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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Donate what you replace!!

    If you get something thru a grant and you are replacing equipment of any kind, share the wealth. Donate what you don't need anymore. Even if you got something different and it freed up money to replace something else, donate it too.

    If you need something, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of emails on this one, email me you need, how many of them, and your contact info. I'll post it on a page that I haven't designed yet, for those that want to donate to look through. I will have nothing to do with deciding who gets what donated. I'm just going to be a source of information. Call me Switzerland.

    I'll post the URL when I create it.

    And for the record, since getting the Rescue Truck grant last year I've convinced our Chief to donate an old ambulance, a brush truck, and some other equipment he doesn't know about yet that I'm going to work on him about donating.

    Stay safe.

    Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


  2. #2
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Good work, BC79er.

    A credible, hard-working organization is www.helpingourown.org

    Another good option: Just read up (or call around) and find neighbors who are strapped, particularly new fire departments, and just turn stuff over to them.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    MembersZone Subscriber MJ801FL's Avatar
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    We actually included this in our proposal for new SCBA. If we get funded we'll advertise for donation our current SCBA, and our Board of Commissioners will determine who receives them.

    Our current packs are 10 year old MSA and work great, they just don't interface with the four much larger departments surrounding us for RIT operations.

  4. #4
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    We donated our old SCBA's to our neighboring fire department. I called them up and asked them if they wanted them. They applied for a grant also and they still are hoping but they gladly accepted our donation.

    FYI, we had Scott 2A's, Survivair Mark II's, XL-30's, one ISI magnum from early 90's, and 2 Scott 2.2's

    Now we have 16 new 2.2's + the 2 older 2.2's
    Last edited by cmjones; 09-03-2003 at 08:45 PM.

  5. #5
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    Angry Donations

    Unfortunately, I have been told that many of the large departments in the Southwest are donating surplus or replaced equipment to departments in Mexico because they are afraid of potential liability if there is some future problem with that equipment. Not that the fellow firefighters in Mexico are not in great need but, with the sad tales that I have read on this and other forums, there are many, many small departments here in the USA that are in just as great need.
    Perhaps someone with greater knowledge than I can come up with a method of holding a donating department harmless so that more of the "affluent" will be willing to help out the struggling.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Perhaps someone with greater knowledge than I can come up with a method of holding a donating department harmless so that more of the "affluent" will be willing to help out the struggling
    We peeled our labels/stickers/identifying marks off. Then placed items in a plain brown box, left it at front door, and ran before they saw us! But you bring a very valid point up, who is liable and how do they get protected? If I give you an SCBA and one of your guys dies in a fire and the SCBA is found to be in disrepair, how many owners back does the trail travel?

  7. #7
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    Having just read the Stella Awards (for the most ludicrous lawsuits), this situation doesn't surprise me. People being afraid of being held accountable.

    We were told we can't be held liable for anything that happens with the ambulance and brush truck that we donated. Once it's in their possession, we are no longer liable, especially since it was donated "as is". Anything sold or donated with an "as is" condition implies no warranty or guarantee that the item will even work, so I can't see any way that the donating department could be held liable.

    It just so happens I'm in the middle of an MBA class, The Legal Environment of Business. I'll pose the situation to the class and see what anyone else knows.

    I will say one thing: if you get something donated to you and you turn around and sue whoever gave it to you, you are guaranteed to never get anything donated to you again. Something about biting the hand that feeds.....

  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    BC, it's not the fire department suing that scares me, it's the family of the member suing that scares me. They will sue (or try) anyone and everyone they can, given certain circumstances. Looking forward to the reply from your class discussion.

  9. #9
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    Default Please explain

    If it is not good enought for you to continue using, and you needed to replace it, why on earth is it good enough for someone else? Just asking.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Well, one reason for RedRider is a technological change. We gave away our 3.5" hose after we went to 5". (Course, took nearly a decade to talk the Chief into it!)

    Now about liability, it is a definite concern. I used to work at an R&D center, and not only couldn't we donate old lab equipment to colleges, we had to destroy it before putting it in the dumpster -- so someone digging it out of the trash couldn't sue us for leaving a functional "nuisance" where they could find it. Some very expensive equipment (six-figure values) got destroyed simply because it didn't meet our needs anymore, and the corporation didn't want the liability for selling or giving it away -- basically since we never kept absolutely perfect records, we'd never be able to conclusively prove we hadn't done something wrong over the decade or more we owned the equipment. Computers and stuff we could donate, just not stuff that might hurt someone if it broke.

    Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office has a state law that allows them to accept donations and assume liability for them.

    Texas has a state law that absolves private corporations from liability donating equipment to fire departments -- maybe that same law or principle covers BC79's department.

  11. #11
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    Ok then,

    I told the guys not to leave the bay doors up after responding to a call, now we are missing our old SCBA's.


