By Mr. Kenneth Fidler (IMCOM)July 10, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Yongsan firefighters recently gained specialized protective firefighting equipment to increase its capability to deal with chemical incidents.
The Yongsan Fire Department added 10 "Level A" suits that lock out chemical vapors and 40 "Level B" suits for support operations.
"The Level A suits are fully vapor protective suits, completely sealed to protect us from chemical vapors," said Yongsan Fire Chief Alex Temporado. "The Level B suits are used for lower threat levels, such as decontamination to protect from liquid splashes."
This equipment also came with nine advanced air packs and dozens of gloves, boots and decontamination gear.
"The air packs have hour-long bottles, which gives us 15 more minutes of air, and that is critical to us," Chief Temporado said. "When we have more time on incident, we can accomplish a lot more."
Each bottle contains a buddy-breathing system so two firefighters can share a tank. A built-in safety alarm sounds off when a firefighter is immobilized for more than 20 seconds.
The face mask features a "heads-up" display with an LED read-out that shows oxygen levels.
"These suits let us go into dangerous areas that have immediate danger to life and health," said Chief Temporado. "These are all improvements to the safety of our firefighters."