The members of the Mena Fire Department will soon be getting new gear to protect them when fighting fires. The city had given the fire department a budget of $28,340 dollars to purchase 10 sets of firefighter turnouts and particulate firefighter hoods. At the regular June meeting of the Mena City Council, Mayor Seth Smith told the council he had been searching for grants to cover the cost of the new gear to outfit the fire department, but hadn’t found any money yet. Smith said, “I’m still going to search for a grant to get some but, but we’ve got some personal protective equipment that needs to be replaced and get it replaced before it goes out of date per NFPA standards.” Fire Chief Steve Egger presented two quotes for the equipment to the council. One was from Casco Industries, Inc., in Shreveport, LA for $25,766. The other was from Municipal Emergency Services (MES) out of Houston, TX for $27,549.21. Chief Egger pointed out that Casco Industries did not include taxes and shipping costs, while MES did, making the bids relatively the same. However, the chief recommended the city accept the bid from MES. He said, “the MES quote, you are seeing all kinds of numbers on there because they have a package program, you buy ten sets of gear, for a little more, they’ll throw in Tech Gen gear. It’s a lightweight firefighter gear that we could outfit our first responders in, engineers, pump operators.” According to Chief Egger, the additional lightweight gear would allow firefighters to battle outdoor fires, such as grass fires, safely without overheating as easily as they would in their full turnouts, “Going this route, we can make it safer for ten additional firefighters.” Egger said, “with MES we are getting more bang for our buck.” The Mena City Council voted unanimously to accept the bid from MES.
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