DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Daphne Fire Department purchased over $200,000 worth of new gear in order to better protect their firefighters. Turnout gear is personal protective equipment used by firefighters in any fire situation.

Firefighters are often exposed to toxic products that cause harm, so the right gear is essential. “There are a large number of carcinogens that are put out in smoke when something burns or is on fire and firefighters deal with everything from vehicle fires that may involve oil or gasolines to household combustion, products of combustion from couches and class A materials and even plastic in some things and when they break down they put out a lot of carcinogens that are extremely toxic,” said Battalion Chief Nathan Adams of Daphne Fire Department.

Firefighter gear has a life span of ten years, and The Daphne Fire Department is just six months away from the ten-year mark. The National Fire Protection Association publishes codes and standards for all fire departments to follow and when the gear loses its life span, it becomes a major safety hazard. “Unfortunately because it is at the end of its life-span by the end of NFPA standards, they require that it be destroyed in a manner that it is no longer usable, also so no one can accidentally wear it into a fire or hazard situation and suffer harm because of it,” Adams said.

The manufacturer of the new gear, LION, allows the firefighters to send back the gear to get cleaned and decontaminated once it’s been worn through several fires. The gear will be used in action starting July 26th.