Mitchell Fire Division helps small town firefighters receive breathing apparatuses

Sam Fosness, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.

Mar. 30—The Mitchell Fire Division is helping a small town volunteer fire department stay equipped to continue serving their community.

After recently receiving an updated shipment of self-controlled breathing apparatuses, the Mitchell Fire Division had 30 apparatuses on hand. Rather than seeing them go to waste, the Mitchell Fire Division decided to sell several pieces of their used equipment to the Lake Preston Volunteer Fire Department at a reduced price.

"There are smaller fire departments out there that can't afford to change out their breathing apparatuses, so when we were able to switch out, we had some smaller fire departments ask if we could sell them some," said Mitchell Fire Chief Marius Laursen. "Lake Preston was the first one to reach out, and we wanted to find a way to get them some of our older ones. I'd hate to see our used one's sit there and not be used, so it's great knowing these will be getting used for emergency responses."

To sell the self-breathing apparatuses to Lake Preston, the equipment was declared as surplus. With the Mitchell City Council's recent approval to allow the fire division to sell the equipment, the Lake Preston Volunteer Fire Department will be receiving four used self-controlled breathing apparatuses at a reduced rate that came out to $4,800.

The devices are worn by firefighters to provide breathable air in a fire or smoke-filled area during an emergency response. Laursen said the breathing apparatus is one of the "most vital" pieces of equipment for firefighters.

The Mitchell Fire Division was able to re-up their stock with updated self controlled breathing apparatuses recently from the COVID-19 funds that were available to public safety departments. Laursen said it was a great opportunity to "pay it forward" and help out another group of fellow firefighters.

"As firefighters, we are all united by the risks we take to save others lives in the name of public safety," Laursen said. "It was a great way to give back to a fire department that provides the same service as all of us firefighters."