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  1. #1
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    Default Why not donate the apparatus instead of selling it?

    I was wondering why so much of the bigger fire departments are loking to sell their older apparatus instead of donating it. I can understand some departments need to extra money to help purchase the new one but the bigger departments that have lots of tax revenue I think can let a couple of trucks go down the road for free of really cheap, like a dollar. I work for a real small VFD but w/ a bigger response area of 360 Sq miles of dedicated and another 200 Sq miles of no-mans land that we go to. Of all that area we get about $4500 tax revenue each year. Im sure alot of the other VFDs can relate to where im coming from. So my question is why not donate your used apparatus to needy fire departments?


  2. #2
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!

    You pose a good question. Your department, which is obviously rural and has a limited income, certainly isn't unique in the US. There are departments out there that WILL donate (or sell for very little profit) used rigs. However, like most departments and businesses, especially in today's economy with less revenue income, those big departments need the money from the sale of used apparatus as much as smaller ones do. The larger FD's are usually governed by a purchasing department who dictates the sale/purchase/donation of vehicles, and the FD simply might not have the option to do what they want with the rigs.

    It sounds like your department could probably use something now. If so, start making contacts. Write letters, e-mails, make phone calls, go visit, whatever you have to do to try to get one. Contact the big (and medium sized) departments on the west coast to see if they would be willing to work with you. Heck, contact departments on Long Island (NY) who replace rigs when they run out of fuel or need new tires. If you find a rig, see if you can find a transport company with a Landoll or similar trailer that would donate the cost of transporting the rig back home for you.

    Take a look at eBay and govdeals.com for rigs that are being sold for low prices. A department near me is getting ready to take sealed bids on a bunch of Macks (from early 1980's to 1991) if you want the information.

    I am sure that there are some of us here on the forums that could give you some advice or other direction if you'd like...
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 10-14-2009 at 12:10 PM.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default apparatus

    Branbubb..Having come from a large department in Southern California it has been the practice to donate some of their older rigs to other departments. Having said that I am now retired and was trying to get my old department to donate a rig to our department which is a paid volunteer with a limited budget. I was given the response that with today's economy there is the need to get as much as you can from your past equipment to make ends meet with their budgets. Simply...they need the money.

    P.S. I just read Boxs' reply and he beat me to it.
    Last edited by JayDudley; 10-15-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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  4. #4
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    not to single you out, but its come up in the AFG grant thread. Large dept. does not equal financially comfortable department. Many have a tough time with finances and have to scrimp and save to buy their apparatus just like many other depts.

  5. #5
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Nameless, I'm glad you mentioned AFG. I meant to touch on that, but forgot.

    This is the time to start getting information straight so you can apply for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant in 2010. Go on the internet and read successful grant narratives from the past few years, they'll give you an idea of what would give you a better chance of receiving the grant.

    Remember that it IS a matching grant, so if your department doesn't have the funds to match, you can do some fundraising with businesses or residents in your response area to help you get the match.
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  6. #6
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    Along with what the other guys are saying, a lot of larger departments aren't getting market value out of their used apparatus by any means. Most departments I know of sell their apparatus by auction. You can get some VERY good deals if you know where to watch. Some will use govdeals.com, and some will even use e-bay.

    Keep an eye out for news about departments near you that are replacing apparatus and inquire about what they do with their used trucks. You might be able to get a whale of a deal on one. I know of several departments that get maybe a couple of thousand bucks out of 20 year old trucks that have been meticulously maintained and that I wouldn't hesitate to ride on.

    Also, keep an eye on the grant forums. Learn how to write grants and get the trucks you need by that means, as well as others.

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    Heck, contact departments on Long Island (NY) who replace rigs when they run out of fuel or need new tires.

    Hey Boxalarm. I take offense to that.
    My Long Island Department is busy and we're on a 20 year replacement plan with our apparatus. There's no need to say such a stupid remark like that singleling out a part of the country.
    There's plenty of wasteful spending in the Maryland, Virginia area too!
    Last edited by commack95; 10-14-2009 at 06:31 PM.

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    give Portland fire a call. I know silverton picked up an Engine for like a buck. Marion County will also be getting rid of some ford L-9000 engines w/ front mounts and open cabs shortly, say the next year or so. they bought (6) brand new custom PUCS
    Last edited by drakescrossing; 10-14-2009 at 08:15 PM.

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    The funny part about it is that when older units are available, those who can use it pick them apart.

    I currently know of a 1985 E-One engine that has been forwarded to many folks that will be sold very cheap. Even sent to a city begging for anything as their fleet is down and in need of replacements ASAP. Didn't even bother to call back when they found out it had a canopy cab. Forget the new engine, pump, tank, and paint that came with it. All the owner wanted to do was to get it to a department that could use it. BTW, it is still available.
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  10. #10
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commack95 View Post
    My Long Island Department is busy and we're on a 20 year replacement plan with our apparatus. There's no need to say such a stupid remark like that singleling out a part of the country.
    There's plenty of wasteful spending in the Maryland, Virginia area too!
    No offense meant, but grow some thicker skin. If my statement doesn't apply to your LI department, then don't worry about it. However, you live there and know that there are LOTS of departments on the island that have money out the rear end based on the ability to set taxation districts with little-to-no oversight sometimes.

    Yes, there's plenty of wasteful spending in MD and VA...and PA...and probably some departtment somewhere in Iowa too if you really want to pick nits. However, sometimes when you look at the at something from the outside, it's a little easier to see the big picture.

    Ok, I'm not trying to take this topic any more off course, back to the lecture at hand...
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by commack95 View Post
    Heck, contact departments on Long Island (NY) who replace rigs when they run out of fuel or need new tires.

