Council approves purchase of fire department turnout gear

by Dan Holland

Feb. 20 city council meeting

Broadview Heights city council members approved an agreement with Fire Force Inc. for the purchase of 11 sets of turnout gear for the city’s fire department, at a total cost of $28,050.

“Every 10 years, we have to replace turnout gear as part of National Fire Protection Association) regulations,” said Fire Chief Jeffrey Hajek after the meeting. “We have 36 firefighters in the department, and they have two sets of turnout gear each, so every year when it hits that date – 10 years from that date – we buy new gear. We can dispose of it, or depending on the condition, we can donate it to one of the local vocational schools that they can use as practice gear.”

The purchase includes protective coats, bunker pants and suspenders, gloves, hoods and boots. The department aims to purchase approximately 10 sets of turnout gear each year in rotation to avoid a large one-time expense, Hajek added.

“They each have to have a second set, so if a guy goes to a fire in the morning – which has happened before – then they have to wash all that gear since all of those carcinogens are on the gear,” said Hajek. “And while that gear is getting washed, if we have another incident – even a motor vehicle accident that they have to wear their gear to – they have to have a dry set of gear to wear to that incident. That’s why the backup set is necessary.”

In other action, council approved:

  • Payment to the Southwest Council of Governments for annual membership dues at a total cost of $28,000. The fees cover dues for the Southwest Enforcement Bureau, Southwest Emergency Response Team and a one-time Parma storage building fee.
  • An agreement with Lexipol, LLC for law enforcement procedures, manuals and training bulletins at a total cost of $14,612.
  • An agreement with Medical Mutual of Ohio for the provision of medical insurance for city employees from March 1, 2023 through Feb. 29, 2024.
  • An agreement with Ameritas for the provision of dental and vision insurance for city employees from March 1, 2023 through Feb. 29, 2024.

Council also approved an ordinance amending a section of the codified ordinances regarding civil service requirements for police department applicants to include areas such as physical agility exams, additional credit on examinations for military service, college degree or city service and procedures for inspecting exam questions and answer keys prior to and following a test.