1. #1
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    Smile Compressor/Cascade help for next year!

    We are a first time winner this year. We would like to build off this for next year. This year we were able to upgrade all PPE and SCBA. So, I am looking for for some help or insight on a mobile (trailer mounted) cascade with a station installed compressor. Any help woulod be greatly appreciated.

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    we received a grant for that last year ill see if i can come up with a copy. and ill post in here if i find it.

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    IMHO I would not go for both,. One or the other, but not both. You will run up the greedy flag.

    If your needs and that of other departments is to have air on the scene, then go for the trailer, more cost benefit. If there is already a trailer in existence in any surrounding jurisdictions, then you will be wasting effort for the trailer, go for the in-house compressor .
    Kurt Bradley
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    Very few in-house have been given out since the more beneficial trailers have been gaining precedence. I've rewritten several station systems into trailers for the following year's awards. Kurt is on the money, if there already is a trailer in the area, it will be a hard sell. If you already have a compressor, even harder. And the dual request is a little over the top. The trailers with compressor, generator and all of the other goodies normally have a shore line so they can be run while in the station without running the generator.

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    we were awarded an in house system bottles and compressor and our county already has 3 mobile units

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    We are a small rural department that received a grant last year for A cascade.We were careful not to show greed, but at the same time show a need. In our case , we choose an enclosed trailer with a gas compressor. We looked at several and decided to go with a functional unit instead of a parade piece. We also choose due to the pryority terr given by fema, our trailer is not a light unit. In a nut shell : 4500psi 4 bottle cascade - 4500 psi gas compressor - two bottle "boom box" fill station - al mounted in a 7ft x 14ft enclosed wells fargo trailer. It will do what we need to do and give us additional storage space at a fraction of the cost of most air trailers. We choose AMERICAN AIRWORKS, DANA from american airworks has been great to deal with. We take delivery next week.
    JUST OUT BUSTIN MINE TO SAVE YOURS

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    I would stay away from the trailer concept if possible. And before someone thinks that I am crazy let me explain. Our department went in with two other departments in the late 80's and purchased a station compressor and a 6 bottle (5000 psi) trailer for a multi-jurisdictional use. At that time we could fill about 60+ bottles since we were all using low pressure bottles. The problem that we have encountered is that when we all switched to a high pressure system we could only fill about 25-30 bottles on the scene. On several occasions we had to request that another department send a truck mounted unit out to refill our unit while still on the scene.

    Since that time we have developed a more regionalized system. We now have 14 departments that utilize a light/air unit. This unit is equipped with a 40cfm compressor and multiple bottles. In addition it has 2 large (9000 watt) light towers for scene lighting.

    If at all possible it would be of benefit to you and your department to look at a truck mounted unit. Another problem we encountered with the trailer was having to manuver it into some of the fire scenes.

    In addition the 14 departments have made the following purchases:

    Heavy Rescue
    Light Rescue
    Mass-Casuility Unit
    Mobile Decon Unit
    Technicial Rescue Unit
    New Haz-Mat Unit (replaces old unit)
    New E.O.D. Unit (replaces old unit)

    It will be easier if you can show a regionalized use for the purchase.

    If you would like more information feel free to PM or e-mail me for the information.
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    We are a small RVFD, we got compressor, mobile cascade, and mobile fill station this year. In the narrative I put that our department was buying the trailor, and there are no units like this around our area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom40
    We are a small RVFD, we got compressor, mobile cascade, and mobile fill station this year. In the narrative I put that our department was buying the trailor, and there are no units like this around our area.
    When's the ETA, Eddie?

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    BFD, the unit being talking about has a compressor on it, not just a cascade system like y'all spec'd. It is a pain if it doesn't have the compressor too, and some folks have been denied asking for just a cascade. Mobile air is a good benefit, but with a compressor and lighting complement, the benefit is even higher for the extra cost involved.

