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  1. #1
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    Default Philanthropist - in need of fire apparatus information

    Greetings!

    I was involved in a horrific automobile accident in which I had to be extracted from my vehicle. The accident occurred along a coastal North Carolina highway near my vacation villa. I'd like to remunerate the volunteers who expeditiously came to my and my Granddaughters aid and saved our lives.

    I would like to replace all of their aged apparatus. Many of the vehicles appear to be mid to late 1980's vintage.

    Here's where I need your kind assistance. I'm intent upon replacing 3 Pump trucks, a panel type rescue truck, a water storage truck (appears to be an old milk transport truck), 2 wildlands(?) and add to these a new ladder type truck.

    I want the finest apparatus available anywhere with all the bells and whistles. Cost is NOT an object or consideration. Which fire apparatus manufacturer, in your opinion, constructs the very best, most reliable trucks?

    My intent is to have the apparatus manufactured and delivered to them anonymously. Your gracious assistance would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Forum Member medicmaster's Avatar
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    Default

    First off, let me say that your kind of generosity is very much appreciated in our line of work. We don't get a thank-you very often...especially of this scope.

    There are a few variables that you should consider if this is the type of donation you wish to impart to this department.

    A. Donating apparatus is not always as easy it might seem. I don't know what kind of department this is, but most are operated by government agencies (cities, towns, counties) or are operated by a fire protection district. While I am sure that they would love new trucks, bonds or other capital purchase plans used to buy fire apparatus may still be in effect, meaning they are still paying for them, and could not simply get rid of the trucks once they are replaced.

    B. Fire apparatus cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000 each depending on the type, and the options associated. An average would be about $250,000 per truck, with the wildland trucks being on the low-end of the scale and the ladder truck being on the upper end of the scale. To replace the number of trucks mentioned, you are looking at anywhere from 2-6 million dollars. However, you did mention cost was not an option.

    C. Individual departments order and design apparatus that fit their needs. An anonymous, surprise donation, while nice in thought, may not necessarily give this department the trucks they need to do the job. A better approach would be to have your attorney contact the fire department, say that they have an anonymous donor who would like to replace all their trucks, and find out what they want and through your attorney, work with the apparatus manufacturers to build them their trucks. Also of note, if the department does not already have a ladder truck, odds are good they protect a district that doesn't really require one.

    D. Another point to consider is that fire departments must carry insurance like anyone else. You may inadvertantly cause a hardship for the department by buying them nice new fancy trucks. Obviously, if they make a move from a standard 1985 commercial chassis fire truck to a 2006 custom chassis fire truck, the insurance premium for that truck will increase significantly.

    Now, I am not in anyway discouraging you from making a generous contribution to this department. But, I would start by contacting the department (perhaps through your attorney) and find out what they would like to do.

    Trust me, your generosity will not go unappreciated.

    For info on apparatus manufacturers, many can be found here...

    http://www.fama.org/Site/MemberCompanies/fama.asp

    You can visit individual company websites and look at their products if you wish.
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow, this is a little over the top. I have to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I hope this is for real. If so, my hat is off to you for the intent.

    But as for the process, Medicmaster is right. Just having new trucks dropped off is a bad idea. Fire apparatus are very customized and application specific. They need the right connections, storage, pump, and tank water capacities, chassis specs, etc. Local service is a consideration too. If you buy a Spartan or an E-one for example, but there is no factory service provider nearby, they may have to take the unit out of service for extended periods, and pay ten times over to get it repaired.

    In fact, it takes most departments well over a year, and at least a half dozen people to spec a new truck from scratch. That's how much work goes into the process.

    I agree that having your lawyer contact them on your behalf would be best.


    And as for the potential insurance cost...

    The could sell off part of the old fleet to pay the bills for a few years if they had too. It is a consideration, but if you're serious, they would most likely find a way.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Default Reply

    Good morning!

    I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Dodds and Mr. McAldwell for their keen insight.

    I did run the Attorney scenario by my corporate legal eagles. They're brilliant with regards to corporate mergers, acquisitions and real estate matters however they wouldn't know a pike pole from a telephone pole.

