Five local fire departments are planning on purchasing some much-needed equipment in one mass order as a way to save a significant amount of money.

Fowlerville, Green Oak, Hartland, Unadilla, and Hamburg Township’s fire departments are all in need of self-contained breathing apparatuses, or SCBA’s, which provide breathable air to the firefighters in dangerous conditions. The equipment is required to be replaced every 15 years and the departments are creeping up on that expiration date.

Hamburg Township Deputy Fire Chief Nick Miller says buying 182 SCBA’s all at once for each department will end up saving them about $2,000 per unit. The total purchase amount will be approximately $1.2(m) million.

Miller says having the same equipment will make their jobs safer because should they need to borrow one another’s in the event of an emergency, firefighters will already be familiar with the apparatus and how it works. Fire Chief Mark Hogrebe says additionally, the departments will have that same purchasing power the next time the SCBA’s are due for replacement.

Hamburg Township’s Fire Department will spend $246,051 to purchase their 40 units; an expenditure that was approved by the Board of Trustees Tuesday. If Green Oak Township approves their share of the purchase this week as well, the order will be placed Thursday and expected to arrive by the end of the year. (DK)