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Atlanta budget panel recommends $2M for air packs

Fire chief says packs have been failing at least once a month

By April Hunt
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — DeKalb County firefighters would literally breathe easier if the County Commission next week follows through on a committee recommendation to buy new firefighter gear.

The commission budget committee, hashing out what it will recommend for a 2012 budget later this week, agreed Tuesday that it will call for spending $2 million of fire department reserves to buy 330 new air packs for the entire department's shift needs. More than half of the current packs, which provide oxygen to firefighters as they battle blazes, have been malfunctioning and outright failing.

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