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Phoenix Fire cancels contract with air-tank maker

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department is canceling a contract with the
manufacturer of the air tanks firefighters use when responding to blazes.

The Arizona Republic reported fire officials said air
tanks made by German-based company Draeger have defects that put their crews at
risk.

According to department administrators, a valve that supplies oxygen through a mask
failed more than 100 times, according to numerous firefighters.

Some firefighters reported either receiving little or too much oxygen while
battling a fire.

Draeger said its products are safe and a lack of proper training and operator
error by the Phoenix Fire Department are the reasons for the equipment failures.

Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Larry Contreras said firefighters will continue using
the air tanks until a bid for a replacement is approved.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com