New SCBA ‘Big Leap Forward’ for IN Firefighters

Otter Creek IN fire apparatus

Lisa Trigg

The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.


May 1—Station 1 of Otter Creek Township Fire Department bustled with activity Friday as the volunteers replaced some old equipment to provide better protection for their firefighting members.

Thirty-one new self-contained breathing apparatuses were placed on the engines’ housed at the department’s stations on Clinton Road, at Sandcut and at Burnett.

“This is a big leap forward for firefighter safety,” Chief Brad Stott said, explaining the old units were a variety of models and were not always interchangeable. Those old units replaced were about 15 years old and were at the end of their service life, he said.

About $212,000 of the $225,000 cost for the air packs came from a FEMA grant. The department matched the remaining 5% of the cost using public safety tax funds.

Otter Creek has 42 firefighters on the all-volunteer department. They handle calls in a 35-square-mile area with a population of about 10,000.

Stott said the department is on track to cover 900 runs this year. Last year, about 750 runs were covered for fires, medical emergencies and rescues.

During the quarterly field training day in April, the firefighters were familiarized with the new SCBA units, and worked on pumping and drafting, firefighting foam application, new EMS skills and Rehab Division operations.

“Training opportunities like this help to make our members safer, more effective, and help us to provide the best service possible to our community,” Stott said.

More information about the fire department is available online at

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.


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