PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Portsmouth Fire Department will soon receive a second set of turnout gear.
On Tuesday, Portsmouth City Council approved $358,000 for the purchase of 200 suits. Forty more will be purchased with the help of a grant.
The turnout gear will help firefighters improve self-decontamination after being exposed to carcinogens in the line of duty.
“We are facing a cancer epidemic industry-wide and council’s investment in the second set turnout gear will help us to greatly reduce the risk to firefighters being exposed to carcinogenic materials,” said James Hoffler, chief of the Portsmouth Fire Department.
The fire department plans to purchase new second gear suits yearly so that each firefighter will have two suits initially. In the department’s plan, older suits will routinely be replaced.