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Grant Funds Gear for Duquesne Firefighters

By Tom Leturgey
The Tube City Almanac
October 06, 2022
Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne Fire Chief Frank Cobb told city council Tuesday night that the department has received a nearly $50,000 federal grant for a new compressor that will help keep firefighters' air tanks full.

Cobb explained that when a firefighter is on a call and the air tank on their back is depleted of oxygen, the department gets them filled at the nearby Duquesne Annex station in West Mifflin. With this grant, the department will be more efficient. Out of three bids, the department will spend $48,157.42 to purchase the compressor.

“We’ve been trying to get this for 30 years,” Cobb told council. “Multiple times we have been denied.” He said that the investment is important to stave off bigger expenditures down the road.

Council and Mayor Scott Adams expressed concern about the electrical wiring necessary to install the compressor. They wanted to know what it would cost to put in the charging station. Solicitor Myron Sainovich said, because Duquesne is an ACT 47 community, some union electricians will donate their time and use these kinds of projects to fulfill learning opportunities for supervisors and their apprentices.

Cobb and Public Works Director Mike Kurta said that the electric system does not need to be “upgraded” to add the compressor. They said running a power line from the basement would be sufficient, but they would provide Council with a cost estimate.

“We want to do this the right way,” said Adams.

If all goes well, the fire chief said that the new compressor could be operational in a few months.

Cobb reported that the city’s fire department successfully sold its 1989 ladder truck to an interested party in North Carolina for $30,000 and applied those funds toward the purchase of its newly-acquired 1997 fire truck.

Cobb also noted that over the past three months, the city’s fire crews have responded to 104 calls, but they have not yet had to tap into any of the new fire hydrants yet.

Tom Leturgey is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh and the editor of KSWA Digest, the online news and features home of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance.

Originally published October 06, 2022.

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