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  • Whats up with this??

    I have sort of a question and a complaint.
    Why is it alot of these bigger Fire Depts(ie,NYFD,Phoenix,etc)send most of thier old equipment to these other countries(ie,Mexico,Guatemala,etc)when theres dozens of smaller companies,like us for example,literally begging for some good used equipment becuase our budgeting is so low?...What happened to the days when Fire Depts in the US believed in "unity in the US"?...Shouldnt the companies in the US have "first dibs" with this equipment even before the thought of sending it to these other countries arise?...and would these other companies in these other countries lend "US" a helping hand if we needed it?
    I have heard of soooo many of these multibillion dollar budgeted Fire Depts just giving thier older equipment to these other countries when the ones they SHOULD be sending it to is to thier fellow companies within US borders.
    I have seen so many of these smaller companies turned down simply becuase they was Independent or "non-union" so does it matter what kind of company you are when it comes to the Fire Industry?
    We ALL do the same job and we ALL fall the same way whether were Independent Companies,Volly Companies,Paid Companiesor Unionized Companies.
    I feel you bigger companies should have respect enough for your smaller "counterparts" to think that WE may beable to put alot of this "out of service" equipment to use instead of everything just sitting and rotting on shelves in closets or sheds or just sending it all to these other countries.
    There are ALOT of us smaller companies that cannot get the things they need becuase of alot of ungodly reasons.

    REMEMBER....UNIFICATION is originally what we all was about!
    REMEMBER....how YOU first started,where you came from and what it took to get you there!
    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

  • #2
    What, do you think they give them away???????

    These rigs are all over the country and the ones that have been placed out of service are waiting to be bought.

    Be on the look out, Seagrave, Reg # SP9705 will be on the market soon. A 1997, 56,000 miles and only one major accident.
    However, due to a low budget decontamination job, most of the wiring harness, door panels, air conditioning, .... don't perform as originally speced out.

    Our old Mack was sent off to another country... Take a look

    http://www.angelfire.com/nc2/KIVFD/Engine35.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, they do give them away. Servicable trucks as well as bunker gear, helmets, hose, etc.

      I doubt if it's a union vs. non-union/volunteer issue. While they might be able to influence a decision, the guys in the union don't own the equipment and therefore can't give it away.

      I agree that it's a crying shame that departments in the US seem to be a lower priority for the disposition of surplus equipment than departments in other countries, but in many cases that's the way it is, and if it doesn't go to Guatemala, it goes to the dump.

      I'd like to think that it's because they're ignorant of the plight of thousands of small rural fire departments, but I suspect that the evil spectre of potential liability is the real issue. City attorneys wet themselves thinking about potential liability in a case where they might donate some used gear that could possibly fail. If it goes out of the country, no problem.

      Helping Our Own is beginning to crack the wall, though. HOO is one of my favorite organizations. If you need help, contact them.

      http://www.helpingourown.org
      Asst. Chief Bill

      International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

      Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

      Comment


      • #4
        It's time to stop this waste.....

        Donna, Try firing off a letter to your Congressman and Senator in Washington, demanding to know why this is happening. If no one complains, then nothing happens. This, again, is an area where the National Volunteer Fire Council has stuck their head in the sand. We need to get something started, but no one wants to do anything. Church groups, all sorts of "take care of everyone but our own" wimps are bleeding America dry to send stuff overseas. I have tried to find a surplus brush truck from a Federal agency, west of the Mississippi River, to use on the East Coast. No luck. Then I find that our Government is giving them away overseas. Time to stop this Stupidity folks. Stay Safe....
        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
        In memory of
        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

        IACOJ Budget Analyst

        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

        www.gdvfd18.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by killerb
          I doubt if it's a union vs. non-union/volunteer issue. While they might be able to influence a decision, the guys in the union don't own the equipment and therefore can't give it away.
          I agree. The engines and trucks of the major US cities are not owned by the departments themselves. The "title" is issued to the city or municipality. Therefore, the commissions, councils...(spelled p-o-l-i-t-i-c-i-a-n-s) are more than likely responsible for the transfer of titles for the vehicles.

          My former department here in New Jersey has just donated one of their engines to the Bergen County Police and Fire Institute....but it was subject to approval of the mayor and council, since the title was in the municipality's name.

          Donna....Have you investigated equipment available from Federal Excess Properties Programs? They may have what you're looking for.

          The Federal Excess Personal Property Program
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

          Comment


          • #6
            We just sent around 20 SCBA's and some gear to a department in Texas. It took us about 1 year to get all the approvals from our town to let us donate them. They would not let us use H.O.O. as it was not going directly to a fire company. Even though H.O.O. would then give it to a fire company. Very frustrating.
            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

            Comment


            • #7
              We just donated a Pumper/Tanker and a grass truck to a dept south of us. They were using a 1968 Mack as a first out, Now they took our 1983 as their first out. About 4 days after they took delivery it went out on a major structure fire, it pumped non-stop for 5 hrs. We have great pics of our truck(still with some of our markings) fighting a huge farmhouse fire.

              It was great that they get to use it and it felt good.
              AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

              IAFF Local 3900

              IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

              ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

              F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

              Comment


              • #8
                We're in rural Oklahoma. One of our guys moved here from New Jersey, and through his contacts "back east", he arranged for a donation of a small rescue truck:

                http://home.webzone.net/~killerb/601.html

                When we received the truck, it was packed with equipment. We got something like 60 serviceable SCBAs (4 different types), a 4-bottle DOT cascade system, several spare SCBA bottles (most of which were not dated out), serviceable bunker gear, helmets, hose, nozzles, sirens, light bars, beacons, searchlights, boots, fire extinguishers, mounting brackets, etc.

