Manteno Fire Department Receives $87,400 Grant
The Manteno Fire Department was one of six in Illinois to recently receive a grant. They will use the $87,400 grant to make the fire department building on South Walnut Street safer for the men and women who protect our community. Many of the vehicles used by the Manteno Fire Department run on diesel. Exhaust fumes from these diesel engines can be very dangerous. Manteno Fire Chief Scott O’Brien said the $87,400 grant will be used to add a ventilation system that captures diesel fumes. This equipment is important because the fire trucks and other vehicles are typically started inside of the building.
Some may ask why it this equipment is necessary now after so many years without one. For those who question this acquisition there are many reasons why this diesel capture system is important. Think back to the last time you drove on one of the busy express-ways near Chicago or in any area that is highly trafficked by semi-trucks. You undoubtedly have noticed the strong odor of diesel fumes. These fumes are much more dangerous than the fumes produced from the average gasoline engine.
Now image that you are in a building with a running semi-truck, or in this case a diesel fire truck, instead of the open air of an expressway. These fumes can build up and are associated with a slew of health issues. If you were only exposed to diesel fumes a few times per year the risks would be very low. The Manteno fire fighters and emergency personnel are exposed to them for many hours every day. Opening the bay doors at the fire station does little to remove these fumes and is not a viable solution.
Regular exposure to diesel fumes increases the chance of developing cancer by 50%. The most common type of diesel fume related cancer is lung cancer but there are many other types of cancer than can develop due to these fumes.
The fire fighters in Manteno already have an increased risk of cancer due to the smoke they breath in and the chemicals they both work with and are exposed to during fires. This new piece of safety equipment is absolutely essential. They should not have to deal with dangerous fumes when they are at the station waiting for a call.
There hasn’t been any criticism to this purchase that I know of but I just wanted to express the importance of this new equipment for those who may be skeptical of why such a large amount of money was being spent on something the fire department has done without for decades. This money was from a grant in any event and I consider it money well spent.