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New safety equipment for first responders

Tucson Delivers
Posted at 1:03 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 22:01:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Thanks to a half cent sales tax approved by voters two years ago, the city of Tucson continues to make progress in funding public safety need. By the end of the month the Tucson Fire department will have four new paramedic units on the street.

Prop 101, also known as Tucson Delivers is part of a five year plan to provide more efficient resources for first responders.

"It helps us work safer, it helps us work smarter and at the end of the day when we're able to do that then we are able to do what we need to do to, protect the citizens when they call us," said Battalion Chief Barret Baker.

The new technology in the units are designed with firefighters safety in mind. The gurneys will be now lowered out of each vehicle automatically and are able to lower and raise with the click of a button.

"We don't have to hurt our backs, we don't have to hurt you if a gurney doesn't catch properly," said Baker. "If you're the patient that's on the receiving end of this it benefits you tremendously.

Funds from Tucson delivers will also be used to completely rebuild station 9. When it was built in the 1960's it was intended to house a much smaller response crew, now more than 40 years later more firefighters are stationed there. The department also deals with a number of zone dispatching, an issue that will be fixed when refurbished.

Officials with the TFD say they hope to break ground on station 9 by early summer of next year. Since the sales tax increase passed, Prop .101 has purchased new turnout gear, cardiac monitors and trucks for the department.