                This gear was donated by six or seven fire departments in one area of southern New Jersey. These were small departments rather than large municipal departments.

                We had to unload the cab of the truck before we could get in to back it off the trailer, and it took six of us eight hours to completely unload the truck and inventory the contents.

                We filled out our inventory with what we needed, and passed the rest on to seven or eight other departments in our area. We were able to help some of our compadres standardize their SCBAs, and we provided SCBAs, bunker gear, helmets, boots, hose, and other odd equipment to departments in our area that needed it.

                There are departments out there who would gladly donate equipment if they only knew where to go with it. Most of these departments (toward the east coast in particular) are surrounded by other departments that don't really need the equipment. The need is generally (although not entirely) in the rural areas of the middle part of the country rather than the coast areas that have been densely populated for 200 years and have had organized fire departments for almost as long.

                We were fortunate to have some contacts. Most people in our situation are not so fortunate.

                Again, this is where Helping Our Own comes in. If you have something, or need something, contact them. Here's the link again:

                http://www.helpingourown.org
                Asst. Chief Bill

                International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

                Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

                Comment


                • #9
                  At least in NJ, if the equipment is owned by a government entity, there are laws regarding how it is disposed. This problem is even more elementary with items such as computers. There are an unimaginable number of agencies that could benefit from the computers that are discarded on a routine basis by government. But most of them end up stripped and in the garbage because the approvals to get rid of them are not worth the trouble.

                  Don't blame the FD's. Fire fighters by their nature are giving people who would much sooner see a less fortunate FD get the equipment. Blame the stooges sitting in the statehouses aacross this country for making this process impossible.
                  PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A legal expert I am not. But I do beleive that part of the problem exists with a concern over liability...(Hwoods and George....correct me if I am wrong here). If my department gives you a piece of apparatus that I deem as no longer servicable and you place it back in service, what is the liability? In today's suit happy society, many most likely fear that if something negative happens to the donated item that results in injury or death, that they will be sued. It goes to overseas or to 3rd world countries because they don't care.

                    A County near me recently "adopted" a small island off the mexican coast that had no fire or ems protection. They eventually got equipment, a pumper, gear and an ambulance (some of it donated)and I understand they also provided some training for them. however, the process was held up for weeks due to beauracratic paperwork and legal implications. It finally got delivered.
                    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                    ------------------------------
                    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                    BMI Investigator
                    ------------------------------
                    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I never thought about the liability issue. I simply don't believe there is any. If I sell you a car (for whatever price) and you drive it off a cliff, I don't have any liability.

                      It has to do with public funds. This pot of money was voted on by the government to purchase a particular piece of equipment for use by this particular agency. If that equipment's use changes, that wasn't voted on and in some cases, it may not be appropriate to divert the asset to another use without a public hearing.

                      If a government agency purchased the fire truck, it does not belong to the FD. It belongs to the taxpayers who put the money up. And if you asked most of the taxpayers if they would a) sell the truck and put the $50,000 or so back into the general fund to keep their taxes down, or b) support some town 1000 miles away whose citizens haven't ponied up, they are going to choose (a) nine times out of ten.

                      To put this in a little perspective...my property taxes are over $8000.00 (that's right, thousand) per year. That $50,000 deserves to stay in my town.
                      PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well........

                        In Maryland, much of the equipment belongs to the VFD and not to a Government body. The Maryland State Firemen's Association has a Surplus Property Committee (I am the Vice Chair) which solicits donations of used equipment and gear of all types. This equipment is then offered to any other Fire/Rescue/EMS organization that may need it. After there are no takers (in Md) the property is placed with some VFD outside Md. The problem is with Government Agencies that value the friendship of overseas organizations more than US VFDs. Stay Safe....
                        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                        In memory of
                        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                        IACOJ Budget Analyst

                        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                        www.gdvfd18.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok peeps....i THINK i may have the perfect solution to those that fear liability suits by donating used equipment.
                          Theres 3 scenarios...
                          Number one...is by signing a liability release form which is must be legal in a court of law.There was a donating company here in Arizona that did just that and both of us were satified.
                          Number two...is "selling" the equipment for one dollar.This way the equipment is "sold" instead of donated freely which also covers lawsuits.THEY sell it,we pass them 1 dollar and then we get a reciept as it being sold outright leaving the donating company with no liability issues.We also had a Company in Arizona do this method with us and both parties were satisfied.
                          And Number three...is paying shipping charges if the donating company is too far out of state for pick-up.We have also done this method.The only problem weve had with this method is if the shipping is too high then we must wait until we get more funds to cover it.
                          I feel as well as a few other Companies that these are the best methods to go as far as liability is concerned AND it also gives the smaller unbudgeted companies some sort of fighting chance against most useable stuff heading overseas while we struggle for what we get in the US.Being we are Independent,weve found we are usually not eligible for alot of grants as most grant-givers tend to look over those companies that are not "districts".

                          Donna C
                          Fire Chief
                          Bridge Canyon VFD
                          http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some VFDs sell at a low price, we drove a truck back from a VFD over 1000 miles. Price was not too bad we have gone to a "local" bank and got a good rate. Keep trying,there is equipment out there.

                            stay safe and good luck
                            Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Donna,

                              Email me at [email protected] please.

                              -Bill
                              Asst. Chief Bill

                              International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

                              Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

                              Comment

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