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BHCFD modernizing vital equipment

June 29, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Fire Department is making moves to modernize its equipment.

The fire district governing board voted earlier this week to approve purchases of new breathing apparatus and communications network equipment.

The department is buying 70 MSA G-1 self-

contained breathing apparatus units from Phoenix-based L.N. Curtis & Sons Inc. for $687,680.38.

The price includes 202 air bottles, battery packs, a charging station kit, other equipment and a 10-year extended warranty.

Assistant Chief Patrick Moore said a department subcommittee reviewed three different products before choosing the MSA units and chose Curtis over another supplier.

The SCBAs have features that include integrated thermal imaging cameras and Bluetooth technology. Moore said the latter feature will be enabled after a communications upgrade.

The Ceragon microwave communications system will come from McIntosh Communications of Las Vegas.

Technology services manager David Verley said that McIntosh offered a better deal than equipment manufacturer Ceragon Networks Ltd., due to McIntosh getting a wholesale price and having lower labor costs. Ceragon Networks doesn’t discount much, he said.

Assistant Chief Scott Neal said the new equipment will give the BHCFD greater redundancy of service, increasing the reliability and speed of its communications. He said the department struggles in those areas now.

Neal said many of the BHCFD’s operations are heavily dependent on the internet, so the improved network will increase efficiency in areas such as ambulance billing.

Verley said the microwave system the department installed in 2010 still functions, but that the BHCFD has outgrown it. He said the new system should be in place in two to three months.

Also at the meeting, board members approved a resolution calling for a November election to fill two vacancies on the board and signed off on a letter of credit for the upcoming fiscal year.

During his report to the board, Fire Marshal Jim Dykens said there will be no extraordinary fireworks restrictions beyond a city ban that prevents them from being ignited after July 6.

“We don’t feel as much a risk here as elsewhere in Mohave County,” he said. “When we’ve had fires in the past, they have been started by illegal fireworks. We’re going to continue to allow families to enjoy these ‘safe and sane’ fireworks.”