Dowagiac City Council approves purchase of $166,000 fire department SCBA gear

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac City Council authorized the purchase of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus masks for the Dowagiac Fire Department during its Monday meeting.

The council moved unanimously to purchase 21 Scott Air-Pak X3 Pro SCBAs, associated equipment and RIT rescue packs from West Shore Fire at a cost of $165,909.

“By purchasing these SCBAs, the firefighters will have the most up to date technology and functionality available for SCBA’s. The department will continue to maintain the SCBA’s as it has to get maximum use and longevity out of the SCBA’s,” said Dowagiac Public Safety Director Steve Grinnewald.

According to Grinnewald, the Dowagiac Fire Department currently has 20 SCBA in service with the department for such incidents. The current SCBA are in their 20th year of service with the department and are outdated. They are becoming increasingly difficult to repair and get replacement parts for them. The replacement of the SCBA’s is on a replacement schedule with the city and funding is set aside each year for the replacement of the SCBA. 

Although the service life for SCBA is currently limited/recommended at 15 years, due to the care and maintenance of the SCBA’s, the Dowagiac Fire Department has been able to utilize the current SCBAs for 20 years.

Grinnewald said the administration and firefighters of the Dowagiac Police Department did extensive research on three separate manufacturers of SCBA to determine the best one for the

Department, which included demonstrations from vendors as well as wearing and using the SCBA by members of the department. The department chose the Scott Air-Pak X3 Pro SCBA as the best SCBA for the department’s needs. Scott is the manufacturer of the current SCBA that the department has.