The story behind Lafayette firefighters’ new second set of gear
LFD adds new gear that had been on the back burner as a Fairfield Township trustee saga sorted itself out
Thanks today to sponsor The Lafayette Noon Optimist Club, holding their annual Christmas Tree Sale to raise funds for children in our community. Buy your tree at the Original Frozen Custard, 2319 Wallace Ave., Lafayette, from noon to 8 p.m. daily; open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Support programs for children in Greater Lafayette! Make a donation today: Lafayette Noon Optimist Club (square.site)
Thanks, also, for sponsorship help from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County, looking for a Director of Religious Exploration.
THE STORY BEHIND LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT’S NEW SECOND SET OF TURNOUT GEAR
The turnout gear spread out Wednesday on a table in an administration building, firefighting pants and jackets combos that go for roughly $3,500 a set, were a bit of a dream deferred for the Lafayette Fire Department.
LFD Fire Chief Brian Alkire said the second set of pants and jackets for 145 firefighters were a bonus for the department, allowing crews to get out of gear after fires so they aren’t responding to the next call in something that wasn’t wet and smoke-covered.
“Very few fire department that I’m aware of have the opportunity to supply two sets of gear for all their firefighters,” Alkire said Wednesday. “So, $7,000 to have two sets of gear per firefighter is a lot to ask your community members to fund.”
In this case, the money came from $620,000 Fairfield Township recently passed along to the Lafayette Fire Department, a catch-up payment as part of a long-standing arrangement for a fire department that responds to calls in the unincorporated parts of the Lafayette-based township.
Fairfield Township Trustee Monica Casanova was there Wednesday to accept the thanks from Alkire, for the gear and for 20 new radios. Casanova returned thanks in kind for fire coverage in a township that doesn’t have a fire department of its own.
The subtext for the brief unveiling for the media came after TV cameras went off and the firefighters displaying the gear returned to normal duties. The question: What’s the difference in cost between the turnout gear and a helicopter?
“You have to bring that up?” Casanova asked, laughing slightly.