Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    770

    Default CD Player, Refrigerator Questioned on New Fire Truck

    JO C. GOODE
    Courtesy of The Woonsocket Call

    CUMBERLAND,RI-- Plans for a new $336,000 custom-built fire truck for the Cumberland Fire District are nearing completion, with the pumper and rescue apparatus expected to be delivered in May.

    But the recent approval to add a few amenities to the new fire truck -- such as a $1,200 AM/FM radio and CD stereo system and an $1,800 refrigerator -- have some fire district officials questioning whether taxpayer money is being spent responsibly.

    In June, fire district voters approved the purchase of the new truck that will be able to haul 750 gallons of water and store a host of fire rescue equipment, including the Jaws of Life. It’s the first new truck for the fire district in 20 years, with firefighters having to contend with an aging fleet that includes a 1983 pumper truck and a tanker, circa 1976.

    The fire district’s truck committee, charged with designing the new pumper, awarded the bid to Pierce Mfg., of Foxboro,which came in with an bid below the voters’ funding cap.

    After making some equipment changes in the design, the committee was informed by a sales representative that the fire district would get a $4,000 credit.

    That’s when, in a 3-1 vote, the committee approved the additions, which were later upheld by the Cumberland Fire District Board of Commissioners in a Jan. 12 meeting, also in a 3-1 vote.

    "I was against it when they were proposed," said Cumberland Fire District Commissioner Paul DiModica, who is chairman of the truck Committee, "When is the radio going to be listened to? Going to a fire during a parade? It was a needless expense. The radio is a distraction."

    Cumberland Fire Chief Robert Garon, who also sits on the committee, said he voted against purchasing the stereo equipment, which includes an AM/FM radio, CD player, and speakers. He said there would most likely be a policy created requiring the system turned off when firefighters are responding to an emergency.

    He agreed with DiModica that any savings on the new truck should either go back to the taxpayers or used to purchase equipment more beneficial to public safety.

    The 2.2 cubic foot refrigerator was another waste of taxpayer money, DiModica said that would take up valuable compartment space in the fire truck. A portion of space was already diminished when the committee discovered the truck was 10 1/2 feet high, an unpractical height for firefighters trying to remove ladders located on top.

    In the redesign, the ladders were moved down into the compartment space, taking one foot off the height.

    "Members of the truck committee were adamant that we had plenty of compartment space and now we keep eating into it," DiModica said.

    He said they were still waiting for the manufacturer notification of how much compartment space they were losing with the changes.

    Initially approving the refrigerator to store water for the firefighters when they are on a call, Garon said he now regrets making the decision before getting the updated information from the manufacturer.

    But two other committee members, Fire District Commissioner John Shea and firefighter Michael Lafond, said they were confident with their decisions and the committee’s approval of the additional items.

    "The taxpayers did give us that amount of money to purchase equipment for the vehicle. We got a list of supplies we deemed necessary and it was approved," said Lafond, a 17-year veteran firefighter.

    One advantage to the am/fm radio on board was that firefighters would have the ability to access updated weather reports, Lafond said.

    He said he was very comfortable with the vehicle and the fire district was getting a lot of truck for the money.

    Stating taxpayer interests were always his concern, Commissioner Shea said that "not in any way, shape or form was it going to hurt anything."

    While some might feel a stereo system in a fire truck was a luxury, Shea said he saw it as a morale booster for the firefighters.

    "And as far as the refrigerator for water for the firefighters, it is very practical as far as I’m concerned," Shea said.

    In poll by The Call to the town three other fire departments -- the Cumberland Hill, North Cumberland, and Valley Falls fire districts -- no other fire trucks, including a 2003 ladder truck, are equipped with stereo equipment except for one brush truck and chief vehicles with am/fm radios.

    None of the town’s fire trucks have refrigerators built into them, although fresh water is transported in either coolers or served at room temperature by all the fire districts.


