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NCFPD approves pre-paid purchase agreement for Type 1 fire engine

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The North County Fire Protection District approved a purchase agreement for a new Pierce Type 1 fire engine.

The NCFPD board voted 5-0 Nov. 14 to purchase the engine from South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc. Although the fire engine will not be delivered until 2027, the NCFPD board approved pre-payment which will cost the district $975,256.89 including sales tax and fees.

“That will ultimately save the district over $150,000,” said NCFPD Fire Chief Keith McReynolds.

Type 1 trucks are designed to support urban, rural, and suburban fire departments and carry all required National Fire Protection Association fire fighting equipment. Type 1 engines are often the first on scene after a call as they support both structural firefighting and initial emergency medical service (EMS) response.

Each Type 1 engine has a pump with a minimum tank size of 300 gallons, although most Type 1 trucks have a water tank between 400 and 500 gallons. The truck provides a minimum water transfer of 1,000 gallons per minute. Type 1 trucks are equipped at a minimum with 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2-inch thick hoses of varying lengths.

The trucks also have a full complement of ground ladders, nozzles, forcible entry equipment, rear access and egress equipment, some level of first aid equipment, and other unique items (depending on the local jurisdiction) such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), chain saws, full EMS gear, hazardous materials equipment, advanced life support equipment, and additional structural or ballistic gear as needed. Type 1 fire trucks are designed to carry three or four firefighters.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacement of front line fire apparatus every 15 years and reserve fire apparatus every 20 years. The NCFPD fleet includes a 2012 Pierce engine which is slated for replacement in 2027 with the 2012 engine being transferred to the reserve fleet.

Supply chain issues have increased the build time for a new apparatus from Pierce Manufacturing from 18 months to a minimum of 48 months. Pearce has historically implemented annual price increases.

“What we decided to do is go with the pre-pay option,” McReynolds said.

Had the fire district approved a purchase agreement for the expected 2027 cost, the fire truck would have been a $1,126,032.54 expense. The pre-payment option reduces the apparatus cost from $1,040,809.34 to $900,878.34 and the sales tax from $80,662.72 to $69,818.07. Under both options, the district would also pay a $2,549.98 performance bond, a $2,000 government procurement consortium fee, and a $10.50 California tire fee.

Pierce has a service center in Ontario. The North County Fire Protection District had previously approved Pierce as the sole source for fire engines, although the district uses the HGACBuy government procurement service.

The engine purchases are competitively bid, and South Coast Fire Equipment will provide the engines after Pierce builds and ships the apparatus and equipment. South Coast Fire Equipment is also based in Ontario, and the new engine will be delivered to Fallbrook when it is ready.


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