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Firefighters due for new gear for safety requirements

The fire department said most of their current gear is nearly 10 years old, the point at which they're required to switch it out. / Mary Green

The Albany Fire Department will soon have a new way to keep its firefighters safer while they're protecting the community.

City commissioners approved on Tuesday the purchase of $367,400 worth of new turnout gear from Municipal Emergency Services. That money will buy 200 sets of pants, jackets and suspenders.

The fire department said most of their current gear is nearly 10 years old, the point at which they're required to switch it out.

Deputy Chief Sebon Burns said the new gear is flame resistant and will help them keep out the products of combustion.

"Those products are cancer-forming," he said. "A lot of fireman in the nation have come up with cancer lately, so we're trying to make sure that we have clean gear every time that we go into a structure fire."

Chief Burns said this new gear will allow most of their firefighters to have two sets, so they'll always have at least one that's clean.

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