Baltimore Orders Four Fire Apparatus in Fleet Upgrade

The Baltimore City (MD) Fire Department will be purchasing four new pumping engines, in addition to the acquisition of two new ladder trucks delivered in June.

The Board of Estimates has signed off on a $2,151,604 order of Pierce DASH engines that firefighters say are essential to keep the city’s fleet ready to respond to emergencies and keep crews safe. Separately, the board allocated $600,000 for parts and service of the department’s aging Seagrave apparatus, signing a three-year, sole-source agreement with Interstate Truck Equipment.

The four new engines are being acquired through a cooperative purchasing contract with fire departments in Maryland and Texas, which the city says lowers the unit cost of the equipment through larger orders. The city earlier waived competitive bidding for the purchase.

The city’s fleet of 31 engines and 17 trucks dates back to the late 1990s. As a general rule, equipment should be replaced about every 10 years.

Upgrading the fleet was a top priority of James S. Clack, who resigned last month after five sometimes tumultuous years as fire chief.

The Rawlings-Blake administration has begun a nationwide search for his successor through Gans, Gans & Associates of Plant City (FL). (The executive search consultant receives $14,000 per search, plus travel expenses.)

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