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Breitung OKs buying firefighting equipment

QUINNESEC — Breitung Township Board has authorized the purchase of new equipment for the township’s volunteer fire department.

The authorization allows the department to replace personal protective equipment two decades old and 10 years beyond the mandatory retirement date set by the National Fire Protection Association.

“It’s not that (the equipment is) not functional, it’s just less effective,” Captain Joe Smeester said, adding, “These are things people wear inside a burning building.”

The board approved the purchase of 10 sets of helmets, jackets, pants and boots from Pomasl Fire Equipment of Antigo, Wis., at cost not to exceed $2,500 per set and supported the department’s plan to purchase more equipment in 2022 and 2023, effectively staggering the 10-year replacement schedule for protective clothing.

The board also permitted the fire department to place a deposit on a used rescue truck if one becomes available, with a budget of up to $125,000.

Additionally, the board allowed former firefighter Jim Rose to submit eligible firefighters who have served the township for placement on the Michigan Firefighters Memorial Wall at a price of $100 per firefighter.

To be eligible, nominees must either have served a minimum of 10 years as a firefighter in the state or been an active firefighter at the time of death.

Rose intends to submit Frank Stout, Joseph Brin, Albert Grailer, Jon Nord and Herman Munday for inclusion on the memorial.

In other business, the board appointed Department of Public Works Water Operator Bill Bailey as sexton of the Breitung Township Cemetery.

During public comment, Quinnesec resident Rita Luri thanked DPW employees for maintaining local baseball and soccer fields as well as the playground and cemetery. Luri also commended the board for its work during the pandemic.

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