Repurposing and refurbishing fire apparatus is taking on new importance these days as fire departments continue to struggle with dwindling financial and staffing resources, and manufacturers try to find ways to fill in the holes in fire department fleets.

Equipment is often purchased and placed in service without adequate training to go along. All members must be educated on the proper operational procedures of all equipment carried in their cache—especially newly purchased equipment.

I don’t believe there is a small or struggling department on the planet that doesn’t appreciate it when a big department donates surplus equipment to it. Are there times however, when donated surplus is a bad idea for some departments? I think so.