BROKEN BOW— Health and wellness was the theme of the check presentation to the Broken Bow Fire Department from the Public Alliance for Community Energy (ACE). The $4,763 check, presented by Gene Chapin from the Broken Bow Utilities Department on Tuesday, March 5, helped in part pay for a gear extractor (washer) and gear dryer which cost around $6,200. The extractor helps eliminate the toxins, ash, etc. that can be found in a fire that may be found on the fire fighters’ bunker gear.
According to Fire and EMS Coordinator Andy Holland, the extractor is different from a normal washer as it does not agitate the gear, but instead spins the equipment which allows the toxins to be forced out. It was noted that the toxins are perfectly safe to be washed away into a drain.
When asked about the new equipment, Holland said, “It’s a great thing that ACE did for us. Now it is one more tool that we have to make sure we keep our fireman safe.”
According to the ACE website, the Nebraska Choice Gas program provides an opportunity for Nebraska customers on the Black Hills distribution system to choose their natural gas supplier each year. Those who participated in this program helped provide these funds that are then presented to the community in Broken Bow.
“This money is out there every year as long as people sign up with ACE with your natural gas,” said Chapin. “Every year we give about this much money back to the community. In order to do that, we have to have everyone sign up for their natural gas through ACE.”
The new extractor and dryer are already being used by the department which takes about one hour extract the gear and five hours to use the dryer to complete the process.