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Southbridge firefighters suit up

New suits boast top-of-the-line features

Southbridge Deputy Fire Chief Mark Difronzo tries on the new fire suits the department spent a year acquiring. The suits replace ones that are more than 10 years old. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
March 20, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — More than two dozen charred and torn firefighter suits rest in a pile upstairs at the Southbridge Fire Department.

They've seen better days. They've served their purpose and thankfully, they are being retired.

After over a yearlong process, the Southbridge Fire Department have replaced their 10-year-old fire suits.

"We really went with what felt best and were the most comfortable to use," said Deputy Chief Mark Difronzo, who had a large hand in appropriating the suits. "We evaluated the products first and dealt with their cost second. We worked with the company [who made the suits] to see what department could afford and got a great deal with them. The whole process started over a year ago."

One of the biggest concerns with choosing the suits was their flexibility and largely, their weight. Their weight is more than 50 pounds, but according to Difronzo, "we picked ones that don't feel like they are 50 pounds."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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