The Orion Fire Department will soon be updating several pieces of important equipment that have matured beyond two decades of age.
The Orion Township board on Monday night approved the purchase of vehicle rescue tools and a new ambulance.
The bid went to Rescue Resources LLC based in Rockford, for $93,016 which would outfit all four Orion fire stations with a rescue cutter, metal spreader and ram.
“We did have a demonstration of this equipment and all the firefighters in attendance were impressed with their operation and felt we were getting the same quality product by going with the Genesis Tools,” Fire Chief Robert Smith said.
The department will also designate approximately $11,000 of additional funding to purchase a combination tool and stabilization equipment. The combination tool is a cutter and spreader.
They are not as powerful as the main units but will aide in the beginning stages of a rescue. The department does not have stabilization kits and it’s something Chief Smith noted as being something they desperately need.
“This will help stabilize vehicles that get rolled up on their side so that we can work in a safer environment.” he said.
By awarding the bid to Rescue Resources, the department was able to save more than $15,000.
A Romeo-based firefighting outfitter, Apollo Fire Equipment, quoted the department a bid of $120,000 for just the four sets of rescue tools.
“The biggest factor was although their products met or exceeded our bid specifications, they (Rescue Resources) came in substantially lower and they use a common battery that can be purchased at our local home improvement store,” Smith said.
Unlike their current set of rescue tools, the Genesis brand is powered by a Milwaukee battery which will allow firefighters to perform rescues without having to be tethered to a hydraulic hose and power unit. The batteries are half the price of other competitors and are interchangeable with Milwaukee brand power tools.
“We now have lightweight modern equipment for efficiently extracting patients from crashed vehicles, dislodging them from machinery or other situations where a person may be trapped within equipment,” he said. “Our equipment we have now is over 25 years old in some cases, no longer performs on the newer vehicles properly and is subject to many failures as of late.”
Also on the list for replacement is the department’s ambulance which has recently been placed permanently out of service. After being inspected by a certified mechanic, the 1994 Horton Ambulance was no longer deemed roadworthy and is no longer being used.
It will be replaced by a new 2015 Medix ambulance that is still on the production line.
“When we explored options to remount or refurbish the old one it was discovered that It would be too costly to refurbish a 21-year-old unit,” Chief Smith said.
The department considered other various options before deciding to purchase a new vehicle and not purchasing a used demo model.
The price offered by the Indiana-based company and the warranties connected to the vehicle aided in the decision.
“This gives us a zero mileage 2015 vehicle with all warranties at maximum limits,” Smith said. “This one just fit our needs and is at a very good cost to us.”
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