Firefighters need improved safety devices - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Firefighters need improved safety devices

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Fire and Rescue Foundation is kicking off a three-month fundraising campaign on Monday to raise money in order to purchase life-saving devices necessary to allow firefighters to escape the upper story of a burning building.

The device is called a Personal Escape System which is designed to allow firefighters to bail out of an upper story window in less than 30 seconds. The current method used by San Diego firefighters requires all firefighters who are escaping to be together as they find an anchor in a burning building from which to tie a series of knots before roping out of a window. This takes an average of 4 to 6 minutes.

The fundraiser says that "the City of San Diego has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of mid- to high-rise buildings.  And, with the use of different construction materials and an increase in fuel loads, rapid changes in fire dynamics and shorter escape times happen more frequently."

The PES device is a recommended item for all firefighters. However, the SDFD has had other priority needs that have prevented the department from being able to purchase the equipment. The devices cost approximately $700 apiece.

The goal of the fundraiser is to equip each of the 873 San Diego firefighters with their own PES device. The non-profit aims to raise $582,300 to fund the cost of the systems over the course of the next three months.

If you would like to make a donation, visit sdfirerescue.org to make a contribution and help equip San Diego's firefighters with the gear they need to do their job safely. 

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