- In the past two decades, critical enhancements in design, safety and technology have been added by manufacturers in response to changes in NFPA 1901 and customer demands.
Efficiency in deployment of personnel and equipment
Technology that advances and expedites the job functions
- Value of the current truck: $20,000 at best due to condition and other comparable
- Current Standard we don’t meet: Electrical load, safety restraints, pump safety slow close valves, minimum pipe sizes, internal relief valves, elbows all to reduce hose kinking, GVW, 20-year replacement program
- Does the current apparatus meet the program needs of the area it is serving? Is it designed for the way the fire department operates today and is expected to operate into the foreseeable future, or is the apparatus functionally obsolete? No, it cannot carry everything that is needed to do the job without being overloaded due to compartment configurations etc.
- From NFPA 1911 Standard:
“A fire apparatus is an emergency vehicle that must be relied on to transport fire fighters safely to and from an incident and to operate reliably and properly to support the mission of the fire department. A piece of fire apparatus that breaks down at any time during an emergency operation not only compromises the success of the operation but might jeopardize the safety of the fire fighters relying on that apparatus to support their role in the operation. An old, worn out, or poorly maintained fire apparatus has no role in providing emergency services to a community.”
“The normal life expectancy for first-line fire apparatus will vary from county to county, and city to city, depending upon the amount of use the equipment receives, and the adequacy of the maintenance program. In general, a 15-20-year life expectancy is considered normal for first-line pumping engines.
- Considerations: Rapid acceleration and deceleration, hard turns, quick stops, and other extreme demands are placed on fire apparatus on a regular basis. Additionally, fire apparatus are almost always fully-loaded with equipment.
3-5% increase each year in apparatus purchases
Better fuel efficiency with a newer motor
Cost of pump overhaul of $10-$20,000 (needed)
Pump replacement $50-$80,000 (unknown condition of pump until overhaul starts)
Safety features for firefighters
Repairing doesn’t change the age of the unit
Utilizing the scoring system developed by the American Public Works Association Fleet Service Committee for assessing fire apparatus for replacement, we can rank our current fleet. The system entails considering a combination of variables that include age, mileage, maintenance costs, and operating conditions and a replacement score is calculated for each vehicle based on the sum of its scores for age, usage, and condition. The age of the vehicle is scored by assigning one point for each month from the date on which it was purchased. The usage score assigns one point for each 1,000 miles traveled or 3.5 points for each 100 hours of use, whichever is higher. The condition of the vehicle is scored on a scale of one to five (with one being the best and five the worst) for each of five aspects- body, interior, functionality, maintenance/repair cost, and mission. These values are summed with the points assigned for age and mileage to obtain the overall vehicle score. If the overall score exceeds the point limit established for the respective vehicle category, the vehicle is recommended for replacement.
Maximum Recommended Vehicle Points before Replacement (APWA System)
Maximum Vehicle Points
Littleton Fire Rescue Engine Scores
Maintenance & Repair
When built – unit gets 1 point for each month from date of manufacture
Current Mileage – unit gets 1 point for each thousand mile
Body Condition – score 1 through 5: 1(excellent), 2 (good), 3 (fair), 4 (poor), 5 (replace)
Interior Condition – score 1 through 5: 1(excellent), 2 (good), 3 (fair), 4 (poor), 5 (replace)
Functionality – score 1 through 5: 1(excellent), 2 (good), 3 (fair), 4 (poor), 5 (replace)
Maintenance & Repair – score 1 through 5: 1(excellent), 2 (good), 3 (fair), 4 (poor), 5 (replace)
Mission – score 1 through 5: 1(excellent), 2 (good), 3 (fair), 4 (poor), 5 (replace) Total Score – add entire column
Based on the scores, condition of the apparatus and maintenance that will be needed, the best decision for the safety of the public, the fire rescue personnel and the efficiency of completing the tasks is to replace the truck. By putting purchase off we will incur an additional 3-5% increase each year it is delayed.