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One year delay cost $43,200 more to buy new fire truck

A new pumper tanker fire truck for Wellington will cost $43,200 more than if it were purchased last spring.

Council Tuesday night approved in an 8-6 vote, a tender to Dependable Emergency Vehicles for $395,700 to be built and delivered in about one year.

Last May, a tender under budget of $352,491 was opposed in a 7-4 vote. Councillors had just approved $655,000 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), better known as air packs that are life-lines for firefighters.

Fire Chief Scott Manlow stated in his report that the pumper tanker has been in service for 20 years but will continue service at Station 10 to replace a 27-year-old pumper which will be declared surplus, and is expected to be sold for about $3,000 which will go to the reserve for fire equipment.

Last year, the plan was for the old truck was to move it to North Marysburgh, and a 1992 truck there would be declared surplus and sold with estimated proceeds of $10,000 for the reserve.

With Wellington experiencing a housing increase, Manlow notes the possibility of increased emergency responses.

“The current pumper tanked, although being serviced and maintained regularly, has had additional repairs in recent years…. and when in use, is subject to considerable mechanical stress.”

The Wellington station, he noted, is also from an era when trucks were smaller, and thus the garage doors were smaller.

“Fire departments have to carry a multitude of equipment on these trucks so storage is a vital component of the design. As the manufacturers meet the demands of their customers this will result in an increased size of trucks which would impose an issue at the Wellington Station.”

In July, a report on the County’s fleet – all cars and trucks – will be coming forward in support of asset management planning. This does not include the fire department equipment, explained Marcia Wallace, the County’s CAO.

“The fire department is the one area where we have a functioning asset management plan with a multi-year strategy.”

The expenditure, she added, would be paid out next year as the pumper truck takes 330 days to be constructed and delivered.

In response to a question about putting off the purchase and re-tendering, CAO Wallace noted a potential challenge the muncipality could face in getting good bids from the sector “if we become known as a municipality that tenders, but does not issue. So, if we say no tonight, this is the second time we put out a tender for the same vehicle and not moved forward. It’s a lot of work for the companies that put in the bid so there could be some reputational damage if we don’t move forward and would probably require another look at how we deal with things before we tender again.”

Councillor Janice Maynard stated safey and roads are the issues most important to residents.

Councillor Bill Roberts pointed out councillors have often lamented the lack of a comprehensive asset management plan.

“The fire department is the only one that actually has an asset management plan and it’s an excellent one. Fully funded and doing what it should,” he said noting it’s budgeted, and a public safety priority. “And if we don’t do it, we are deferring the rising cost in the future.”

The fire department has a 25-year asset management plan that began in 2012 and is reviewed each year to fund and plan for the replacement of the department’s equipment without going into deficit.

Asset management plans are under way for the County’s other departments, as mandated by the provincial government.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Morley Bannister says:

    At a moments notice our emergency services are the first to be on scene of accidents, fires, medical calls in all kinds of weather. They work for hours at a time and sometime back to back on calls. The least we could do is to give them the best equipment possible to work with. Stop and think, if you had a family member they were coming to help and their equipment or vehicle failed,or they didn’t have the equipment needed how would that make you feel? The County spends money on non essential things everyday so they should be spending on our emergency services. I for one support 100%. Also thank you Scott Manlow for your years of service and good luck with retirement.

  2. todd says:

    Just curious Gary, have you taken the time to go talk with the Chief or inquire at the fire department to understand the regulations or how they budget for required equipment? My understanding is that much of what they need is mandated by government organizations and others such as the NFPA. I would think it’s also a safety issue for our firefighters, which are mostly volunteers. I’d argue they deserve modern and top quality equipment not only to keep the community safe, but to keep those who respond safe and ensure they return home to their families. From what I have read, including the Chiefs submission to council, it seems the department has a good concept of both their needs and those of the community.

  3. Gary says:

    It is a time when building code requirements have reduced residential fires dramaticaly. Many districts are implementing reviews to their Fire Departments with the view to reduce costly equipment, and lessen the number of high fire fighter salaries. The trend is to move more resources to fire prevention through inspections and education. The continual desire for more and better is not sustainable, particularly in a small tax base community.

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