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    Default Texas Dept. Pleas for Pumper Truck

    {Posted at Request of Chief Woods}:

    Texas Dept. Pleas for Pumper Truck

    J.R. Ortega, Victoria Advocate, TexasVictoria Advocate (Texas)

    Posted: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 23:18

    Nov. 18--TIVOLI -- A fire that displaced a Tivoli family last week has rekindled a second plea for a pumper truck from the unincorporated community's volunteer fire department.

    Last Tuesday, the idea got support from Refugio County commissioners when they voted unanimously to seek bids on a the truck after the Tovar family lost its home, said Rene Mascorro, county judge.

    "The way the court voted, it's very favorable we would complete the purchase of the truck one way or another," Mascorro said.

    Tivoli has only two brush trucks capable of pumping 300 gallons per minute, said Fire Chief Arnulfo Perez.

    The volunteer fire department needs better equipment to protect the community, Perez said.

    The current equipment isn't well suited to fight a house fire, Perez said.

    Perez has been chief for the past 20 years and has seen two house fires in the past eight years, he said.

    Unfortunately, he said, the first plea did not go through, and it took a family to lose their home to get the ball rolling.

    In June 2006, Mascorro proposed purchasing the pumper truck, which costs about $200,000, Mascorro said.

    The proposal was understood by several commissioners but rejected because of the debt it would cause the county, he added.

    Tivoli is 30 to 45 minutes away from emergency personnel with adequate equipment, Perez said.

    Perez has helped house the family free of rent, and the fire department is planning a benefit barbecue during the first week of December, he said.

    "Had we been reactive to the problem earlier, maybe this family would not have lost their home," Mascorro said.

    To see more of Victoria Advocate, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.thevictoriaadvocate.com. Copyright (c) 2009, Victoria Advocate, Texas Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

    It took a family to be displaced from their home because of a fire to get the Council to approve purchase of an Engine?????

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    It took a family to be displaced from their home because of a fire to get the Council to approve purchase of an Engine?????
    two house fires in the past eight years
    Not to sound callous...but what is the makeup of the area? I'll agree, there should be an engine and a ladder everywhere. BUT, I also admit that is not always reasonable. Some places are very remote/rural. Sometimes it's not always practical to have that full fire protection.

    Again, can't say either way if that is/was the case.
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    Why do they have to have a brand new, $200K rig? If this is a small area (which I'm assuming it is by Bones' 2 fires in 8 years thing and the fact they only have two brush trucks), what's wrong with a good, used pumper for half that money, or even less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Not to sound callous...but what is the makeup of the area? I'll agree, there should be an engine and a ladder everywhere. BUT, I also admit that is not always reasonable. Some places are very remote/rural. Sometimes it's not always practical to have that full fire protection.

    Again, can't say either way if that is/was the case.
    Sounds like they're a bit isolated:
    Tivoli is 30 to 45 minutes away from emergency personnel with adequate equipment, Perez said.
    Also has a population of around 540.

    I would say that going from 2 brush trucks to adding a Pumper would be a good investment but opens a question: what else don't they have? If they're primarily wildlands focused (2xBrush truck) then do they have the structural PPE required to with the pumper?
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    I am about 45 minutes from this department. They are a very rural community on the gulf coast. I believe they do have some structural PPE, but I dont know why. We offered to sell them a used 1981 cab over pumper in perfectly good shape but they wanted us to give it to them, we couldn't take that hickey.
    It sounds to me like they are in more need of a tanker/pumper. I dont know why they think they need a brand new $200k truck for just a handfull of calls. Now if they are looking at getting into extrication, then that is different becuase they are near some major roadways.
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    I agree with some of you in that a Brand-New-out-of-the-Factory Engine might not be necessary, but Something more than two Brush Trucks is needed. I probably have a lot more questions, but for now I just wanted to get some comments from others here, to get an idea of whether this is a perfect example of the Failure of the AFG program to help those who need help the most. I certainly think so, BUT, you have to apply for a Grant, and I'm wondering if these folks even know that Grants exist.........
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    Tivoli has only two brush trucks capable of pumping 300 gallons per minute, said Fire Chief Arnulfo Perez.
    I expect to be corrected if I'm wrong on this statement, but our European, Aussie and Asian brothers work with equipment that does not pump much more than this, and they service cities of millions. Bigger does not always mean better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Rick - Thanks. One day I'll learn how to do that.

    Back to the Gulf Coast.......

    I agree with some of you in that a Brand-New-out-of-the-Factory Engine might not be necessary, but Something more than two Brush Trucks is needed. I probably have a lot more questions, but for now I just wanted to get some comments from others here, to get an idea of whether this is a perfect example of the Failure of the AFG program to help those who need help the most. I certainly think so, BUT, you have to apply for a Grant, and I'm wondering if these folks even know that Grants exist.........
    I am not sure, but I think these guys are setup where there funding comes through the county and they would have to have the county apply for the grant. It is a very poor setup for a very poor county. All these different grants have been helpfull to the departments that need it but it also makes the departments that dont really need brand new trucks want brand new trucks.
    This is just a case of a very small community that is near the county line and it just takes a little response time to get to it. Like I said a tanker would probably help them more.
    Oh and there brush trucks are the typical texas setup with a flat bed with firefighter compartments behind the cab and a 300gpm briggs and straton pump.
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    It looks like they do not know the term "used". For the amount of structure fires they have they could get a used pumper for under $10k.

