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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

NCFPD approves fire engine purchase


Last updated 5/19/2018 at 2:24pm

The North County Fire Protection District will be acquiring two new fire engines.

An April 24 NCFPD board vote approved the purchase of two Type One fire engines from Pierce Manufacturing and authorized NCFPD staff to execute the purchase agreement.

"It's the first major purchase of fire engines for a number of years," said NCFPD fire chief Steve Abbott. "We kind of had to hold our breath during the Great Recession."

The district currently has five active and two reserve structural fire engines. In March 2016 the NCFPD board approved a capital equipment replacement program which covered anticipated purchases over a 15-year period; that vote also directed NCFPD staff to fund the capital equipment replacement schedule utilizing general fund revenue.

The schedule sets the service life of wildland fire engines and staff vehicles at 15 years and designates the service life of structural fire engines as 15 years with an additional five years of service as a reserve vehicle. The plan called for $1,434,049 to be spent in fiscal year 2018-19 to cover $691,551 for a structural fire engine, $392,508 for a wildland fire engine, and $350,000 for electrocardiograms. The plan also calls for the replacement of structural engines in 2021-22, 2023-24, and 2027-28.

The structural engine to be replaced during 2018-19 is a 2003 Pierce. However, one of the reserve engines is 30 years old and no longer meets current National Fire Protection Association standards while the other reserve engine is 21 years old. The board agreed to place the 2006 engine in reserve and take delivery of that vehicle's replacement two years early so that both reserve engines could be taken out of service.

The replacement of the older engines not only allows the fire department to meet current standards but also provides a fleet of Pierce engines. "These models are going to mirror other apparatus that we already have, which will keep our fleet uniform," Abbott said. "This will allow our reserve engines to be able to replace our front line apparatus with the same capability."

Pierce has a service center in Ontario. "It's kind of a rare thing to have a service center so close," Abbott said. "It really helps us with the turnaround on repairs that we can't handle locally."

The North County Fire Protection District had previously approved Pierce as the sole source for fire engines, but the district uses the HGACBuy government procurement services and the engine purchases are competitively bid. South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc., whose office is also in Ontario, will supply the new fire engines.

Each engine will cost $731,328.56 including sales tax and fees, so the cost for the two engines is $1,462,657.12. The purchase agreement also includes a 15-year loan with an interest rate of approximately four percent, so the annual payment for both engines will be approximately $130,000.

South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc., expects to deliver the fire engines to the North County Fire Protection District in early 2019.


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