What can adversely affect your pumper's handling characteristics, weighs almost five tons, costs $5,000, never sees the light of day, is seldom painted, and influences the efficiency of your engine company?
This article illustrates how one mid-sized municipal fire department addressed the concerns of its members when purchasing new apparatus.
Everybody has an idea of what center of gravity (CG) is, but not too many people know how to evaluate it when purchasing fire apparatus.
The current economic turmoil is forcing fire departments to become more judicious in allocating resources for new purchases. Having a large price tag, fire apparatus are financially conspicuous and an easy target for cost-conscious administrators.
A budget-conscious fire department ordered an inexpensive program pumper (sometimes referred to as a stock or demonstrator unit) from a major apparatus manufacturer—a stripped down, bare-bones unit that just meets the minimum requirements of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus.
Fire apparatus vendors and purchasers who misuse fire apparatus specifications negate the intent of writing technical purchasing specifications, impede the public bidding process, complicate fire apparatus purchasing, and generally do a disservice to fire departments.
Presenters who cover apparatus purchasing use various means to get their points across.
Dealers are viewed differently by those who comply with formal bidding protocols and those who do not.
A department approves funding for a new apparatus and forms a purchasing committee. But, the only vendor personally contacted is the committee's preferred dealer.
Think of all the services provided by the modern fire service. Think of the fire chief's job responsibilities.