    Ideally you want a compressor on it so you can fill up an unlimited supply. Mounting them in trucks takes space, and many manufacturers don't recommend it because most times the truck is parked in close proximity to other trucks and the filters don't last long trying to take out the diesel fumes. Trailers can be parked away a little from the scene, since rehab is supposed to be out a bit further from the scene anyway, so there shouldn't be any problems getting it in and out. Shouldn't be too far into the scene anyway. Just like any other support unit, it should be easy to get back away from the scene in case other units are called in for extra alarms. Just like ambulances and other support vehicles shouldn't be close to the scene. Support units need to support, and that's done from farther back. But that's another thread.

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    What would the outlook be if you had a mobile cascade unit on the box, but no means to refill it? We were awarded new packs 2 years ago, got turnout this year, really all thats left is a compressor. Wouldn't it benefit the entire area to have a unit to keep the mobile cascade topped off? Right now when its low, the entire unit is out of service getting refilled. That takes the heavy rescue off a busy highway box.

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    True, if you can afford frequent filter changes, a compressor on the truck is always better. But if you're buying a truck outright, that's probably not a big deal to take on the extra cost to have it put on in the first place and change the filters more often.

    In the grant realm, Air & Light trucks and Heavy Rescues with Cascades are not high priorities, and coupled with limited funding in the Vehicle Category, are a very, very long shot. Trailers with compressors are the highest priority way to Git-R-Done, when low in the computer score for station mounted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Trailers with compressors are the highest priority way to Git-R-Done, when low in the computer score for station mounted.
    IS trailer w/compressor an equipment app or vehicle?

    We have a big reason why we don't want a compressor (other than having the best (free) trailer cascade anywhere). No certifiying, air tests, maintenance, compressor training etc. Leave that the the 2 "big" cities we go to to refill our cascade tanks. If you're worried about running out of capacity with your cascade ----- add more tanks. LOT cheaper to buy and lifecycle than a compressor. Our cascade has 8x 410ft3 5000psi tanks and we'll run out of troops long before we run out of air.
    Last edited by neiowa; 10-28-2005 at 03:01 PM.

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    Trailers are equipment, not vehicles. Unless it has a motor and can be driven it's not a vehicle project. That's why you can apply for the trailer mounted solutions and other equipment at the same time.

    8 - 410 cubic ft 5000psi tanks?! Jeez, I don't think I've breathed that volume of air in my 31 years on this Earth.

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    To answer your original question......

    You need to be sure that you state in your grant request what is a requirement for what you are asking for. If you ask for a cascade and the station down the road had one then you will not get one. if you ask for the cascade and do not put infomration in the narrative about the next closest system you will not get a grant. If you have to go out of your district 30 minutes or more round trip and you have to take equipment and man power out of service to do that then you need to put that in your grant request. I do not know how you do training but we train like it is a real situation. That means full SCBA at all times. We sometimes even have drills where we play basketball in Full SCBA and gear to get accumstommed to the equipment. State in your grant that the cascade will aid in training by allowing your firefighters to learn and use the SCBA in a more realistic setting. Also put in safety concerns. If the cascade in onsite the turn around time for equipment is quick. If you have back to back calls the risk is a lot greater if you have to travel to another district to get a bottle filled. Put information in your grant about how the system will benefit surrounding departments. If whatever is purchased with a grant supports multiple fire departments that is always a plus. Finally, be sure not to go for the best system out there. Research, research, reasearch!!!! Be sure to get one that suits the needs of the sized of fire department you have. We were awarded a system last year, I researched for about 1 1/2 motnhs to 2 months before I decided on an amount to request. There is plenty of data out there about what size of system you should get according your department size and number of calls peryear that require SCBA. Be aware, do not get the data from a compnay that makes cascade systems. It wll be inflated.

    Start with the request for an inhouse system. The statement was correct earlier about not being able to fill mobile bottles and having other modile units in the area. Plus starting with and inhouse system then the next year requesting a mobile unit will increase your chances of getting both. If the next year's grabt request builds on the previous year's request you stand a better chance of award.

