DUNEDIN — City officials are pleased that their fire department will receive a $222,701 federal grant to help buy new self-contained breathing apparatus.

They congratulated fire department officials Jan. 4 for their persistent efforts to obtain the FEMA grant, which requires a $22,270 contribution from the city, and approved the contract for the purchase of the equipment.

The total cost of the equipment is about $369,925. The balance, $124,954, is budgeted in the city's general fund for fiscal year 2022.

The fire department is replacing 34 SCBA units and will obtain an additional 21 face masks to allow each firefighter to have their own mask.

City officials say the current SCBA equipment was bought in 2008 and the expected lifespan is 15 years. Also requested are five additional face masks to replace any that may get damaged and have to be sent out to repair, memos say.

"The fire department did a fantastic job. They have applied for this FEMA grant two years in a row," City Manager Jennifer Bramley said. "They finally got the grant in the last year of the usefulness of these packs."

She praised City Attorney Nikki Day for her work pertaining to the FEMA grant.

The Fire Department currently has 55 certified firefighters that could have cause to wear an SCBA, either in response to a fire or during the investigation of an incident.

"This is a critical piece of life safety equipment that firefighters use when entering 'Immediate Dangerous to Life' atmospheres," Fire Chief Jeff Parks said in a memo.

The bid for the equipment was awarded to Ten-8 Fire and Safety of Bradenton.

The SCBA air pack includes a feature that allows two firefighters to share air between two tanks if one of the tanks becomes low.

City officials say this is a critical safety feature of the equipment, manufactured by MSA Safety Inc.