By Bob Vaccaro
See E-One in Product Connect
Published Monday, April 16, 2012
| From the June 2012 Issue of FireRescue
When the West Metro Fire-Rescue District (WMFRD) in New Hope, Minn., decided to replace most of its engine fleet and a heavy-rescue vehicle, they went about it methodically and thoroughly. The process began three years ago and has cumulated in the delivery of five new rigs.
Step by Step
“Our engine fleet was beginning to reach the 20-year mark, so it was imperative for us to begin a search for new apparatus,” says WMFRD Chief Scott Crandall. “We had older side-mount pumpers that we wanted to replace and our 1987 rescue was starting to get tired; we were also outgrowing the compartment space.”
The department’s first task at hand: to complete a needs assessment for its response district. To do this, the WMFRD’s apparatus committee—composed of eight members from all areas and expertise—visited neighboring fire departments, attended FDIC and looked at what other departments around the country were ordering, all in the context of what would meet the department’s needs.
“Second, we needed to get approval from our city council for the purchase of new apparatus,” Crandall says. “For the engine order we had to go out for competitive bidding. We held a pre-bid conference and had about seven vendors attend. When we finally went out to bid, we received three bids.”
WMFRD chose E-One, which was the lowest bidder, but more importantly, it was also most compliant with the bid and provided the highest trade-in value for the department’s older apparatus. “We had purchased an E-One apparatus back in 1995, so they were no stranger to us,” Crandall says. “But we had some concerns because they changed ownership two years ago. We were able to speak to the president and vice president directly, who were very personable and answered all of our concerns. After visiting the factory, we were convinced that E-One’s quality was better than ever and that the employee/ownership model was working for them.”
The rescue vehicle was purchased through a Houston Galveston Area Consortium (HGAC) consortium buy. “This is a group purchasing plan where, as long as a manufacturer is on the list, you can choose that manufacturer and a list of options without going to competitive bidding, which saves a great deal of time,” Crandall says.
The WMFRD decided on the E-One Quest five-person cab and chassis. “The cab was roomier than we had in the past with our other apparatus,” Crandall says. “The visibility and the safety aspect of the design was great. We also took the pump panel off of the street and fully enclosed it. It gave us a better and safer environment for our driver/pump operators as well as improving communications on the fireground.”
Other improvements: front, rear and side cameras, as well as dash cameras for training needs, brow lights and a V-Mux wiring system. The engines all have Waterous 2,000-gpm pumps, 500-gallon poly tanks with 30-gallon foam cells, 20-kW Smart Power units and Foam Pro foam systems. “We carry 600 feet of 5" LDH, 400 feet of 2½" and 400 feet of 1¾" hoseline on all the engines,” Crandall says.
The heavy-rescue has the same cab with a 16' walk-through body that includes a command desk; it also features a cascade system, a 25-kW Onan PTO generator and a Command light tower.
“We went factory-direct for the purchase, which made it easier for us,” Crandall says. “The local E-One dealer, Fire Safety USA, performs all of our maintenance and has helped us a great deal. Fire Safety USA stood behind the E-One product and solved the minor problems we had.”
Planning Is Key
The WMFRD replaced almost half of its fleet with this purchase, so they had to make sure that they saved money for their taxpayers as well as getting what they needed for their response district. By planning carefully and proceeding methodically through the buying process, they secured apparatus that will serve them long into the future.
Purchasing the heavy-rescue from a buying consortium definitely helped the department save money. Check to see if your local government or state subscribes to such a plan. It will most definitely save you time and money if the apparatus manufacturer you favor is on the list.
As always, investigate and plan accordingly for what your department needs are before you make that big purchase.
West Metro’s E-One Rescue Pumpers
• E-One Quest cab and chassis with aluminum body
• 450-hp Cummins ISL engine with Allison EVS3000 transmission
• 2,000-gpm Waterous CSU200 pump
• 500-gallon tank; 30-gallon Class A foam tank
• Smart Power HR-20/20 k-W generator
West Metro Fire-Rescue District
North New Hope, MN
The West Metro Fire-Rescue District comprises six full-time and 70 paid on-call firefighters responding from three stations covering 12 square miles. The district is urban/suburban with a light industrial area and mostly residential occupancies.
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