City council approves bid for new equipment for fire department


Rob Le Cates

Natalie Mitlyng, a senior pre-med major, represents Eastern’s Student Government External Affairs Committee at the City Council meeting Tuesday evening. Mitlyng spoke to introduce herself and to update the council on what the committee has done for the past few semesters.

Rob Le Cates, Assistant Photo Editor

Charleston City Council approved a bid for 35 new self-contained-breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment for the fire department Tuesday evening.

The total cost for the new SCBAs is $247,450 but the fire department is receiving a grant to help pay for them.

The funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance firefighters grant with a total of approximately $222,727, leaving the city to pay around $24,723.

“The new SCBA, which will be largely funded the FEMA assistance firefighters grant, will replace the current SCBA which will be at the end of their lives in just a short years,” Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs said.

This equipment is important because it is used to protect users from oxygen deficiency, dust, gasses and other dangerous hazards while in an atmosphere that is harmful to them.

Student Senator Natalie Mitlyng, a senior pre-med major, spoke at the meeting about what Eastern’s Student Government External Affairs Committee has done the past few semesters.

Last spring, an off-campus housing portal was created with the purpose of bridging the gap between the university and the community and making connections.

Mitlyng said that the hopes of the portal are to help students with housing.

“It’ll be an opportunity for students to make informed decisions, choosing where to live,” Mitlyng said.

A student survey was sent out, with around 100 results, and a survey for landlords is being revised, with hopes to be sent out by winter break.

After the results of the surveys are collected, the committee plans to make a website.

“We plan on contacting faculty, marketing and [the] computer science department at our university to see if any students in those specific majors would help with the creation of the website,” Mitlyng said. “So we can create something that’s easy to understand, something that is very appealing to college-aged students.”

The website will be posted on the Chamber of Commerce, with the committee updating it as the semester continues.

Mitlyng said that the importance of this is to look at the student on-campus vs. off-campus population.

“A big point that we wanted to make was to look at the population of [on-campus] versus off-campus students,” Mitlyng said. “After the portal is created to see if the portal takes students away from on-campus housing.”

City council approved the street closure request for the Holiday Hustle 5K Walk / Run for the One Stop Community Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

The street closure will take place from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the following streets:

  • Starting at Old Main on Lincoln Avenue to 9th Street; then
  • 9th Street to Roosevelt Avenue; then
  • Roosevelt Avenue to 4th Street; then
  • 4th Street to Lincoln Avenue; and back to the beginning:
  • Lincoln Avenue and finishing at Old Main.

The council also approved a continuation of the local state of emergency which allows the city to expedite decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All items on the agenda were approved unanimously.

Rob Le Cates can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]