West Point Fire Department receives dry suits

WPFD Battalion Chief Danny White assists firefighter Lantz Stewart try on one of the department’s new dry suit used for swift water rescues.
Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

The West Point Fire Department received six new dry suits and five new pairs of boots to use for swift water rescues.
West Point Fire Chief Ken Wilbourne said the dry suits cost $1,100 each, and the suits and boots cost $9,100 total, which was paid for by a grant from Mississippi Department Homeland Security.
Wilbourne said the suits were completely waterproof, and they are used especially in cold water. He said normal street clothes could be worn under the suit, or sweats could be worn under them in colder conditions.
“They are different from wet suits because wet suits still get wet, but slowly, so they will still keep you somewhat warm,” Wilbourne said. “Dry suits keep the person wearing them completely dry, so the person wearing them stays warm and protected from anything dangerous in the water.”
According to Wilbourne, the suits also protect any wounds or broken skin from contaminated water since water does not pass through the material onto the skin. The suits are generally used in floods or other contaminated water sources.
He said the boots provide ankle support and are non-slip on the bottom.