The San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation announced Friday they've raised funds to equip San Diego Fire-Rescue crews with Personal Escape Systems (PES), as they face daunting new challenges in modern firefighting.
Last October, the foundation launched the campaign to support first responders with the special equipment of PES. According to the Foundation, PES is a device that allows firefighters to escape through an upper floor window in less than 30 seconds.
In critically dangerous situations where firefighters have become trapped or disoriented in a fiery structure, the PES could be imperative to their survival.
Foundation officials said they are matching a purchase by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) by donating an additional 155 PES units for their firefighters.
In the midst of fire season, SDFD firefighters will be able to greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to flee a burning building. Foundation officials say their old escape equipment would allow them to flee in about four to six minutes through a complicated process, compared to the greatly reduced and simplified 30-second escape time of PES.
That amount of time can make the difference between life and death for firefighters, said Foundation officials.
Each device costs nearly $700 apiece, with funding made possible through donations and community support, according to the Foundation. The campaign was launched in 2015 with a $50,000 donation from the Siegel family.