  12. #12
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    Just to reply to RedRider: because someone else may have something even worse and the stuff you're replacing is a ton better than what they have. I'm not saying give away your broken stuff. If it works and it's safe to use, and you get the receiver to sign a release absolving the donating department of any and all liabilities (if needed), then give it away. Someone always has something worse somewhere. The gear that may not stand up to the 3600 call run volume that we have is a lot better than someone trying to go interior in a hooded sweatshirt. But for the 5 fires per year they may have, the gear is solid enough to last a couple of years and provides better protection than a Champion college sweatshirt. Some PPE is better than no PPE.

  13. #13
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    I understand technical advancement, but in a country that has given away close to a half a BILLION dollars in the last few years to fire departments, it is really sad that we still have firefighters responding in "a Champion college sweatshirt."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    1/2 a billion is still not enough to buy every firefighter in the U.S. a single set of bunker gear. Coats for everyone and pants for every third maybe...

    I think many people lose perspective. Even $1,000,000,000 dollars is still just about $3/person for our population.

    My fire company receives about $8/person annually from taxes for operations, about $5/person annually for capital (if you count payments the town is paying on bonds for fire apparatus). We also fundraise about $5/person, and we "subsidize" certain things like phones, lights, heating oil, building maintenance out of the ambulance billings that otherwise would cost the taxpayers another $4/person if we didn't have/provide that service. That adds up to about $22/person in local support to run the fire side of my department, and I suspect that's not far off from a nationwide average departments. Certainly some run on much less, and some run on a lot more.

    You add in another $1 or $2 or $3 on a nationwide average, it ain't gonna raise all boats. Some will benefit a lot, others won't see much very often.

    In that perspective, FIRE Act funds can accomplish a lot of good in specific areas. But they can't replace local funding which has to be the bread & butter of fire service funding.

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    Dal; that was probably the most thought provoking reply about firefighters and money I have seen. I had tried to figure out something similar a while ago but I just could not hit the nail on the head when it came to afixing monetary amounts to members.

    That pretty much summed it all up. Thanks


    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
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    One of our mutual aid departments had an open house a couple years back. They borrowed two makakins and dress one of them in the regular duty uniform (dickies, izod, etc), with a pager, and put price tags on everything including one for training costs. The other was in bunker gear with price tags all over that too. They did the same with a pumper. They said that 99% of the people that came through had no idea how much stuff really cost, and it opened a lot of people's eyes. And their wallets. They got a good chunk in donations that night.

  17. #17
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    Another fantastic idea to stimulate the publics thought of cost involvement for firefighters. Thanks BC

    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Donations

    Originally posted by azrookie05
    Unfortunately, I have been told that many of the large departments in the Southwest are donating surplus or replaced equipment to departments in Mexico because they are afraid of potential liability if there is some future problem with that equipment. Not that the fellow firefighters in Mexico are not in great need but, with the sad tales that I have read on this and other forums, there are many, many small departments here in the USA that are in just as great need.
    Perhaps someone with greater knowledge than I can come up with a method of holding a donating department harmless so that more of the "affluent" will be willing to help out the struggling.
    This type of nonsense is from people with no knowledge but too lazy to call the city attorney for a legal opinion. If the city attorney is a spineless, timid ninny have said attorney drawup a holdharmless agreement for signature by the recipient. Sending 1/2 way modern and usable equipment out of the country is obscene.

    Of course today's news has Bill Gates sending millions of $ to Africa instead of helping the communities that paid $ to make his fortune. His $ to do with as he wishes but duhh.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    If the city attorney is a spineless, timid ninny have said attorney drawup a holdharmless agreement for signature by the recipient.

    I'm come to the conclusion NE that most gov't & private industry lawyers are spineless, timid ninnies. Most of the lawyers sitting in a backoffice somewhere probably didn't top their classes or ace their bar exams, they just toil away as essentially clerks whose sole job is take the most conservative possible opinion on everything they encounter.

  20. #20
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    I did poll my MBA class, and a classmate said that their attorneys have no problems with them donated equipment. There is no liability when equipment is donated as is. It is up to the receiver to learn how to properly utilize the equipment in a safe manner. I believe she is in Ohio. Either way, I think that those that are sending equipment out of the country are at least doing good as the equipment is needed there, and firefighters are all family no matter what country, but I still say let's start here first and then work outwards.

    Look at your surrounding areas. Think of who is going to come if you have the really big one and have to pull 5 alarms or more worth of equipment. If someone is not properly equipped and you have stuff to give away, why not put it in their direction so at least you'll know what they have when they show up. Don't think you've got something worth 5 alarms? Guess you don't have any apartment buildings, lumberyards, or a Walmart. Of course I can't imagine there's a place with no Walmart. Such thoughts bring tears to my eyes, that there are places in this country where people can't experience Walmart. (sniff) What kind of cruel world to we live in! Oh the humanity!

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