On Friday, April 22, 2016, the Kirkland Fire Department donated its used breathing devices to a fire department in Mexico through the nonprofit organization, Firefighters Crossing Borders. The device, which is known as a “self-contained breathing apparatus” or SCBA, provides breathable air in dangerous environments, such as when a firefighter enters a burning building. The Kirkland Fire Department donated 52 packs, 108 cylinders, 80 masks and maintenance parts.
Due to state and federal regulations, the Kirkland Fire Department can no longer use the SCBAs, nor do they have any resale value. However, they are useful for other fire departments around the world that do not currently have any way to ensure that firefighters can breathe in dangerous situations.
The City of Kirkland and the Fire Department has a history of making charitable donations of used equipment. Following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, for example, the department donated used equipment and a used aid car. More recently, the department donated a used aid car to Sierra Leone to help in the Ebola crisis.