Thread: FEPP-Something to consider
06-22-2005, 04:50 AM #1
FEPP-Something to consider
By DAN HAUGEN
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
STANLEY, Iowa (AP) - Mayor Rodger Sill pulls his lanky frame up
into the truck's cab and slowly drives the rumbling red diesel out
of the fire department garage. Hopping down, he strides around the
station, showing off the city's equipment.
Stanley's annual fire department budget is barely $12,000, but
sitting in the garage is about $3 million worth of supplies
acquired for free through a national military surplus program.
"It's like - wow!" Sill said.
Congress established the Federal Excess Personal Property
program more than 50 years ago. It allows rural fire departments to
claim government equipment no longer in use.
Karl Harris, a state forestry employee who helps coordinate
Iowa's involvement, said dozens of northeast Iowa communities find
uses for the discarded equipment, which would otherwise be
auctioned to the public. Stanley has accumulated the biggest
benefit in the state.
The firetruck Sill demonstrated was formerly a military dump
truck. When an air guard unit based in St. Paul, Minn., acquired
another, it sent the vehicle to surplus with slightly more than
20,000 miles on it. Besides filing paperwork, the city just needed
to drive it home.
"It wasn't pretty," Sills said. "We've got some sweat in it,
but hardly any money."
Stanley has also scavenged water tanks, hoses, handheld radios,
diesel generators and other equipment let go by the Army, Navy and
Air Force. The mayor even snagged a never-assembled hoop building -
$40,000 worth of steel beams and sheet metal - sitting at a Navy
surplus site in Chicago. Once built, the 3,600-square-foot
structure will serve as the city's new fire station.
Other cities that take advantage of the program include Hudson,
Waverly, Fairbank, Independence and Grundy Center. Harris said Iowa
inventories about $15 million worth of equipment around the state.
Stanley, a city with only about 125 residents, has an advantage
from Sill's two decades of Army and National Guard service.
Equipment is listed on a government Web site, but often coded in
military abbreviations and inventory numbers, Sill said.
"You've got strange names for stuff," Sill said. "It takes a
little inside knowledge ... It's just an unbelievable amount of
stuff out there."
To help fire departments navigate the system, the state has two
employees in the forestry bureau, part of the Iowa Department of
Natural Resources. Sill is also lobbying state legislators to
invest more money in promoting and explaining the program to local
"It's a huge payback," Sills said. "It's hardly something you
can afford to ignore, but we're close to doing that in Iowa."
The equipment must serve a purpose in wildfire protection. The
U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service acquires the items
and then loans them to state foresters, which then extends the
offer to local departments. A parallel program provides excess
equipment to police and sheriffs departments.
Harris, who trolls government databases and equipment lists
looking for items of interest to the state's fire departments, said
the supply is smaller lately because the military is so active. But
finds are still out there.
Sills was most shocked at discovering a new portable cascade
unit still in its factory case. The machine allows firefighter to
refill air tanks in the field rather than returning to a station.
It was one of 12 sitting at a Rock Island base.
"I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Pentagon was buying
new at the same time they were surplusing them," Sills said.
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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08-13-2005, 12:49 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Rural Iowa
NJFF where do you find this stuff? Waterloo Courier is not exactly the big time mainstream news media.
FEPP is good to me/us. Got to work it yourself, not just wait for your state forester to drop goodies on your doorstep.
08-14-2005, 07:10 PM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
Kentucky's FEPP needs improvements.
Kentucky FEPP program is not working well.The KDF does not or cannot screen FEPP on a regular basics.When they do screen surplus equipment and trucks it appears to mostly be junk.The rural fire service in Kentucky HAS not seen alot of good equipment coming through this program.The local KDF districts want to screen for the fire departments however most the time frankfort( state house) will not approve the time/travel to screen through the program.There is some fire departments that have had good luck with FEPP trucks and equipment but the program could really be great if they would allow the Kentucky Division of Forestry to screen more.Always a day late and a dollar short!
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