WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. -- The Williamstown Fire Department has upgraded its equipment in a way that will change the way they fight fires from now on.
A $10,000 grant awarded by Kentucky Homeland Security is funding the purchase of 30 new European-style Rosenbauer helmets. It's a first for Northern Kentucky.
Fire Chief Les Whalen said the new helmets include safety features "that are more 2000s instead of 1800s."
"Safety is the number one thing," Whalen said. "I want out firefighters to be protected. I want them to go home safely."
The new helmets are lighter, weighing less than 3 lbs. Standard firefighter helmets can weigh as much as 7 lbs. The new ones also provide more head and neck protection.
"It's a step forward from the traditional helmet that we're all used to seeing firemen wear," Whalen said.
Williamstown also bought two new Scott Sight masks that include a built-in thermal imaging camera, helping firefighters see through smoke.
They're little changes that make a big difference for the safety of firefighters.
"Change is not easy, but we all need to progress and I think this is a progressive move for the fire department," Whalen said. "And hopefully, it'll catch on."