  2. #2
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    319

    Default

    a $1,200 AM/FM radio and CD stereo system
    Our new pumper/tanker which entered service in Oct 2003 included a Marine brand AM/FM CD player. The 2 pumpers bought before this rig had AM/FM Cassette players included.
    an $1,800 refrigerator
    While in a FF1 class at a nearby district we got to check out some of the equiptment on other departments trucks. One VFD had a small office/dorm type fridge in the compartment of its first out pumper. Our department has a Igloo ice chest with sports drinks and a water cooler on the service truck which responds to all calls. There is a water barrel in one of the compartments of our first out pumper too. We have a small ice machine in the bay behind these trucks and the paid guy is supposed to keep the ice topped off each day.

  3. #3
    Junior Member DarthVader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    22

    Default Damn!!!

    $1200 radio; Must be one hell of a radio. Necessary, depends on what they are really listening to. As for the fridge...Well NO.
    Dude, I told you I'm not yo daddy...
    Despite popular beliefs, DarthVader wears leather !!

  4. #4
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    319

    Default

    One advantage to the am/fm radio on board was that firefighters would have the ability to access updated weather reports, Lafond said.
    They could have picked up a portable weather band radio from Wal-Mart or Radio Shack for less than $50. Handheld or vehicle mounted weather guages could also do the job for less money. Sounds like another BS excuse. They finally got to buy a new truck after 20 years and they went overboard with it. Now it's CYA time.

  5. #5
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    On the way to the station. Really. It's 12 kilometers away and there's traffic.
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Funny, I see things the opposite way compared to some people here. I think the stereo may be out of line.. Still, my department has stereos on a couple of our trucks, which came from the factory that way. Both are conventional style rigs designed to have stereos (GMC pickup and E350 ambulance), and I can say that they're worth it, considering the extended amount of time we may be on 'standby' in certain places.

    I don't think the fridge is a bad idea. We have 'rehab kits' consisting of water, juice, and snacks at "room" temperature. During a grass fire in the summer, these kits rapidly assume the temperature of the compartment they're in, which could be up to 30C on a hot day. It sure would be nice to have a cold bottle of water while waiting for my pack-pump to be refilled...

    One might wonder if the people who are questioning the need for a refrigerator on a pumper in 2004 would have been questioning the need for CISD/CISM in 1974? The fire service is changing, and we're identifying more and more ways we can keep our firefighters happy and healthy. As I said, I can agree wholeheartedly with a mini-fridge. I'm not so sure I could justify a stereo, especially a $1200 system, unless the crews were to pay for it out of their own pockets.

    I don't think, beyond cost, there is a reason NOT to have a stereo in an emergency vehicle; as I said, I've been on many calls where we've had to stand by for an extended period of time, or do firewatch, etc., something that does not take a tremendous amount of the crew's capacity. I'd rather have a crew provided with something to listen to (provided it doesn't interfere with the job) than a crew that is having a hard time staying awake because they are sitting there watching a smoldering pile of hay bales with nothing else to do.

    --j.

  6. #6
    Forum Member RescuHoppy7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Owego,NY USA
    Posts
    362

    Default

    As for the fridge...Well NO
    I see no reason why there can't be a fridge on the truck, almost every department in my area has some type of fridge system for Rehab, Our area has really tuned into and gotten tough on rehabbing firefighters, and cold water is defentialy one good advantage
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    ...approving the refrigerator to store water for the firefighters when they are on a call.
    Uh Oh, I can see some depts getting in trouble already.

    Why wait until you get back to the hall to drink the beer when you can stock the engine with it. Soon we may be arguing over alcohol in the Fire Truck.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber ff7134's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,093

    Default

    My Engine has a CD player in it and we were told it would cost us $300 to have it REMOVED. So its still in the truck
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    464

    Default

    I could remove it for a lot less!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    A Radio/CD player I don't have a problem with. $1200 I have a problem with...seems to me you could spend a lot less like $200 for a simple setup with two speakers. A $150 scanner would've gotten you weatherband and more.

    I don't know how Cumberland operates, but I know I've done babysitting jobs in some of our trucks whether traffic or trees & wires and something to listen too would've been nice. A going to the fire school, it would've saved by Shotgun from having to listen to my singing...

