Marquette Fire Department to upgrade exhaust systems with grant

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Fire Department was recently awarded over $50,000 from the FEMA Firefighters Assistance Grant.

The department will use the funds to replace exhaust systems in two of its fire houses.  Firefighters use the system to suck up exhaust from the trucks every morning during routine checks.  The exhaust system in the main fire hall is over 40 years old.

“(The old system) is a little bit leaky and a little bit underpowered,” Marquette Fire Department Chief Tom Belt said. “A new system will be totally sealed and the exhaust fans that pull the exhaust out will be a lot higher capacity. We’ll also have breakaway systems so when the vehicles fire up and the ignitions turn, the exhaust conduit breaks a way from the vehicle automatically.”

The grant is split 90-10, so the cost to the city will be about $5,000, and the other funds will come from the government.

“Senator (Debbie) Stabenow’s office and herself and Senator (Carl) Levin have been marvelous in far of supporting not only us but other U.P. fire departments in going for these grants and being successful,” Belt said.

The new exhaust system is expected to be installed next spring.