    I tried to put a lot of information in a short response so I hope it makes sense.

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    Start with the request for an inhouse system. The statement was correct earlier about not being able to fill mobile bottles and having other modile units in the area. Plus starting with and inhouse system then the next year requesting a mobile unit will increase your chances of getting both. If the next year's grabt request builds on the previous year's request you stand a better chance of award.
    I guessing you're talking about getting a station compressor and then asking for a cascade-only trailer? Despite the "building on the previous year" phrase, the question will be asked why it wasn't a trailer mounted compressor and cascade in the previous year if it was that important to remotely fill? In this situation, it would be an early exit for the cascade-only trailer application IMHO. Because if you have a big incident and run out of air in the cascade trailer, you have to try and get it out and back to the station to fill it back up, so where is the benefit of that? Problem not solved completely. Plus they aren't going to hand out equipment back to back that basically duplicates functionality. This is what I talk about when I mean solve an operational deficiency, don't apply for an item. If having an unlimited air supply on scene is the major deficiency, then compressor/cascade trailer. If not, then station compressor. Both will not happen, even in subsequent years. Or even years apart for that matter. Need vs Greed.

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    Ah Brian, you beat me to the punch on that one. I was reading and shaking my head also when your response posted. I would have to echo Brian identically on this. Applying two years in a row for similar equipment is most assuredly a "red flag" to the reviewers and also to the computer scoring for competitive range. One or the other, not both!
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780
    Ah Brian, you beat me to the punch on that one. I was reading and shaking my head also when your response posted. I would have to echo Brian identically on this. Applying two years in a row for similar equipment is most assuredly a "red flag" to the reviewers and also to the computer scoring for competitive range. One or the other, not both!
    This is great, so rarely can different opinions on something be discussed in this manner. But I based my response on what our experience was and the information we received from suppliers that have first provided, the station system (sorry for the confusion on the wording) and then provided the mobile system in the next years grants.. I was told that they also look at the additional costs involved in getting the mobile units filled when awarding the grant. If they determine the station can not afford the cost of operation then that is a black mark on the process. We are still paying on our station (Payed off at the end of the year though....WOOHOO!!!), so we did not want to incur any more costs on the system. Also I am assuming that there are other station within the County or surrounding areas that can provide mobile units via mutual aid, as we have available to us. We also have many spare bottles (Scott 4.5) that we keep on our Engines. We could easily have the mutual aid from the department that has the mobile cascade before we run out of air. Another note There is a Mutual Aid Agreement signed so aid is automatic.

    No matter what is correct, I think we can all agree that researching and putting in the grant information all the required information and any multiple uses of the equipment can only lend to the award process.

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    Certainly we're not disagreeing to the last statement about researching and putting in the information that will lend support to the cost-benefit argument.

    But still, asking for a mobile cascade trailer after a station compressor/cascade award is a waste of an application. Maybe one snuck through in the last 5 years, but that would be the exception that makes the rule. It's like asking for personal masks in a year after you were awarded for all new SCBA. If it was needed that badly, and part of the previous year's project, it should have been included then. $20/mask on matching is a piddly amount compared to buying the whole package, so it would be hard to argue that it couldn't have been afforded as part of the previous app. Trust me, such attempts to sneak around get caught. The Reviewers are sharp folks, they catch a lot of stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    . The Reviewers are sharp folks, they catch a lot of stuff.
    Well stated!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er

    8 - 410 cubic ft 5000psi tanks?! Jeez, I don't think I've breathed that volume of air in my 31 years on this Earth.
    BC thought you had seen photo of our cascade. Another DOD surplus find. Actually got 3 for various depts in Rural Ia. Brand new in the crate. GREAT stuff. Unfortunately another 8-10 of the same slid thru the surplus system and were auctioned off for average of around $1500.
    http://www.stanleyiowa.com/pages/773127/index.htm

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    No, I saw the porta-lakes y'all picked up and heard about the steel building, but didn't see your latest booty from pillaging.

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