    As for a frig, personally I don't like cool/cold beverages when I'm working (they don't settle right in my tummy). On a big box Rescue, fine. Kinda agree with the Chief here though that it's taking out of compartment space that's already pretty precious on a typical pumper.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs up Why Not?........

    To me, Things like Refrigerators, Stereos, Lawn Chairs, Awnings, Fans, Hair Dryers, Coolers, Etc. are not only acceptable, but downright necessary. Think about REHAB. NFPA thinks about it. The varied health and safety courses taught around the country think about it. As a Chief, I think about it. One Combo dept that I know of didn't think about it and a rookie died. Now the lawyers are having a field day. All the things I listed above are ReHab equipment, and get used for that purpose, often. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  12. #12
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    909

    Default

    I think having a fridge is one of the best things to have. What’s worse than having FF drop like flies due to dehydration? ALL trucks should carry a supply of drinking water. Having a supply of ice cold water in the middle of those pesky summer mutual-aid structure fires is well worth the cost.

    The CD player on the other hand…

  13. #13
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    I come from The Land Down Under!
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    I'd argue for having the fridge. For hydration purposes there's nothing better than a cool water or sports drink....
    Luke

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    187

    Default I like the Refer!

    The Stereo is pushing it a bit but the refrigerator is an absolute fantastic Idea. Cool vests and cold drinks can be at the ready, not to mention reusable cold packs for EMS. The Chemical Cool packs don’t get all that cool anyhow. AM/FM/CD for what Reason? It serves no practical purpose.
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

  15. #15
    Junior Member DarthVader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    22

    Default

    A $1800 fridge is what i think is in question , I'm sure you could find one cheaper than that. Plus, how much water could you actually carry in a mini refrigerator????
    Dude, I told you I'm not yo daddy...
    Despite popular beliefs, DarthVader wears leather !!

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    17

    Default

    if the issue is just the cd player and the fridge i feel its directed more towards the price. i can get a good radio cd player installed way less than $1200.00 and same goes for fridge..$1800.00 geez i want to sell a couple of those
    In memory of Bob Compton. Rest In Peace My Friend.

    PROUD TO BE I.A.C.O.J.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber gordoffemt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Greendale, IN, USA
    Posts
    290

    Thumbs up Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    Plus, how much water could you actually carry in a mini refrigerator????
    My department has a dorm-size fridge, which was donated, in the walk-in box of our rescue. We easily fit up to 3 cases of 16 oz. bottled water in ours. I can't imagine that we would consider another truck in the future that did not have this capability. One word about it's worth, invaluable.

    I'm with most of you about the AM/FM/CD though. You've got to be very careful with the "fluff" items when spending the public's money, within a budget or not. That can quickly turn into a PR nightmare, as in this case with the media attention, that most of us don't need.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  18. #18
    Senior Member SFDAJL52's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Spotswood, NJ
    Posts
    254

    Default

    I can see the fridge being one of them "essential" items to plead its case to the public, being with the rehab and all. But a $1200 sound system is absurd and a waste of money.
    9-11-01 FDNY 343 - Lest We Forget

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    202

    Default

    I think the problem is with the price of both items. We have am/fm in most of our units that we purchased lately. As for the fridge we have one in our rescue I think we only paid a couple hundred dollars for it. It stays plugged in while in the station through the landline. It does not keep it real cold unless someone does not close the door all the way and it freezes up

    We do not keep it extremely cold but it sure is better than 90 degree water in summer at a working fire. That way you are not drinking ice water that could upset your stomache. We have went to the eight once bottles of water and keep about 3 or 4 cases in it. We found with the 16oz there was to much waste. Someone would grab a bottle to drink then get assigned to something set it down and not know where or who's was who's.

    As far as beer on the truck we do not allow it in the station why would we in the truck. But that is another thread

  20. #20
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I agree with having the fridge .........but for 18 hundred ? WOW ! I am not a proponent of the whole CD thing but have no objections of having an am/fm radio on board ......but again 12 hundred ! man o man ......
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts