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Fire Department seeks new SCBA compressor
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McMinnville Fire Department has been given Safety Committee approval to purchase a new SCBA compressor that refills air cylinders. Approval from the full board is needed.

The availability of breathable air is essential for firefighters as they work to protect others. 

McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield has requested permission to purchase a replacement SCBA compressor. Cost is $59,525 from Nafeco. 

That equipment is used to fill the self-contained breathing apparatus cylinders that firefighters must have in order to breath during structure fires.

The city Safety Committee met to consider the request. 

“Chief, can you tell us a little bit about the situation with the compressor?” asked Alderman Zach Sutton. 

Mayfield replied, “Yes. It’s dead in the water. It’s right at 30 years old. It stopped running. We called and they said they can’t get parts for it anymore.”

McMinnville Fire Department has been using compressors located at volunteer fire departments in order to fill its cylinders during structure fires. 

“How many bottles do you typically go through during an involved house fire?” asked Sutton.

Mayfield said during a recent house fire at McMinnville Housing Authority, the department required 16 cylinders.

“I had to go three different times to Collins River (Volunteer Fire Department) to fill them up,” said Mayfield. 

That fire department is located on Beersheba Highway. 

“During a fire you had to leave, go to Collins River to refill the bottles and take them back?” asked city administrator Nolan Ming.

Mayfield replied, “Yes. I had to call somebody and ask them to come open the door to get them refilled. We’d have to leave anyway to refill them, but having one at the station would be quicker.” 

Safety Committee members unanimously approved the purchase of a replacement SCBA compressor from Nafeco for $59,525. The purchase must be approved by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen.