7/08/2010

The Pumper Saga Continues

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News and the LUSJ reported on the continuing quest for a new LFD Pumper.

...Passuite met with the Council last week to discuss two bids received on the city’s latest call for a pumper truck. Churchville submitted the more expensive bid, for $530,000, while Gorman Emergency Vehicles of Elma offered to build a truck for $450,000.

Passuite endorsed Churchville’s bid, saying it was the only one that met all of the requirements outlined in the bid specifications. Gorman Emergency Vehicles offered a lower price but also a number of “exceptions,” or alternative versions of truck features demanded in the specifications. Then Passuite turned up the pressure on the Council by noting a $247,000 grant the city recently received for a pumper truck would be in jeopardy if it didn’t make a deal with a vendor by July 16. The granting entity, Federal Emergency Management Agency, set a series of “benchmarks,” or deadlines for steps in the process of acquiring a truck, he said.

The pressure tactic didn’t sit well with Chapman. He told the Council on Wednesday that, over the past week, he spent about 20 hours poring over the bid specifications and talking to truck vendors and a FEMA official about the situation. He claims several vendors told him the specifications were written by Churchville, and in such a way that no other vendor could meet them as fully.

For instance, Chapman said, the specifications call for a Hercules foam unit. Hercules is a brand trademarked by Pierce fire apparatus — of which Churchville Fire Equipment is the regional dealer.

“These are proprietary specs; other suppliers won’t bid on them,” Chapman said. “These specs did not give a fair playing field (to) other bidders.”...
 
I thought the whole point of the current re-bidding was to make the specifications more generic. It appears that was not done and we are right back where we started the last time the purchase was denied.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Alderman Chapman should look at all the manufacturers and with all his Firefighting experience make what he believes is the best choice...wait he does have experience right? Oh well i'm off to rent an adult film at the Family video.(sorry couldn't resist) haha

Rocketboy said...

So, the only brand of equipment that we should consider is the one that was recommended by a the regional dealer? It's like asking Howell Motors if we should buy a Ford F10, or if we should buy a Nissan Titan. What do you think a Ford Dealer would suggest regardless of what we actually needed?

MJ said...

"“No (fire) chief knows of a member who can put specs together. Departments like mine are almost obligated to use someone else’s specs. ... It’s the same thing other departments do,” he said."

Looks like firefighting experience may not help much either? It's probably complicated. What do other small cities around 20k in population use?

Get Over It Already said...

Hey anonymous- I'm sorry but when you cannot contribute any real subtance in your comments regarding this issue, you only prove your ignorance in the matter.

Anonymous said...

I was told Chapman has relatives that are vollies and I'm sure with all there great knowledge of a paid fire service that is short staffed gave their imput to him. This guy is as joke, the specs were out 2years ago when it was approved by the fire board, now with $250,000 on the line he is questioning the specs? I would listen to the mananger in charge of the dept. that is requseting the purchase, what's next is he going to tell Chief Eggert what police cars to buy, last I knew only 2 car manufact. are building them. Will we need to look into the foreign market to satisfy his need of more bids. From what I have read the fire dept. has been trying to do more with less manpower so when you build a custom truck to do exactly that it's gonna cost you.

Rocketboy said...

Again, I ask the question:

So, the only brand of equipment that we should consider is the one that was recommended by a the regional dealer?

Care to answer, or are you just flapping your gums?

MJ said...

Last you know? Did you try a quick web search? I just did and quickly came across four others on the first page in addition to the two in the articles (Churchville, Gorman)

Aherns Fox out of Wyoming Michigan
http://www.firetrucks.com/

Smeal out of Snyder Nebraska
http://www.smeal.com/

CSI out of Grayling Michigan
http://www.csiea.com/

E-One out of Ocala Florida
http://www.e-one.com/

As mentioned above, this is the same issue as two years when the council said no because the specs were slanted to one manufacturer. The LFD only has themselves to blame if they kept the specs mostly the same and are now getting rejected again for having limited quotes.

Instead of getting a spec sheet for the best (most expensive?) pumper out there how about putting down what our true (realistic)needs are and then getting some qoutes from everyone on their best match? As shown in my quote a few comments above they admit they are unable to set up the specs by themselves. Are they sure they know what they truely need as opposed to what would be nice to have?

Get Over It Already said...

Anonymous said,"I was told Chapman has relatives that are vollies and I'm sure with all there great knowledge....." Again, start contributing some substance to your comments rather than heresay.

I commend Alderman Chapman for all the research and realizing that the Fire Dept may not necessarily know what's best. He was astute enough to realize that the bids were not quite up to snuff too!

Anonymous said...

I don't care what kind of fire truck the city buys as long as they buy one. We as tax payers deserve to have reliable equipment especially for emergency services. 2 of the number 1 reasons that I choose to live in the city is a paid fire dept. and the police dept.

Anonymous said...

You can't have 2 number 1 reasons. LOL

The number one reason I live in the town is no taxes due to no paid fire or police.

Anonymous said...

haha ok I guess your right, I guess I should say the main reasons. My family had a bad experience in the town waiting for an ambulance for over 20 minutes. everyone is entitled to live where they wish, that just helped me with mine. Plus I guess I prefer a city setting as opposed to a more rural setting. On a final note you still pay for a volunteer fire company...it's not free. In the town I believe they call it a "fee".

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