1. #1
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    Default Revision/improvement of existing truck

    We had a recent thread (which I now can not find) regarding how AFG looks at revisions/rebuild/improvement of existing truck. BC had info that just about anything more than adding on bits and pieces (if I can generalize (correctly I hope)) such as scene lights, generator etc and you are into a vehicle grant. Such as a new body on existing chassis, (change of mission etc), add a pump or replacement pump, new tank. This was news to me. I sent an inquiry to AFG which follows. And the response recved today (which, I think, is that answer I wanted and which makes sense).

    Fire Grant folks,

    We currently have a tanker/tender with a good chassis. 1988 with 135000mi runs good. Water tank is leaky, is not NFPA compliant, and is over sized for the chassis (when we add on equipment we are over GVWR). So a safety issue.

    We want to replace, on current chassis, the current body with a new NFPA compliant tank/body w/compartments etc. Is this an equipment app or a vehicle app. We assume our call volume is not going to get us in the win column for vehicles.

    Or is just replacing with a new poly tank going to be an equipment app


    AFG response.

    The rule of thumb we use in the Assistance to Firefighter Grants program office is that if the request is to repair or refurbish the vehicle motor, chassis, brakes. Etc., it is a vehicle request. If the request is for repair or refurbish the tank, pump, or supplies it can be a vehicle or an equipment request. Officially you can apply under both the vehicle equipment or Operation and Safety equipment program areas. You have a better chance at funding under the Operations and Safety program area because of our Vehicle 25% cap would not apply to your request..

    William Dunham, Fire Grants Program Specialist
    U. S. Department of Homeland Security
    Office of Grants and Training
    810 Seventh Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20531
    Fire Grants Help Desk: 1-866-274-0960

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    So discussion?

    Our concept. Tanker project. We're not going to make cut for vehicle grant (not large enought call volume) due to lack of grant $. Current tanker (1988 former milk truck, 150000mi runs good, unbaffled tank/overloaded/unsafe). Apply for equipment grant and take existing chassis, sell current tank, purchase (installed) a professional apparatus mfg NFPA compliant tanker (or pumper tanker) body, perhaps with midship pump (still debating) and walla a "new" tanker pumper good for at least 15yr of rural FD use.

    One question is what "meet NFPA stds" might mean? Chassis mods required to bring to NFPA circa 1988 or circa 2006? I'd propose 1988. Obviously can not update to meet 2006 DOT or EPA regs so don't attempt things like adding antilock brakes. Perhaps larger alternator/rewire as needed.

    1901 Annex D may have some relevance. Annex D apparently wants everyone to junk their "old" trucks (or spend a fortune updating to 2006 specs then put into reserve - IE junk them). Which makes no sense for 50% of the depts in the US. Heck a 1985 truck with less than 10000mi is still new (our current pumper tanker).

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    First question I have deals with the statement:

    Officially you can apply under both the vehicle equipment or Operation and Safety equipment program areas.
    Since this is not true by any stretch, my question is does this person work for the Helpdesk, or are they a field rep?

    I asked one of the field reps that helps develop the PPT for the workshops, and I was told any major component refurb or replacement (pump, tank, body, chassis) is a vehicle app. Adding CAFS, light towers, tool or electric reels, generators, etc are equipment since they do not significantly change the truck's structure. So here we have the usual government situation of having two different answers from two different people about the same subject. I will make another phone call tomorrow to someone high enough to make a final determination on this one. Even if I have to spend all dang day on the phone, I will get an answer.

    Anywho, back to your NFPA question, I would venture an edjumacated guess that only what is being refurbed/replaced it what has to meet NFPA standards. Since the truck wouldn't be retitled as a 2006 since you're not touching that part, then only the tank and/or pump & body would need to meet NFPA standards. So baffles, dump valves on all 3 sides, drop tank, plus the other 1901 goodies that a compliant tanker needs would be the only parts needing compliance.

    - Brian

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    And just think. AFG is the prototype (and truely is) for a fed govt program that WORKS and works well. Everything else is downhill from AFG (fast and far downhill).

    I'm not sure what a Fire Grants Program Specialist is compared to anything else at DHS or AFG. Generally in the fed gov't the guys in DC are the gods of wisdom, guys in the field are lesser demigods (but still of substantially higher importance that lessor mortals/taxpayer peons). As in home office walk on water, demigoods get their ankles wet.

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    Did we ever resolve this question ?


    Short version - I wold like to apply for a new tanker and a CAFS retrofit in '06 but if the retrofit falls under equipment then it's out because we'd rather have the new tanker first.

