Additionally, the decision has been made to upgrade to a higher-capacity battery and acquire extra accessories for the ram tool. The total project cost is $36,345, with the additional $2,345 being funded from the fire department’s line item budget.

Beck also presented a second purchase request to provide more realistic training opportunities for the city’s firefighters.

Beck said EFD would like to purchase additional training props, to help facilitate training in light of updates to building and fire codes. He said the use of a door prop and window prop would meet the needs for these training purposes.

EFD had $11,106 approved in the 2023 CIP budget, and the total cost of the project is $11,316.17 from Forcible Entry Inc. The additional $210.17 will be paid through the fire department’s line-item budget.

Commissioners ultimately approved both requests.

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