Fire department receives funding for new descent system

Members of the fire department, town officials, and representatives of Bristol County Savings were on hand for a presentation of a $25,000 grant to the NAFD for the purchase of a new descent system. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
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By Max

The North Attlebrorough Fire Department has received a $25,000 grant that will be used for the purchase of a rope system to help firefighters safely exit burning buildings when they’re high off the ground.

According to Fire Chief Christopher Coleman, the system consists of a set of ropes and a carabiner that are connected to the firefighter’s gear with a D ring. This allows for a controlled exit if they need to leave via a window. The grant was provided by Bristol County Savings Bank’s Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation and was given to the department earlier this month. The grant is part of the foundation’s efforts to support organizations that have been on frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It doesn’t happen often, but because fires burn hotter and faster, there are times they (the firefighters) can get into trouble on a fire floor,” said Coleman.

The department currently uses rope bags which need to be tied to the firefighter’s belt and an anchor point. Coleman said the new system allows for more precision when leaving the building. He said it would be utilized for single family homes and large structures such as an apartment building. The department will send four firefighters to train on the new system, after which point they’ll train the rest of the department.

The donation to the fire department was part of $325,000 in funding that is being awarded to fire departments in 13 communities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Northern Rhode Island with Bristol County Savings Bank branches. Since the Foundation was formed in 1996, more than $25 million has been committed to hundreds of local nonprofits.

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