    Long(er) version
    Requesting new Vacuum Tanker which will become primary water hauler (2000 gal)

    Requesting CAFS retrofit for existing Pumper/Tanker which will become primary attack piece (1500 gal/ 1250 gpm).

    Existing Primary Attack Piece (1000/1000) will replace '85 Pumper w/ leaking tank & failing pump (700 of rated 1000 gpm in '04 pump test)

    Rational for picking new tanker over CAFS is:
    1) will have a "full fleet" of up to spec. apparatus
    2) Will be able to get more water (faster) w/ new tanker & also access sources previously unusable by conventional tankers with centrifugal pumps
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    Jury is still out, I'm waiting on several folks to call me back with an answer.

    Anywho, the CAFS retrofit is an equipment, that's not the question at hand. The question is the extent to which you can change out parts of a truck and still have it be an equipment app.

    Don't mention vacuum tanker in the app. I've haven't found anyone in the middle on those trucks. It's a love or hate. A county near me bought a bunch, and now they swear at them not by them. Other areas love them to death. If you end up with a Peer Reviewer that isn't impressed by them, that may be the fraction of a point drop that kills you. They only review scores when they are more than 3 points apart from each other, so its the little things that can hurt. Same reason you never want to mention brand names in the narrative. It speaks of not planning on complying with the competitive bidding process.

    - Brian

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    Default Some "clarification" from AFG

    I requested clarification of the previous email I received from AFG. Response I just received follows.

    Subject: RE: truck rework

    I took this matter to Tom Harrington the Deputy Director for the AFGand here
    is the verdict. To replace your tank would be an equipment App., very
    similar to putting a new skid unit on a brush truck, but to replace tank,
    body, and pump would be a vehicle App. It is a grey area with the
    replacement of major componentes of a vehicle. I hope this helps.
    Rick Morris

    Fire Grants Help Desk
    U. S. Department of Homeland Security
    Office of State and Local Government Coordination & Preparedness
    810 Seventh Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20531
    Fire Grants Help Desk: 1-866-274-0960
    www.firegrantsupport.com


    I don't know who Rick Morris is or what happened to the William Dunham that sent me the original answer (towards top of this thread). I also don't know who Tom Harrington is. Apparently Mr Harrington is further up the food chain. I got no use for grey areas Black meet White.

    At issue is the legislation/regs/guidance. 2005 guidance pg 7 defines two program areas including - "Firefighting Vehicle Acquistion Program. Eligible apparatus available to fire departments under this program include, but are not limited to, pumpers, brush trucks, tankers/tenders, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats....."

    An apparatus is something that is complete and can roll down the road. Anything less is not an apparatus. A body, tank, pump etc; individually or collective, is not an apparatus. It is a pile of equipment/stuff sitting on a pallet. $ value of a grant is obviously not a point to differ between a Ops app vs a Vehicle app. As email from AFG stated replacing a tank is equipment. Westide tanker any different?? (no reason you would even be discussing tank type in an application so no reason tank could not be wet side/elliptical/vacumn/(or dryside tank in a body???)). No reason replacing a midship pump would not be equipment. But put them together as a collection or an assembly and it suddenly becomes a vehicle even though there is no chassis, engine, transmission, cab???? Illogical Mr Spock. AND certainly does not meet our needs/intent?plan.

    Seems a request for a formal review of the legislation/regs and a written response from on high is the appropriate avenue of inquiry.
    Last edited by neiowa; 02-16-2006 at 02:52 PM.

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    Tom Harrington is one of the Program Managers. As far as I can tell only Brian Cowan is higher than him, and he's the head honcho over the whole AFG.

    They are going close to NFPA definitions for refurb of a truck. Pump changes I thought were considered part of a vehicle refurb, since that ties into what makes a pumper a pumper plus the truck definition could change depending on what size pump is involved. 1000gpm is the minimum to meet the NFPA pumper definition, so anything less and it's not really a compliant truck. Tanks are just a water jug, and as long as it's more than 500 gallons, then it doesn't cross definition lines. Plus you're usually going to replace a tank with the same size tank, you can't really go bigger whereas most pumps are close to the same size so you could upgrade the truck.

