Firefighter fears someone will die because of outdated equipment

Firefighter fears someone will die because of outdated equipment

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - A firefighter for the City of Hanahan fears someone's going to die on the job because of outdated firefighting equipment.

He's pointing fingers at city officials for not spending the money to fix the problem.

Live 5 investigated his claims and went to city officials to get some answers.

"Why should I die? Why should one of the guys I work with die over money? That's what it comes down to I guess is money. You don't want to spend the money for stuff we need," said the concerned firefighter, who asked us not to identify him.

He says he and fellow firefighters in Hanahan must wear outdated protective clothing that might not save them when fighting a fire.

"You can look at it and tell it's old. It's not the normal color it should be. It literally looks like faded, drug rotted. Some of the gear's from the 90's and we're in 2014. C'mon."

I called Hanahan City Administrator Johnny Cribb for answers to the accusations.

Cribb told me all clothing and gear used in fighting fires was inspected by the city's finance director, fire chief and a fire captain in 2013.

Cribb said all of it was found to meet proper standards.

Cribb says the city bought ten sets of clothing last year to replace old gear that is supposed to be safe for 10 years.

Hanahan has 30 firefighters.

But the firefighter maintains the city is not doing enough to keep him and his fellow firefighters safe.

"What about the citizens? Their tax dollars are supposed to buy them this service, right? It's not." Firefighters are a proud group of guys. We take care of our stuff. We take care of each other. Give us what we need and we'll do it."

Administrator Cribb says the city is doing its part, and gave the fire department close to $2 million for its budget last year to spend on salaries, training, and equipment.

He insists the city's firefighters are safe.

The fire department's insurance company has the job of making sure equipment and gear are in working order.

 Fire departments are graded on a scale of one to ten, with one being the best.

The Hanahan Fire Department was given a three rating after the last inspection, according to the Cribb.

©2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.