ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Anchorage Fire Department responded, Tuesday, to an investigative report which questioned the reliability of breathing packs used by AFD first responders.
“The Anchorage Fire Department has experienced difficulties with the Draeger Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) used by firefighters and other first responders,” an AFD statement read.
According to investigative reporting by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and WSB-TV, firefighters from Arizona to Alaska reported that mouthpieces on Draeger air packs fell apart, cutting off firefighters’ supply of fresh air.
Documents obtained by reporters show that the Anchorage Fire Department reported 44 failures with its Draeger units, less than two years after paying more than $1.5 million for the gear. The documents show a captain describing it as an annoying, ongoing problem.
“Mayor Sullivan, the Municipality of Anchorage, and AFD have been working on finding solutions with the manufacturer, Draeger, for nearly two months. One of the three issues reported have been successfully resolved. The AFD continues to work with Draeger on finding solutions,” the AFD statement read.