1. #1
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    Default Apparatus of Miliatry Bases

    I was just wondering what kind and type of apparatus are used on military bases...I heard the federal goverment and military favors E-One and KME?

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    mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Its not so much what they favor as who gets the bid!

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    As I understand it, the military is using mostly "off the shelf" for structure and rescue. The major manufacturers have contracts with GSA for "basic" NFPA 1901 apparatus. The local installation can customize the spec but is responsible for the additional cost. Our local AFB took delivery of a Hackney rescue/haz-mat last year. It is on an International 4 door cab, all wheel drive, and about a 20' body. Definitely not a rig for narrow streets.

    Some of the crash vehicles are unique spec while others are off the shelf. The army is buying a multi-purpose Oshkosh appparatus based on an 8 x 8 chassis. Check the Oshkosh web site for a look at this monster.

    The days of unique spec military fire apparatus are mostly in the past. It used to take 10 years to design, test and award a contract for apparatus. We would wind up with a new outdated vehicle that was difficult to maintain. I toured a major manufacturer's plant in the 80's and noticed some prototype USAF engines and tenders in the storage area. I asked our guide about them and was informed that they had won the bid to build them but really did not want to put their name on them because it was not a spec or layout that was practical. I know a lot of these appartaus are in reserve status in the field due to poor design.

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    When I was DOD, all of the new stuff coming in was Pierce and the older stuff was Seagrave, so I would immagine it is who wins the lowest bid contect these days, unless it is a specialty vehicle that only a certain manufactorer makes.

    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    I don't know how it works, but if a facility Fire Chief knows how to work the system, he/she can apply for whay I believe to be called "Local Purchasing Rights." This allows him/her to utilize the money that they have to spend in any fashion they see fit.....They can spec any apparatus any way they want, however, it has to go out for bid. I work for a medium-sized Federal Fire Department, which runs 4 engines, 2 trucks, a heavy squad, plus miscellaneous apparatus (Brush rigs, Haz-Mat, and administrative vehicles) AND CFR apparatus. Our latest delivery was a 2002 Ford F-550 with a box built by EVI for a new Haz Mat response vehicle. Prior to that we took delivery of a 2001 Pierce Enforcer pumper. All of out structural apparatus is Pierce with the exception of a Seagrave pumper and a Grumman pumper. The biggest piece of junk in the whole fleet is.....(drum roll).....an E-ONE!!! Big Surprise, huh????
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB

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    Check out the thread in the forum re: "info about DoD Fire Departments". There is several posts about who has what in there. I agree that if there is enough pressure put on, the Federal FDs can 'go out for local purchase' on selected items. This would usually be for a specialized unit not currently in the approved inventory. I think USAF has gotten away from re-inventing the wheel on truck design and is starting to buy 'off-the-shelf' vehicles more. It just wasn't practical or efficient to have a custom-built pumper that wouldn't carry required hose, personnel, and equipment, when it was already on the street from a major manufacturer. I have recently (3-5years) seen the axe swing the other way and USAF is utilizing ready made engines, ladders, and rescues from major builders.

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    I work at the DLA Supply Base near Harrisburg, PA. All of our front line fire equipment is KME. We run a Ford Ambulance and Command Vehicle.
    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

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