Thread: Too old for comfort
06-09-2000, 11:46 AM #1jbinghamFirehouse.com Guest
Too old for comfort
We are a small fire district located on the north Oregon Coast. We have been in service for about 7 years and protect 25 square miles. When we first started ALL of our equipment was donated in some way or form. That was fine 7 years ago but today these pieces of equipment are getting very old. A little background on our "Equipment", our main out engine is a 1969 Ford Western States mid mount 650 gallon tank. Nice looking, but not reliable. Our secondary engine is also a 1969 Ford Western States front mount 1500 gallon tank. With this engine you have to pull over to let cars pass you going on calls. (You could walk faster.) Our tanker is a 1954 Ford tractor-trailer combo 4500 gallons. The tanker has seen (1) fire since we got it. These "Trucks" have broken down either en-route to calls or on-scene and not only is that embarrasing for us but it is not very good P. R. when you are trying to make an impression on an already thin line. We are looking to update our equipment and are working with a very tight buget. Any information on newer fire equipment, than listed above, would be greatly appreciated.
06-11-2000, 05:28 PM #2chief208Firehouse.com Guest
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, GOT A TEE SHIRT!
Your First effort needs to be with your local civic leaders that might control your funding. If they don't control or provide funding, explain in detail the problems you face, and RESPECTFULLY ask their cooperation in finding a solution. Remember, it is their fire protection also. Next, contact your local news media. They can be your best friend or worst enemy depending on how you handle them. Lay all your cards out on the table, let people know what the situation is.
BUT!!!, make sure your own house is in order first. Your trucks may be old, but are they clean and polished? Do they look good when in the public eye? How about your membership. Do they portray a good image of the department? And how about radio traffic when you are responding. Do you sound professional on the radio to all your citizens in "scanner land"?
Your department is not the ones that should be embarresed by the lack of up to date equipment, your taxpayers are the ones that need to be embarresed. You need to make it VERY clear that you are doing the best you can with what you have to work with. But you must also make it very clear that what you are working with makes a difficult and very dangerous job nearly impossible to do
with any positive outcome.
Best of luck, and keep me posted as to your results
06-11-2000, 07:21 PM #3Aerial 131Firehouse.com Guest
Contact the Oregon State Fire Marshall, thier office would certainly know of laon program, grants, who to contact at county and city/town levels, also check with the local heavy industry for grants and outright purchases of equipment needed. Maybe not to buy an engine but they could buy the 1000' of hose or maybe the ladders, whatever.
If you find grants and loans that are out there, then find a local professional grant writer to get the job done right the first time. Make sure you have facts, figures, and correct info for them. Contact the local school district, they might have some one or know someone that can do this.
Also, check Federal excess systems, Dept of Defense(Army, Marine, Air Force, and Navy), Dept of Interior, Ag, Energy. Any of these have large stickpiles of equipment that is always being moved out to other fed or state and local governments.
Keep me informed. Don
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