    Hey Boxalarm. I take offense to that.
    My Long Island Department is busy and we're on a 20 year replacement plan with our apparatus. There's no need to say such a stupid remark like that singleling out a part of the country.
    There's plenty of wasteful spending in the Maryland, Virginia area too!
    yea, 1200 calls a year between 10 pieces. Really running the wheels off. At least be honest and admit LI is one of the places where apparatus gets replaced on a more frequent basis and are usually bought with certain luxuries.

    While you can get mad at me for defending big city dept.s they are often the ones that drive the rig until it is falling apart and then replace it. Look at BFD for example, they recently made the news for a fleet that was in tatters.

    But you are right LI isn't the only place. Look to any FD's that serve an affluent neighborhood and you'll probably find some FD dumping trucks that many would be thankful to buy. Look down south, no road salt to rot the trucks.
    Last edited by nameless; 10-14-2009 at 11:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    No offense meant, but grow some thicker skin. If my statement doesn't apply to your LI department, then don't worry about it. However, you live there and know that there are LOTS of departments on the island that have money out the rear end based on the ability to set taxation districts with little-to-no oversight sometimes
    You're right I should grow some thicker skin. But the Volunteer service on Long Island comes up on this board alot with negative comments..
    Yes we're well funded and have the best equipment. Is there bad apples in the service YES.
    But thats everywhere in the USA too. We're fourtunate enough to have taxable districts with a good tax base. Which is still 99% cheaper than our school taxes here.

    Alright I vented.


    Anyway back to the topic.
    Branbubb Write letters to the Departments on Long Island. The trucks here are very well maintained and in good shape.
    Here's a link to the departments in suffolk and nassau counties.
    http://www.longisland.com/fire-depar...olk-county.php
    http://www.longisland.com/fire-depar...sau-county.php

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotoray View Post
    The funny part about it is that when older units are available, those who can use it pick them apart.

    I currently know of a 1985 E-One engine that has been forwarded to many folks that will be sold very cheap. Even sent to a city begging for anything as their fleet is down and in need of replacements ASAP. Didn't even bother to call back when they found out it had a canopy cab. Forget the new engine, pump, tank, and paint that came with it. All the owner wanted to do was to get it to a department that could use it. BTW, it is still available.
    I know of several departments in the Midwest that wouldn't faunch one bit about a canopy cab (including mine). A canopy cab is better than some of the stuff they have, like a converted deuce-and-a-half with a tank and pump.

  14. #14
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    Default Thanks everyone for their input

    Thanks to all that put their input it, Its greatly appreciated. If any of you have more information on who has trucks available can you email me at Klamathfiredist3@yahoo.com

    Thanks

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    i think the new manufacturers should donate trucks to us as well.

  16. #16
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    Im curious , what the tax rate (property and sales)is for these areas that are always crying they are underfunded compared to say a Long Island ?

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    One thing to keep in mind when is the condition of the truck. Many times a freebie can turn into a money pit!

    Also like others have said many "big city" dept. are not full of money and replace trucks at the drop of a hat. Many urban trucks are run till the wheels fall off and are beat to piles of crap on crappy roads. I know of a rescue turck that has over 200,000 road miles (who knows about the hours of idle time) onto and it is a 98'. They have spent almost as much on repairs as the cost of the truck! This is not because the truck is poorly made. It is just rode hard and put up wet everyday of the year. City streets and traffic play heck on a truck.
    Also sadly some companies don't have the pride and ownership to take care of the trucks and they get used and abused.

    lastly in some "bigger" cities the fire department does not actually own the fire trucks. In my city the fire trucks are "owned" by fleet services. Then the trucks are assigned to the fire department. When they are replaced they are then turned back into fleet for disposal. Then they are sold to the highest bidder through gov't auction. the fire department has no hands in that process. so the brother helping brother mindset is not present. it gets sold just like any other gov't surpluse property.

    On a lighter side that resuce truck mentioned above has ropes tied to the auto fold down steps under the cab doors (gave the chassis away. opps!). When you go out on a run you reach out the window and pull them up. when you get onscene you open the door and kick the steps down! That is what you call a firehouse fix lol!

  18. #18
    Forum Member retiredtruckman's Avatar
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    I like giving them away. It takes out the hassle of trying to sell on your own. You put in a lot of time for just a little bit of money. We got our money's worth out of the trucks and there's plenty of folks that could use a helping hand.

    I got rid of a 1977 E-One Suburban Pumper on a Ford C-8000 by giving it to the Lake County High School Technology Campus for their High School Fire Science Program. The last one was a 1986 Pierce Arrow pumper which went to a small rural town southwest of Peoria.
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    Last edited by retiredtruckman; 10-16-2009 at 10:22 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Im curious , what the tax rate (property and sales)is for these areas that are always crying they are underfunded compared to say a Long Island ?
    In Missouri, most districts are on a property tax $0.30 per $100 of valuation. Valuation is based on a percentage of "market value" of the property. If I remember right, it's 12% for agricultural property, 19% for residential, and 32% for commercial/industrial.

    The "market valuation" is a bit skewed, since the assessor doesn't do the interior, but they're trying to correct that. As an example, my house has an appraised value of $85K but has an assessed value of $65K. For a 75 sq. mile district, we have a budget of about $66K.

    Now, that's the tax-based districts, and some have voter-approved levies that are higher (tough sell in most areas). Missouri also has municipal departments that recieve funding from the general revenue and departments that are based on annual membership dues.

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    Works more or less the same in rural Iowa. $9000/yr on 35mi2.

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