    I did drop by the fire station across from my Manhattan residence and spoke with the station Captain. I'm fully aware of the costs involved. Pump engine $430,000, ladder truck $800,000 etc.

    A Trust fund will be established to cover necessary overhead i.e. utilities, equipment, repairs, insurance, fuel and rotational apparatus replacement every 6 to 7 years.

    Land acquisition for a new fire station is complete.

    Had these brave volunteers arrived 5 minutes later myself and my lovely Granddaughter WOULD have been incinerated. No amount of money could ever replace my Granddaughter.

  5. #5
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    Default generosity

    Definitely have your people hook up with the VFD. They will know best what they need, and how to set up a rig(s) to their needs. Might also want to look into their equipment needs, such as turnout gear, helmets, etc, if you havent yet..

    like cars, there are different manufacturers which some firemen swear by, some swear at. Sometimes, the most money doesnt buy the best rig......


    And you are right, any life is priceless, more so when its someone very close to you. Glad you are all ok
    Last edited by pwrstrkinsmketr; 02-17-2006 at 08:51 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Another angle to consider is the communities ISO rating. This palces a value on the FD's equipment, training, facilities, etc. There are some specific requirements with reagard to what apparatus ISO tells you you need. To help the dept. and the community, ensuring the apparatus you provide maximizes their rating will reduce insurance cost to the business and homeowners int he town. My best recommendation is to contact Mike Wilbur and Tom Shand at Emergency Vehicle Response. They conduct analysis's of the community and recommend apparatus, replacement plans, future station placement, and overall appraisal of th the departments stregnths and weaknesses. Of course the dept and chief should agree to this as calling in an outsider to evaluate anothers dept. could be sensitive. But having had such an appraisal we found it invaluable. mike and Tom are truly excellent human beings who care about firefighters and the citizens they protect. They also specialize in fire apparatus design and helping the town get apparatus that will work best for their situation. Another bonus to you is that Mike is an FDNY Lieutenant at Ladder Co. 27 in the Bronx and may be readily accessible. Tom Shand is an apparatus engineer at American LaFrance in Hamburg, NY. While Tom works for ALF, EVR does not push you to buy ALF products. They are truly out to ensure you buy the best apparatus for your community. If I can help you with any contact info or otherwise expalin our experience in this regard please say so.

    Emergncy Vehicle Response: www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com

    As previously stated, it is great to hear someone who truly appreciates the service they recieved and is fortuneate enough to help those that were there for you. While 99% of us love this business and would do it for free, monetary constraints often hamper our ability to provide the services at a level we strive for.

  7. #7
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    Default Donations

    First off, let me thank you for wanting to help out your local department!

    You may want to consider donating equipment, maintenance, or building needs in addition to or instead of just aparatus. As others have mentioned, newer rigs may increase the operating cost of the department, or may actually not be needed.

    Most fire departments could always use better breathing gear called SCBA (Self Contained breathing Aparatus). Newer systems are very expensive, but weight less (composite tanks verses steel or aluminum) and offer longer use times. Taking 5 pounds off of a firefighters back and adding 30 more minutes of air would be a better thing in my mind than showing up to the scene in a new rig!

    Additional gear that is always in need of upgrading would include Oxygen and Air cascade or generating systems (thats what fills the SCBA and Oxygen bottles), firefighter alert systems (FFs wear these on their gear and if they don't move for a certain period of time, like if they were injured, the device emits a loud noise to alert help), or just new turnout/bunker gear.

    Radios and communications are another thing that always seem to be in short supply. I just purchased 2 USED radios from eBay to interface with our SAR unit's communications, and spent over $1,000. I would jump at the chance to get all new radios, and be able to equip all the personel at the scene with communications.

    A big issue with departments is vehicle and equipment maintenance. Maybe you could set up a trust with the money that the department could use for maintenance. Because the money would be earning interest in the fund, it would be an ongoing gift to them for many years.

    Another need might be to their building. maybe they could use a larger bay, remodeled living spaces, or just general maintenance to the building.

