Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Sole-source contract approved for SDCRFA equipment


Last updated 2/11/2018 at 7:10pm

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved sole-source contracts for the acquisition of San Diego County Regional Fire Authority equipment.

The supervisors' 5-0 vote Jan. 23, authorized the director of the county's Department of Purchasing and Contracting to enter into negotiations with authorized dealers of Scott Safety self-contained breathing apparatus equipment, ZOLL Medical Corporation cardiac monitor and defibrillator equipment and accessories, and Bendix King very high frequency radios and accessories. The action also establishes $1,383,305 of appropriations based on Community Development Block Grant revenue received for the SDCRFA equipment.

"It is critical that our firefighters have the tools they need to respond to wildfires and other emergencies," said Supervisor Bill Horn.

In April the Board of Supervisors approved the county's 2017-18 annual funding plan for Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs. The plan included both recommended projects for the expected CDBG funding and alternative projects which would be acceptable if funding became available.

Six SDCRFA proposals were placed on the alternative list: a $480,645 proposal for 800-megahertz radios at 10 SDCRFA stations including the DeLuz and Palomar Mountain stations, a $192,500 request for self-contained breathing apparatus for five stations, a $181,830 desired allocation for VHF radios at seven SDCRFA stations including DeLuz and Palomar Mountain, separate $165,000 proposals for emergency backup generators at the Jacumba and Shelter Valley stations, and a $120,000 request for cardiac monitors and defibrillators for the Palomar Mountain, Shelter Valley, and Jacumba stations.

Because the projects on the alternative list are already reviewed, if additional CDBG funding becomes available the projects can be implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deadline. The SDCRFA requests could be completed faster than public works projects, so those were chosen for funding when the additional federal revenue became available.

"They would be the fastest to spend and ready to proceed," said David Estrella, the director of integrative services for the county's Health and Human Services Agency.

The San Diego County Regional Fire Authority already owns more than 50 Scott Safety self-contained breathing apparatus units which are housed on county-owned apparatus at various stations. Every firefighter has an annual "fit" test to ensure an adequate seal of his or her SCBA mask and that test is brand-specific. The familiarity and consistency of equipment and safety gear was also used to justify the sole-source contract, and the ability to mix equipment from different fire engines is another benefit of utilizing a single brand.

The ZOLL cardiac monitor has a robust set of communication devices which provide maximum compatibility with electronic patient care reporting systems including the county's ImageTrend system. The ZOLL monitor is also compatible with the defibrillation pads used by SDCRFA and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel. The SDCRFA already owns 19 ZOLL monitors. The ZOLL monitor is also lighter and more durable than other cardiac monitors, and built-in diagnostic algorithms provide capabilities which are the most reliable for determining myocardial infarction.

SDCRFA and CalFire personnel at county fire stations already use Bendix King radios. The standardization of functions and radio configurations enhances firefighter safety and eliminates the need for emergency responders to learn how to operate unfamiliar radios during dangerous situations.

The sole-source procurement process will include market research on fair and reasonable pricing, and the contracts will be subject to successful negotiations.


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