The Montgomery Township supervisors unanimously voted to approve the purchase of a 2015 rescue pump truck from Pierce Manufacturing Inc., a truck that township Director of Fire Services Rick Lesniak said will be very familiar to current firefighters.
“Because the apparatus will be the same as the department’s 2006 Pierce rescue pumper, there is less time needed for training,” Lesniak said.
In early 2013 FDMT and the Department of Fire Services established a committee of firefighters looking into a new engine meant to replace a 1989 Hahn fire engine bought by the company in 2003, according to Lesniak.
That committee met with six manufacturers over the following year and a half, and four of those six submitted written bid packages and drawings, with two submitting cost quotes – the engine replacement was originally included in the township’s 2013 budget but later delayed due to the lengthy vetting process. After vetting both using criteria including design, maintenance, and training requirements, the committee selected Pierce Manufacturing to provide a 2015 model rescue pumper at a total estimated price of roughly $587,000. That price could be reduced to the$575,000 earmarked by DFS in the township’s 2014 budget by taking advantage of early payment options, and the department’s reserve funds contain enough to cover the purchase, according to Lesniak.
Three of FDMT’s four front-line vehicles were made by Pierce, according to Lesniak, and the department already has parts and equipment from that company in stock from the current vehicles. With lower maintenance costs and reduced training requirements due to the similarities with current equipment, the committee recommended the Pierce option with prepayment discounts, an option supervisors Chairman Joe Walsh said the board had no problem supporting.
The truck is expected to be delivered around early summer of 2015, with the 240-to-270-day clock starting on delivery time once the truck committee finishes finalizing details with the manufacturer. Pierce will help train firefighters on the new truck before it is put in service, and the 1989 Hahn engine will likely be sold to help offset the costs of the new Pierce once the new engine goes on duty.
Looking even further ahead, the next oldest vehicle in the FDMT fleet is Ladder 18, a 2002 model year which required repairs in early 2013; that engine is scheduled to be replaced in 2022 and the same committee approach will likely be used then, according to Lesniak.
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