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    Default Minor change in a spec.??

    Just looking for a little insight... Brian, Kurt , or Alana... As I had posted here before we received our grant for a pumper up here in Clinton, Me. After chasing quotes and talking to reps, we have found a truck (demo) that very closely fits our specs. It has become very clear that with inflation and many manufacturers jump in pricing (amazingly the very week that grants began), that we may not be able to have built/ buy the truck with the items/specs listed and remain with in the grant amount. The demo would allow us to do this at the price offered. The only real difference is that we wrote the grant listing a 1250 tank... the demo is a 1000. How picky is FEMA on an item and circumstances such as this? We plan on contacting our rep up here and notifying all pertinent persons. Do you foresee any problems? Again any insight will be appreciated. Thanks, Mark

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    Mark

    The only sticky point I think they could create is that 1250 gallon tank and larger were considered to be tankers, not pumpers. By dropping to the 1000 gallon tank, technically, you're buying something with a different title than what you applied for. Now, in the grand scheme of things I think they created the monster for themselves by dropping the pumper-tanker designation, but I see enough leeway that it shouldn't be a problem. If 250 gallons means that much to an operation, then there are other water supply issues that should be addressed, but that's neither here nor there.

    Steel prices have gone up considerably, so chassis prices have increased. Lots of folks are finding themselves shorter than they thought for what they spec'd because of that. Even with the small percentage fudge factor to account for increases, folks are having to modify. Hence the reason I always say spec minimums, that way you can always go up without having to ask permission, and you're not going down because you won't take less.

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

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    Default spec'd as a pumper

    Brian, we spec'd and wrote the beast as a Pumper so I dont see that will be a sticking point. (We were putting it up against a 68 Lafrance pumper and a 78 Continental pumper.) It shouldn't/won't change the type of vehicle spec'd. Thxs, Mark
    Last edited by kramelop; 09-15-2005 at 11:43 AM.

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    To be accurate, you didn't spec a pumper in the application if you included in the app that it had a 1250 gallon tank on it. The rules clearly say that 1250 gallon water tanks and larger are tankers, not pumpers, no matter what you want to call it locally. So it will change the type of vehicle by federal definition from a 1250 gallon tanker to a 1000 gallon pumper.

    It could be argued in the letter of the program that you asked for a tanker and were awarded one by virtue of the 1250 request, and if you had applied for the 1000 gallons which is a pumper, you could have been rejected. These details do make a difference in score and when fractions of a point separate the winners and those trying again next year, they have a very valid argument against allowing the change.

    But again, I don't see it making a difference. These are the types of details that make the difference between award and denial, which is why they COULD tell you that you can't drop tank size. But personally, I see no massive difference, it just depends on how much discretion they want to exercise.

    Heck, if they say no, drop me a line and I'll argue with them for you.

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    Brian,
    You know you & I have discussed something pretty similiar to my FD as this. We have continued to shop for our Tanker, and found a smaller manufacturer, that is actually meeting our specs and coming in UNDER grant right now! So, we have plenty of room it appears to do whatever we need to on the Tanker. I was surprised. The Chief found this one on his own... LOL

    So, I think we're going to be fine...we've looked at about 5-8 different companies. And what still surprises me, is some of the 'big names' wouldn't give me the time of day and mail me brochures, business cards, etc. Guess they didn't want our business!

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    That's why the 'small names' exist. You'd be surprised how many salesfolks I talk to that have no idea how this program works, from all different size manufacturers. Some of them have been hearing for years how 'this year we're buying that truck from you', so I can understand the attitude.

    Plus in all honesty, some departments won't buy from another manufacturer anyway, so the salespeople know that the department only wants a bid to comply with DHS regs. IMHO, bad move on their part. You never know when someone might come buy something from you, but the surest way to guarantee they don't is to give them bad customer service before the sale.

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    Default customer service

    Customer Service indeed is playing a large part of our decision as well. The rep for the manufacturer we are interested in, has bent over backward to assist us in the past and the acquisition of parts and service is always timely. I'm sure this is likely to continue for us in the future... unlike some horror stories I have heard from some other local departments (who assumed because it is expensive, its just gotta be good.) Mark

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    We told fema we were buying a minnimum 2,200 gallon tanker. Brand X would not build us a 2,200 gallon tanker because it was a non-standard tank. At the time, that is who we wanted to go with so we put in for an ammendment to go to a minnimum 2,000 gallon tank. It was approved. Although, in the end we went with someone who would pretty much (but not 100%) give us what we wanted for about $35,000 less.

    It never hurts to ask, regardless of what you told FEMA you were going to get. All they can do is say no. They are not going to take your grant away just for asking.

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