    According to the answer you got, replacing a tank by itself is equipment. As long as you don't touch body or pump, then it's equipment also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    They are going close to NFPA definitions for refurb of a truck. Pump changes I thought were considered part of a vehicle refurb, since that ties into what makes a pumper a pumper plus the truck definition could change depending on what size pump is involved. 1000gpm is the minimum to meet the NFPA pumper definition, so anything less and it's not really a compliant truck. Tanks are just a water jug, and as long as it's more than 500 gallons, then it doesn't cross definition lines. Plus you're usually going to replace a tank with the same size tank, you can't really go bigger whereas most pumps are close to the same size so you could upgrade the truck.
    Annex D (1901) is the only applicable std I'm aware of. For pumper or tanker updates to meet Annex D don't look to me to be Vehicle Aquisition (throwing out silly things like converting an existing 2dr commerical chassis with a custom 6man cab). Biggest project might be sound reduction in the cab. Pump is a new install so obviously meets current NFPA. Our project concept is commerical 2dr chassis, new 2500gal tank/body with a midship or rear mount 1500gpm pump.

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    BC79er and neiowa have either of you ever seen an application to replace two tanks on two seperate vehicles? Vehicle chassis are in good shape but, tanks on both need to be replaced and these guys answer a whole lot of wildfires (over 50 a year) where these are used ( 6 x 6 military frames). They want to put new polys on both trucks. What do you think; can they ask for both at once or two sepearte applciations?
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Poly tanks being not that expensive hitting up the forest service for that might be a better idea since they only fund wildfire related items. No sense in 'wasting' the AFG application on something like that if they need other items of a higher priority. But if they are leaking, rusting, cracked, etc, then it does kinda make it a local priority because water is much easier to put on fire when it's in the tank rather than leaving a trail behind the truck.

    But those would be equipment according to the majority of opinions from above, so they should be able to put them both on the same app.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Poly tanks being not that expensive hitting up the forest service for that might be a better idea since they only fund wildfire related items. No sense in 'wasting' the AFG application on something like that if they need other items of a higher priority. But if they are leaking, rusting, cracked, etc, then it does kinda make it a local priority because water is much easier to put on fire when it's in the tank rather than leaving a trail behind the truck.

    But those would be equipment according to the majority of opinions from above, so they should be able to put them both on the same app.
    Gracias senor! They have a matching dollar problem and their state grant is 50/50 so they are looking for the 5% match if possible.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    With no trail of water behind the truck, how are they going to find their way back to the station?

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle
    With no trail of water behind the truck, how are they going to find their way back to the station?
    Sometimes, ya just gotta adapt. We've got one tender that only trails water halfway now--so we keep a few loaves of bread in the cab. No water when we get to the scene, so it's not a compliant prison work truck in Maricopa County.

    On a more serious note, sounds like replacing tanks on both trucks would be a "100% solution" to the existing problem. What about the expense of upgrading any other parts of the trucks that may crop up when the tanks are installed? Brakes, lights, etc??
    earl

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    I asked that very question and it appears, from what I am being told, that they have a National Guard unit nearby whose "fleet maintenance" crew are quite freidndy when it comes to helping out with locating parts etc. for the trucks. They claim that maintenence of the trucks, as far as mechanical condition has not, nor do they anticipate it to be, a problem for them. They just need the "batlleground tough" exteriors and pulling capability for the ravines and wildfire areas they take them into all the time.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Plus once you get into chassis pieces like lights, brakes, etc then it's a vehicle app.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780
    I asked that very question and it appears, from what I am being told, that they have a National Guard unit nearby whose "fleet maintenance" crew are quite freidndy when it comes to helping out with locating parts etc. for the trucks. They claim that maintenence of the trucks, as far as mechanical condition has not, nor do they anticipate it to be, a problem for them. They just need the "batlleground tough" exteriors and pulling capability for the ravines and wildfire areas they take them into all the time.
    Rather than spending $, I'd suggest (as typical in the got not $ world) going with the std FEPP/DOD answer and use 600gal "pods". Mil uses these for TPU (Tank and Pump Units). IE fuel tankers. 2 pods per 5t truck (or 1 per duece). Aluminum construction, elliptical shape, 5'long 6' wide, integral skids on the bottom that interlock when installing multiple units. Bolted to the bottom of the tank is a 4" drain valve/elbow that necks down to with a 2" camlock outlet. Light weight. Very Very nice item and very easily available thru the surplus system. Anyone in the Army/Marines will know what a 600gal fuel pod is (and I can't imagine that there is anyone in the FEPP/forestry office that does not). Add one vertical baffle inside the tank if desired (I think a good idea). Only the ones for aviation use have internal baffles.

    We have 20x of a model that came from the factory with interal baffles (meet NFPA tank stds) that are using for a couple projects.
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