City of McCook firefighters should be able to breathe a little easier, literally, thanks to new firefighting masks they expect to receive in the coming weeks. The McCook City Council awarded a $142,451 bid to purchase 20 new “self-contained breathing apparatus” to Sandry Fire Supply last week. The new equipment is expected to arrive in the next 10-12 weeks and was purchased through a lease-purchase program which included a $15,000 down payment approved by City Council in the current budget and annual payments going forward. National Fire Protection Association standards implemented in 2013 and intended to resolve a variety of safety issues made the fire department’s current equipment obsolete. During a visit with the Gazette earlier this week, Fire Chief Marc Harpham said the new standards primarily addressed three areas; increased facepiece integrity, improved communication and an improved low oxygen alarm.