TUSCALOOSA, AL — The Tuscaloosa County Commission on Wednesday will consider $28,450 in community development funds to go toward the purchase of new gas monitors and thermal imaging cameras for five volunteer fire departments across the county.
In addition to the two commissioners splitting funding for a department in an area they share, Murray will also look to secure $5,690 each for the Fosters VFD and and Sipsey Valley VFD to purchase the gas monitors and thermal cameras.
Acker told Patch on Tuesday that the decision was made after conversations with the fire chiefs for each community, who expressed the need for the new technology. He then said he is also working with the volunteer fire departments for Mt. Olive, Montgomery and Mayfield for similar funding in January based on their individual needs.
“When we can come alongside them, even with a small amount to help them do that job, I feel that’s almost an obligation,” Acker said.
Among other innovative uses, the thermal imagining cameras can allow firefighters to identify hot spots from outside of a building when battling a structure fire, while gas monitor technology can help first responders identify levels of dangerous gases that the naked eye or other senses may fail to recognize.
Acker said the technology was fit the expressed needs of local VFDs, which officials believe will ultimately save more lives while keeping first responders safe.
“It’s a great use of our community development money and that’s what it is there for,” he said.
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