    Still, another good use of funding is specialty equipment like rescue tools, airbags, vehicle stabilization gear, etc. While not glamerous, its the stuff that saves lives at the scene, but many of the pieces are very expensive. Having a second Hurst tool (Jaws of Life) in their medic unit, or a set of airbags and airchocks (they lift things like overturned cars) on their engine could possibly mean the difference between life and death to a victim one day.

    Again, thanks for the interest in giving to your local department! I hope you end up supplying them with lots of great stuff that will protect their own members and the public.

    Capt Craig

  8. #8
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    Default

    Sir, you are definitely "paying it forward"....

    I am sure the Department that assisted you will be pleased at your generosity.

    Billionaire Ted Turner, whose ranch in Montana was saved by the local volunteer fire department , got a thank you with a $500 check attached.. so much for philanthropy...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  9. #9
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    Default My thoughts...

    Many good thoughts mentioned so far. I would, however, add a few more...

    First, I don't think anyone has yet mentioned a specific manufacturer. In my humble opinion, many companies make very good apparatus. The availability and affordability of GOOD service and maintainence are paramount to good long term performance.

    Second, what any department (especially rural) presently has for vehicles may be based more on "what they could get when they could get it" rather than on current and future need. If our department were in the position of this one, our new fleet would have similar apparatus to current, but with greater flexibility. A true needs analysis would be highly beneficail. Not as daunting as it might sound, they probably already have a wish list.

    Finally, what was seen as aging equipment in this case would be a "slice of heaven" for far too many departments in this country. In the past two years I have spent a few hundred hours (my wife may guess higher ) working on finding funding for our department. (Yes, I am mightily envious of the position that this NC department may find themselves in, and would love to be in their shoes.) On behalf of all of us, please allow me to ask a few "favors" so that others may have the opportunity for rescue as well. Ask your Congressional reps continue the Fire Act Grant funding at a minimum of its current level (President Bush has suggested reducing to $293mm for FY 2007. Encourage others in your peer group to do the same. This program, while not perfect, works incredibly well and efficiently and puts good tools in the hands of rescuers. Also, there are literally thousands of small private foundations the offer funding for ACE (Arts, Children, Elderly) projects, but it's hard to access private funding for fire/rescue equipment. Perhaps if more people like you knew of the real plight of funding, there might be a private foundation or two that could truly impact the safety of our constituency on a broad basis.

    Thanks for listening. May you and your granddaughter be blessed with good health.

    Earl

  10. #10
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Sir, the best thing for you to do is to ask the department what they want. Tell them something like "I want to give you guys a million dollars worth of fire equipment, give me a shopping list of what you want, and I will provide it."

    they might say that they want new gear, new radios, new tools, maybe even a new station. plus, they will know what items work best for their area, so getting them a brand new 105 ft aerial ladder tower might might be all that useful when all they have is super narrow streets.

    it's better to allow them to tell you what they want, this way they can use your generous gift to the best of their ability.

    Good to hear that you and your Granddaughter got out ok, and it's a great thing what you are doing for the department.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  11. #11
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    A most generous offer. Other posts are making some reasonable points but you're not reading what he is saying.

    1st thing he mentioned is he wants to remain anonymous. Far from unusual and certainly reasonable. This would be in contrast to the Hollywood "look at me" approach and in it's self admirable.

    To your question sir. I suggest contacting Pierce Fire Equipment. I believe that anyone in the fire service asked to name 3 of the top (or best) MAJOR mfg of fire apparatus would include Pierce on their list. On this great forum alone thousands of manhours have been expended endlessly arguing/dissecting from there. Pierce make every type of appartus required. Apparently the NC dealer for Pierce is Triad Fire, Inc Kernersville, NC See:
    http://www.piercemfg.com/contact/Dealer.cfm?Dealer=36

    I'm in Iowa and don't know them from Adam. Any NC chiefs/officers with 1st had experience feel free to quibble but, in general one can not go to far wrong with Pierce as a buyer or user. I'll assume Triad can be pursued to keep their mouth shut. They certainly could advise/specify the fleet you require which suitable for the dept in question. That includes all the question previously raised. Triad answer might not be identical to that of a FD committee which is neither good nor bad. Decision making by committee is dang near as bad as no decision. I'd suggest having your shysters assemble a committee of 3 experienced forward looking Fire Chiefs from the Eastern NC area to review/approve the Triad specs for logic and appropriateness. Throw them each a nice bone in appreciation for their help (like a full ISO load of new hose/nozzles for their 1st out pumper truck).

