Citizens for a Better Norwood 3

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lt. Cartuyvelles' letter requesting $300,000 paramedic pumper

May 27, 2007

Curtis E. Goodman
Fire Chief
City of Norwood

Re: Request to purchase new paramedic pumper

Dear Chief Goodman:

I would like to request that we replace the 1980 Seagrave Pumper. This apparatus has been in service with the Norwood Fire Department for 27 years. We have recently invested 750.00 dollars to correct a power steering problem that had placed the pumper out of service for 6 months. After making this costly repair, another part of the steering mechanism failed. This has once again placed the apparatus out of service until parts and repairs can be made.

At the directive of the Safety Service Director, I have sent the 1980 Seagrave Pumper to Command Seagrave to be evaluated for all mechanical problems. I have enclosed a letter from Command Seagrave and list of mechanical problems with the projected costs of those repairs.

If we put this money into repairing this apparatus, we are still faced with other problems that could be potential safety concerns. Although this apparatus complied with all NFPA 1901 requirements when it was constructed in 1979, it currently doesn’t meet many of the industry standards in regards to safety. The biggest concerns are the lack of an enclosed cab with rollover protection and inadequate restraining devices for passengers.

As you are aware, our ISO rating is dependent on our department having a reserve apparatus. If the 1980 Seagrave Pumper is not repaired or replaced, we will have to notify ISO of this and our rating will subsequently drop. Our ISO rating doesn’t drastically affect residential insurance rates, but its effect on business and industry insurance rates could be substantial and may cause businesses to leave for a location which has better rates due to better ISO rating, and new businesses may choose not to locate in Norwood due to the higher insurance rates. At a time when Norwood is trying to attract new businesses and encourage existing business growth, it would be in the City's best interest to maintain our current ISO rating.

A new pumper would be specifically designed as a paramedic pumper. The compartment is designed so personnel, as well as the equipment, are well protected. The space is also designed to ensure both fire and EMS response is streamlined and efficient. This apparatus would be completely compliant with the latest NFPA 1901 standards and would have a projected life span of 20 years. No equipment will need to be purchased with this pumper since all equipment from our current apparatus would be placed on it. The purchase of this apparatus will allow us to move the 1990 Seagrave Pumper into reserve status. If a new pumper is purchased, the 1990 Seagrave will have l8 years of front line service when it is placed into reserve status and should have 7 years of service life remaining. This pumper will make all paramedics assist as well as be the first pumper dispatched on all single company runs in the South district. This pumper will be designated E -282 and will act as a medic unit when all medic units are busy with other calls.

The pumper I am requesting is manufactured by Seagrave Fire Apparatus. This pumper will cost approximately $300,000.00 or $ 51,377.20 per year on a 7-year lease purchase agreement at 4.75 %. The pumper that I am requesting is also on the State of Ohio Bid Program and can be purchased without sending it out for competitive bid. We have reached the end of the service life of the 1980 pumper and need to replace it now. I have checked into trading in the 1980 pumper to lower the cost even more, but no used fire apparatus dealer will purchase it since it doesn’t meet any of the current NFPA 1901 standards, and has reached the end of its service life. As I stated in my annual report, we can keep throwing good money after bad for a 21-year-old fire apparatus that will undoubtedly break down again. Although this may be penny wise, it is most certainly pound-foolish.

If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact me at your earliest convenience. The quote for the Seagrave Engine is good for the year 2007.

Lieutenant Brett Cartuyvelles

cc: Thomas F. Williams
Joseph Geers
Safety Service Director