Excerpts from newsbug.info:

The Bloomington Fire Department has purchased fire trucks and protective gear for firefighters with funding from the city budget in recent years. For its 2019 budget, the fire department has requested a new logistics officer to maintain the gear and decontaminate equipment of carcinogens after fires.

Eighty-two percent of the Bloomington Fire Department’s 2019 budget request of $11.9 million is for personnel and includes the new position.

In early 2017, the city and fire department implemented a quartermaster system, meaning firefighters no longer buy their own protective gear to wear on the job. The city now buys and owns the gear.

A new, full-time logistics officer would oversee the quartermaster system, work as a purchasing manager and create maintenance schedules for the fire gear, including the self-contained breathing apparatuses, water-flow equipment, extrication tools and more. The officer would also serve as an equipment manager that works exclusively with the new tools, quartermaster gear and fleet vehicles to help extend the longevity of the department’s equipment and ensure firefighters use compliant and safe gear, the Bloomington Fire Department’s 2019 budget proposal states.

A city contract with the firefighters’ union mandates each firefighter will have two sets of personal protective equipment by 2020. A $130,000 budget request would bring the department to almost 80 percent of that goal. The logistics officer would also clean personal protective equipment. As firefighters battle fires, carcinogens soak into gear — like jackets, pants, boots and helmets.

“Two sets of gear, with the logistics officer, means contaminated gear will never come back to the station until it’s washed,” Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore told the city council during his budget hearing presentation last month.

There are eventual plans for a central storage and cleaning station. Moore told the council he has explored pricing, and the $250,000 expenditure isn’t prudent for next year’s budget.

The 2018 Bloomington Fire Department budget included a $1.3 million purchase for a new aerial ladder truck. For 2019, the department requested $530,000 for a new fire engine, a $40,000 truck for the new logistics officer and a $50,000 pickup for the Quick Response fleet.