Last Wednesday the Page City council approved the purchase of seven diesel exhaust removal systems for the Page Fire Department. The price for purchasing and installing the exhaust removal systems is $61,173 for all seven units.
The diesel exhaust removal systems are attached directly to a vehicle’s tailpipe. The company that makes the system claims they capture and remove one hundred percent of particulates and carcinogens leaving the exhaust system.
Diesel vehicles built after 2011 have stricter diesel exhaust emission requirements as required by EPA standards, but the Page Fire Department has as least seven vehicles which were built prior to 2011 ,and some were built in the 1990s and they’re capable of spewing a hefty amount of exhaust in a hurry.
Councilman Dennis Warner expressed concern that such a purchase could be ongoing if the systems need to be continuously replaced or upgraded, stating that he didn’t want to burden future city councils with an ongoing expense if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
Page Fire Department Fire Chief Jeff Reed argued that the exhaust removal systems were necessary, and that the health of himself and his crew was worth the expense.
“When we arrive at a scene we park our vehicle in such a way that protects the scene from approaching traffic and sometime that means parking the vehicle in such a way that the exhaust is directed at the area where we’re working,” said Chief Reed.
“We can be ingesting the diesel smoke for the entire time we’re on scene, which may be up to two or three hours.
“There have been ongoing studies about the health risks associated with long-term exposure to diesel exhaust, and the crew and myself are very aware of those risks.”
The City Council also approved funding for the fire department to purchase 14 new Motorola portable radios which are capable of operating on both analog and digital systems.
The Fire Department currently uses an analog-only radio system. Many of the other emergency response agencies they work with have already upgraded to digital radios, which makes communicating with them via analog radio difficult or impossible. The cost for the 14 radios is $20,878.