    There have been at least as many bone headed apparatus specs written by inexperienced FD spec committees as there have been good ideas. Nothing you posters would do, its always some other dept. The fire equipment dealers are not all crooks or idiots. Some of them actually know something about fire trucks and what works.

    I suggest requirements to Triad include. Pumpers to include a full equipment load to meet ISO standards and NFPA standards. Trucks suitable to utilize 90%+ of roads/bridges in Fire District in question. Max commonality of components. Commerical 4dr chassis (easier/less expensive to maintain) unless Triad can make a REAL strong case why custom chassis is appropiate (call volume or special circumstances). Triad can evanuate what mission the dept is engaged in (rescue obviously is one) and what equipment may be appropriate to equip a resuce truck. Rope/entry/boat/etc.

    I would also recommend Triad participate in developing an ISO plan for the dept/Fire district that will guide this effort in the direction of an end goal other than just buying fire trucks. Appropriate ref are; www.isomitigation.com and www.isoslayer.com Appropriate std might be to achieve and ISO 4 or better rating. Improvement in ISO rating will be of tremendous longterm economic benefit to the community in that the improvement will result in substantially reduced insurance costs to businesses and residents. IE the FD can ask for $ to cover insurance expenses. The ISO plan will guide pumper design, determine if a ladder truck is required. Very likely will tell you that the dept needs much more than 1 tanker truck (certainly true if they have a rural fire district). Also will include a station plan. Will include a water supply plan and perhaps you can assist with the water storage tanks, pond based dry hydrants, and hydrants improvements required. In general, improved rural fire dept efficiency is more strongly impacted by water supply improvement than by new apparatus (ISO rating is 10% dispatch/911; 40% equipment/manpower/training; and 50% water supply).

    Ensure an equipment training component is included with your equpment package. Perhaps $10k for for local desired modifications, or better yet let them do local fundraising for those. You're giving them a 95% solution which is MORE than sufficient. If they aren't happy there are 10000+ other depts in the US that will shake your hand and be happy with a new Pierce pumper, even if it's yellow or white.

    Insurance - The largest part of your FD insurance bill is liability/workmans comp , not collision. The new truck is not going to cause an inordinant increase in the total cost of dept insurance.

    Other - A 100% gift is almost always a bad idea. See buying 100% of a kids college, welfare check,etc. If no personal buy in/pain in the obtaining means little. The kid that works its way thru college has something they value vs the Christmas present that mom/dad gave the (that mom/dad OWED). See also teach a man to fish vs give him fish. I would NOT provide an endowement. Or perhaps tie annual evaluation of eligibility to them obtaining and maintaining for 20yr period an ISO4+, active participation in county mutual aid, meeting ____ training requirements, local taxes to FD increase at the same % as the local juristictions total budget (local buy in), FD local fund raising at least 75% of 2005 +CPI (dept/local buy in). Your giving then a leg up, not buying the dept.

    Spend $15000 to assist the rest of the region in making FEPP (equipment transfers from DOD surplus) work in the area. Huge leverage. You can get a 100:1 payback. These other local depts are the ones that provide mutual aid to your new friends and 100% likelyhood they do not have the tankers, brushtrucks, equipment trucks etc they need. They can get much of what is required thru FEPP (do a search on FEPP in the grants Forum).

  12. #12
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    These offers scare me. We had a gentleman move to our district and offered over 2 million dollars to the department and also joined... upon further investigation into his backgound he was a parolee who had been in prison for stealing money from senior citizens. Working with his parole officer we got him sent back to prison for a parole violation (having a checking account and credit cards).

    Sir, my suggestion to you if you are serious about this is to work with the chief of the department to get them what they really need and will be able to afford and maintain.

