The Biloxi Fire Department now has a truck that can deliver breathing air to firefighters at fire scenes.
The new air truck replaces a nearly 20-year-old unit which could only transport air tanks to fire scenes. A firefighter’s air tank typically provides up to 20 minutes of air which can be diminished if the firefighter is actively fighting a fire.
In the past, empty air tanks had to be transported from a fire scene to fire headquarters on Porter Avenue for refilling and then returned to the fire scene.
Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney tells News 25 the new air truck is the first of its kind in the state. “It’s also a rehab unit. We will use it when we have a large fire. We have the capabilities to use it to get the guys out of the sun and the direct heat cooling them off, hydrating them and medically check them so we can send them back to the fire if we have to.”
The air truck is a $213,153 investment and is being funded over five years through grants from the insurance industry.