In an a letter to The Glendale Star, Timothy Noeding, General Sales Manager of Freightliner of Arizona, responded to an opinion essay by Glendale Fire Captain Joe Hester.
I am shocked that Glendale Fire Captain Joe Hester is attacking Freightliner Arizona with baseless facts and trying to characterize our organization as not wanting to support the safety of the firefighters in Glendale.
In his opinion piece, “Fire truck manufacturers should stick to the facts,” he pointed out that Freightliner of Arizona was offering an inferior product that lacked the extruded body and cab, the telma auxiliary brake in our proposal. Maybe he never got a chance to look at our proposal, but it included those items at a price of $422,838, plus tax.
We spent a great deal of time trying to get specific information in written form so we could verify we were providing exactly what Glendale Fire wanted. What we received were a couple of verbal “must haves”: extruded body and cab, telma brake and electronic valves. These items were all supplied in our proposal. We even went as far as going to a Glendale Fire Station to measure the body and compartment dimensions so we could have Rosenbauer duplicate them and draw up the apparatus to best match the equipment being used by the department today.
It is insulting that Hester or any firefighter might feel that Freightliner of Arizona would condone providing inferior or unsafe fire apparatus to any community, least of all Glendale Fire. We know there are severe budget issues facing the community and some of the “must have options” are very expensive and not widely used throughout the industry. Freightliner of Arizona’s proposal included all of these items, but communicated to the department that there were less expensive, more widely-used options that could be provided, thus saving the department and Glendale money so that these funds could be used for other purposes in the department.
Hester claims that all of the communities around Arizona have these options. I would ask that he investigate this claim, because he will find that 80 percent do not have extruded bodies; 90 percent do not have telma brakes; and about 90 percent do not have electronic valves. These items are available on fire trucks and fit certain purposes, but the cost versus the benefit has been reviewed by most of Hester’s fellow firefighters and they chose not to have these items on their apparatus. I am sure that Hester feels that these are needed in Glendale, but the majority of firefighters do not. There is no data that would indicate that these items improve safety for a firefighter. If there was, the National Fire Protection Association, which provides governance over firefighter safety, would require these devices on all fire apparatus.
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