  13. #13
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    Sir
    First, I am glad to hear that you and your granddaughter are ok. I think your offer is incredible and although you want this gift to be anonymous, I will echo the words of many here. Talk to the chief of the department and explain what you want to do and find out what they need. Many volunteer departments do not even have the basic needs of protective gear, training equipment, etc. There are departments that cannot even afford a subscription to NFPA to keep up with the current training codes and standards. The best possible way you could help the department is to find out what their "wish list" is and then go from there. You could also tell the chief that you wish your gift to remain anonymous to the rest of the crew but without knowing their needs, they may end up with something that will never be used.

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    If this is real. And you go with "Plan B" make the dept concerned put up at least 10% of the money to "fill their wish list". Make them buy into THEIR plan.

    Again tie it to achieving credible, quantifiable performance objectives. ISO included.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Sir, you are definitely "paying it forward"....

    Billionaire Ted Turner, whose ranch in Montana was saved by the local volunteer fire department , got a thank you with a $500 check attached.. so much for philanthropy...

    LOL, another one of our fine neiborhs...we Montanans have been terrorized by Teds (Turner and Kazinski) for many years now...we are getting used to it.



    I did see Jane in Bozman MT once, she was trying to be in disguise (hat, sunglasses, etc..). She seemed...out of place.

    Sorry, couldnt resist, not trying to go OT.

    Very admirable sir, and very impressive is your gratitude and generocity. I hope all goes well and that the equipment you are going to supply to the VFD in question never has to be used. Of course it will be called upon as some point, and thats when its true value is realized, to save lives and serve the community and as you know those who are visiting or just passing though.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superchef
    Sir
    First, I am glad to hear that you and your granddaughter are ok. I think your offer is incredible and although you want this gift to be anonymous, I will echo the words of many here. Talk to the chief of the department and explain what you want to do and find out what they need.
    That can be done and still be anonymous with ease by simply appointing a representative to handle the process. It happens.

    I have tremendous respect for neiowa, especially in his ability to recycle. And Pierce is a fine maker, rarely if ever mentioned in a negative light. But, if this comes to fruition, I'd sure want to make sure that I had good and reliable service nearby.

    With the land purchased for a new station already, I would sure want to have an idea of what we were going to put in it before the site plan is done.

    Ideal solution--find a discreet third party who understands wealth and fire service to act as an intermediary. Much as this sort of windfall would be an incredible boost to any department, the community and department would be better served by communication--in confidence.
    earl (back to finishing my grant application for 10 wildland jumpsuits)

  17. #17
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    You might want to look at the rigs that Fallon NV has. They would really like thoes, and it would help thier ISO #.
    It might be easier to make an anoyomous donation with stipulations that it is used for new apparatus, equipment, ect.
    To spec out a truck, you really need to know what you are doing, I would not recommend it to the layman.
    Im sure this Dept. will greatly appreciate your offer, they might even want to honor you by putting your name on the trucks you helped buy.

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    Default Oh my God!

    I know who this Man dudes! He's a billionaire! He bought an huge hunting/fishing camp in, I won't say where, and he built an awesome log home there. Me and my buddies from the base (I'm from the base FD) have been fishing in this dudes lake for over two years. We never knew he owned it we thought it was a public lake way back in the woods. We'd see him fishing pretty often on weekends and he is a hell of a nice dude, funny as hell and he never told us to get off his land. He's just a regular old Joe about town. Him and his wife come in the "greasy spoon" and eat with everybody else when they are in town. I don't think anybody knows who he is. I didn't until my buddy saw his picture in some business magazine at the base barber shop and sure as s... it was him! He was telling us about him being a Marine too and about his experiences in Viet Nam. No, he's not THE DONALD!

  19. #19
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    DUDE!!! NO ONE CARES!!!

    He wants to stay anonomys, I say let him. if you know who he is, keep it to yourself. No one here wants to know, we are all are respecting his wishes.

    I still say it's better to consult the department instead of just delivering the stuff. as was mentioned, I would say hire someone to act as your representative, so you can get all the information that the department would need to give you, but they would never know your face or name.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    If he is a "billionaire" as JarheadLejeune states, it is a small list of people who meet that critreia.
    I would never consider The Donald a regular average Joe either.

    I find it interesting that Jarheadlejeune is a new member and just came here and already knows a person on here who is new, makes you go hummmmm.

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