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  1. #1
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    Question Question for Volunteer Departments

    Have any of you ever had problems ordering from a company because you are a volunteer department?

    If so, what company/companies?

    What problems did you encounter?

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    We've never had a problem ordering stuff, but we did used to have a problem with a toll bridge near here....They had a policy of not charging toll for emergency vehicles, all you had to do was sign the book. Once when I was bringing the truck back from a repair trip to the factory, I stopped at the toll booth and asked to sign the book. She said I'd have to pay toll. I politely pointed out (as if it wasn't obvious) that a FIRE TRUCK is an emergency vehicle and exempt from paying toll. She replied that the exemption is only for "real" fire departments (her exact word) . This happened on more than one occasion.

    Must have picked the wrong toll booth operator, because I have also crossed in my POV, explained that I was on fire department business (which I was), and was allowed to sign the book. Go figure....

    That bridge is no longer a toll bridge, BTW....

    We've sometimes had a problem because we didn't use a purchase order system till recently, so I was unable to give them a P.O. number for the order. They'll usually work around that, though. (I did have one who insisted they couldn't fill the order without a P.O....I said, "Ummmm.....OK....1..." They accepted that)

    Usually as long as they have an address to bill ya, they'll work with you (no sense losing a customer over a technicality). Sometimes they'll request that the order be on department letterhead.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 05-23-2005 at 02:03 PM.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Never had a company question whether I was paid or volunteer.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  4. #4
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    We've never had this problem either until today. I'm in the process of ordering equipment that we received funds for though the FEMA FireAct grants. The company customized us a rope package and everything. They requested that I place the order on our department letterhead, so I typed up our order on letterhead and emailed it to them. The next email I got stated that it was their policy to have all volunteer fire departments prepay for their orders. It just didn't seem fair to me since we have to follow the same guidelines and laws as paid departments.

    This just made me curious as to if anyone else had run into this issue.

    Thanks for all your responses.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Out of curiousity, are you from Arizona?

    It may be that the company you're dealing with sold some stuff in the past to a volunteer department and then for whatever reason, was unable to collect the payment. This may have left a "bad taste" with the company towards small, volunteer departments.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
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    No, I'm not from Arizona. I'm from Mississippi.

    The company is located in Georgia.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Crisb1419's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    I have never heard of this problem. There has been problems with payments, but that happens on Paid and Vol. Dept. I would check with that company. I believe 70% of the USA are Vol Dept. So if you have a company that wont work with you. Take your business somewhere else. Stay Safe
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  8. #8
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    I have never had a problem ordering stuff as in supplies or anything online. In fact like some of the others have said, nobody ever asked if we where volunteer or career.
    FF/EMT Erik ("Woody") Wood
    Auburn Fire/Rescue
    Auburn, KS

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Cool Not Here.....................

    I have never had that problem here in Maryland. I have had several firms ask if we were paying direct, or if the bill would be paid thru the County Government. Implication was that they trusted us, but not the County. A friend works on the staff at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and he says that they do not charge tolls on any Fire/Rescue/Police unit.
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  10. #10
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    You received fire grant $ and you don't have every salesman within 100mi beating on your door? That is VERY strange.

    If you have grant $ the salesmen can look you up on Firehouse or Fema to verify the fact. We have received $70000+ in equipment over the last 3 months and MES has not yet sent us an invoice. This includes custom measure turnout gear. They will invoice when order is complete.

    Find some new vendors. And don't accept the online prices for the internet vendors. Send a req for quote, ref fire grant. Prices/bids are very competive.

  11. #11
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    We've never had a major problem like this with a vendor before. We did run into a problem with not using purchase orders before, but that was easily fixed; I just gave them the PO number of 1 like an above poster.

    I agree that they can easily verify that we recieved these funds by going to either this website or FEMA's.

    I guess it is just the whole principle of the matter. We explained to them that approximately 70% of all fire departments in the US are volunteer.

    We're currently trying to find a new vendor.

    I appreciate everyone's response.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Default ????

    What part of the state are you in? What sort of vendor? I'm up in the Northeast part of the state near Amory.
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  13. #13
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    I'm in NE MS also--Chickasaw county.

    The company sells rescue equipment. They had customized us a rescue kit. I guess that is what bothers me. They were so friendly until they saw the word volunteer on our letterhead.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fire422
    I'm in NE MS also--Chickasaw county.

    The company sells rescue equipment. They had customized us a rescue kit. I guess that is what bothers me. They were so friendly until they saw the word volunteer on our letterhead.

    Cool, one county over.........I'm in Wren. We work some with Okolona FD on occasion.


    I would have to give them a call and let them know what you think!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
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    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

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