Biloxi firefighters receive one-of-a-kind fire safety devices

The Biloxi Fire Department has two new tools to assist with firefighting and fire safety: a truck that can deliver breathing air to firefighters at fire scenes and a trailer that can simulate house fires and other catastrophes.

The new air truck, Fire Chief Joe Boney says, is the first-of-its-kind in the state.

“This new unit has the capability of providing an endless supply of breathing air in the field, where and when it is needed the most,” Boney said.  “Firefighters will be able to continuously fill their air tanks on the scene, saving vital time.”

This truck replaces a nearly 20-year-old unit that could only ferry 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.

The air truck, a $213,163 investment, is being funded over five years through grants from the insurance industry.

The department last week also saw the delivery of a 27-foot Fire Prevention and Safety Trailer that can simulate a kitchen fire, hurricane, thunder or flooding.

The trailer, valued at $100,000 and funded through a federal grant, uses video screens, smoke, heat, and vibrations to simulate emergency situations.  Among its rooms are a kitchen and bedroom, as well as seating area for groups to view such incidents as a toaster, oven or stove fire;  a short circuit in an electrical socket; and thunderstorms, hurricanes or flooding.

“This trailer is the first-of-its-kind in Biloxi,” Boney said.  “It is handicapped accessible and will allow us to reach all ages and the physically impaired, something that until now we were not able to do. It’s realistic training for the entire family and it can save lives.”
See images of the breathing unit and safety trailer


News and notes: Council, Preservation, dance, postponed fire event

City Council:  The Biloxi City Council had their last scheduled meeting for this month on Tuesday afternoon at Biloxi City Hall.  Topics included an infrastructure update by Oscar Renda Contracting and a proclamation for Mental Health Month.  To see images from the meeting, click here

Preservation in May:  The month-long series continues Thursday evening with “City within a City: African American Culture in Biloxi.”  The free event takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ohr-Okeefe Museum of Art. To see the complete series lineup, click here

Mother-Son dance: The Parks & Recreation will hold its inaugural Mother-Son Date Night on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Biloxi Civic Center.  The red carpet-themed event is free and will include refreshments. To see the flyer, click here.  

Fire event postponed:  The Biloxi Fire Department and West End Hose Co. No 3 Fire Museum event, Jump Into Summer Festival, scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed because of threatening weather. The event will be rescheduled later this summer.