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    For that amount of money they should be looking at a pumper-tanker and they could probably go the used route and may be able to equip it for extrication if that is their wish. That would cover a majority of most fd calls. I do not agree with the sentiment that they should not worry about it because they are rural and do not catch a lot of calls. If they catch one structure fire anytime that means something to someone. They should have good equipmet. They should go newer though because no matter how cheap those bargain pumpers look they will need to be replaced in another few years and then they would have to try and get more money again. Get something that is going to last a while. Besides fighting a structure fire with brush trucks is a serious safety issue.
    Last edited by FFEMT2159; 11-21-2009 at 09:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFEMT2159 View Post
    For that amount of money they should be looking at a pumper tanker and they could probably go the used route and may be able to equip it for extrication if that is their wish. That would cover a majority of most fd calls. I do not agree with the sentiment that they should not worry about it because they are rural and do not catch a lot of calls. If they catch one structure and that means something to someone and they should have goos equipmet. They should go newer though because no matter how cheap those bargain pumpers look they will need to be replaced in another few years and then they would have to try and get more money again. Get something that is going to last a while. Besides fighting a structure fire with brush trucks is a serious safety issue.

    You've pretty much covered it..............
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Why do they have to have a brand new, $200K rig? If this is a small area (which I'm assuming it is by Bones' 2 fires in 8 years thing and the fact they only have two brush trucks), what's wrong with a good, used pumper for half that money, or even less.
    Agreed 100%.

    With a fire average of one every 4 years, used is where my money would go. Use the rest of the $$ you would spend on a new rig for PPE and training.

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    Not to mention the equipment needed to stock the new truck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Beggars and choosers and all that. I used to volunteer at a REALLY rural VFD in New Mexico; we had 26+ miles of Interstate to cover (more than that really as the two departments north of us never responded to calls), and a bunch of bosque and homes in the area. The only pumper we had would push 751 GPM, just enough to qualify, but only when we put on a certain connector that we never used. The thing always had a puddle of water it because the pump seals were shot and there was no money to fix it. Along with that, there was a tanker that was a piece of junk, a deuce-and-a-half for heavy brush stuff and a pickup for lighter work.

    But it all got done, even if the rigs were old and barely functional. Heck, there's stuff in better condition on eBay right now for under $10K.

    Edited to add: Uphill! Both ways! In the snow! With barbed wire wrapped around our feet for traction! And we loved it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by onlocation View Post
    I am about 45 minutes from this department. They are a very rural community on the gulf coast. I believe they do have some structural PPE, but I dont know why. We offered to sell them a used 1981 cab over pumper in perfectly good shape but they wanted us to give it to them, we couldn't take that hickey.
    It sounds to me like they are in more need of a tanker/pumper. I dont know why they think they need a brand new $200k truck for just a handfull of calls. Now if they are looking at getting into extrication, then that is different becuase they are near some major roadways.
    Just curious how much your department and this depts. budget varies? Dont know why they have structural PPE? Maybe because they fight house fires, respond to MVA's, vehicle fires? BEATS ME!!! They should just wear their brush gear for that right? If this dept covered your house, you'd probably be cryin' because they didnt have a $200k engine to respond with when your place and belongings went up in smoke, GET REAL!!!
    In my opinion there should not be any dept in this great nation that uses engines, tankers, ppe, etc more than 10 yrs old. But that is another story.

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    Out of curiosity, when applying for these grants, do you have to qualify what you need the grant for and why? For example, need a 1200 GPM pumper with x feet of hose, foam generation capacity, covering an area with x population and x number of structures? It may be that the grants are only available under certain criteria. I do think that they could definitely get by with something less pricey, but there may be strings attached to any grant money.

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    Yes, there are qaulifications for certain grants, but more often than not your narrative and how you write it will make or break you.

    Not to mention that if this department is not NFIRS compiant they might as well hang up the idea if a grant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    To me, it is unfathomable to be without a pumper or tanker. We serve a rural 88.something square mile area with a major highway splitting it in half.

    I do agree that there is nothing wrong with a used pumper. We have an engine that is about a year old with all the bells and whistles. We also have an engine from around 1995 and another that is an 81 Ford cab over. I would much rather take the two older ones over the new one. There is nothing wrong with a good used truck.

    As far as extrication and their major highways, if they are savy enough they can get an engine with enough room to stock a set of cutters & spreaders, a portable generator for the equipment and other needed accessories. Alternatively, they can turn one of the two brush units into a rescue unit.

    Regardless of what they get, I hope they get something. Afterall, we do exist for the betterment of our communities.

    Adapt and overcome.

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    Or they could just replace their whole fleet with one of those Rattlesnake rigs!

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    seems like a sort of larger brush engine with perhaps a 750 to 1000 gpm capacity would fit the bill.


    maybe a bit callous, but if you live out in an extremely rural area with 500-600 people you just can't afford some nice things. with a fire every 4 years will the have the ability to even utilize a 1250 gpm pumper, or will they be lacking in the training and other equipment needed to use it. will they even use it that much?

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    For $10K, they could get a bunch of those FIT-5's....

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    With no tanker they might not have the water to pump!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireRescue61 View Post
    With no tanker they might not have the water to pump!
    For 200K I would spec a truck with a 2,000 gallon tank.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Yeah, A 2,000 gallon tanker pumper with a 750-1,000 GPM Pump should do well if they only get two fires in eight years!

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