Need for quint laid out

Firefighters falling through roofs and fire trucks flipped entirely upside down, crushing its chassis and severely injuring the firefighters inside.
Kyle Moroney
Jun 5, 2012

These were some of the images and stories shared with Grand Haven Township residents on Monday about why a new fire truck is needed in their community.

The township’s public safety committee hosted the public informational meeting about the purchase for a $750,000 quint fire truck. Trustee Tom Jenkins welcomed attendees to the township’s Fire/Rescue Department, saying the information provided to them was not spurred by local politics.

“There is nothing political in this presentation,” Jenkins said.

The proposed quint would replace the township’s 23-year-old Engine 1022, a 1989 Pierce and the department’s “first-out” engine. The 1022 is obsolete and has experienced equipment failures, Fire/Rescue Chief Tom Gerencer said. In the past 14 months, it has been out of service for 77 days.

“It’s becoming unreliable,” he said.

Gerencer said they hope to keep 1022 as a secondary truck, but that decision would be up to the Township Board. He said it would cost less than $25,000 to maintain the truck for about 10 years. Keeping 1022 in the department’s fleet might also help lower the township’s insurance rate.

Township officials have already approved spending $400,000 for the $725,000 quint fire truck. Township voters will be asked Aug. 7 to OK funding the remaining $325,000 in a one-year, 0.59-mill levy on property taxes.

Gerencer detailed the needs for a quint, rather than a typical fire engine, at the special meeting. He also explained the uses of Grand Haven Department of Public Safety’s 100-foot aerial truck and why that would be used in fighting certain fires in the township. However, the city’s aerial would not be able to maneuver into certain neighborhoods — such as the Grand Haven Club condominiums on Lakeshore Drive — because of narrow roads.

A quint, however, would be effective in that type of situation, Gerencer said.

He also said it would cost $1 million for an aerial truck in today’s economy.

Currently, none of the township’s fire engines or tankers have the foam capabilities of neighboring fire departments for extinguishing fires. The quint would have Class A foam, which knocks down fires 2-3 times faster than water, Gerencer said, and would reduce water consumption and damage.

“It’s a dangerous job and we’re trying to give our firefighters the right tools so it’s less dangerous for them to do their jobs,” he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

Comments

sirhansalot

Waste of money,
The 1022 is obsolete and has experienced equipment failures, Fire/Rescue Chief Tom Gerencer said. In the past 14 months, it has been out of service for 77 days.

“It’s becoming unreliable,” he said
He then goes on to say they hope to keep 1022 as a secondary truck, but that decision would be up to the Township Board. He said it would cost less than $25,000 to maintain the truck for about 10 years .
Sounds like a much better deal then a new one...

Chief you do not need a new big red fire truck what you need is to spend our tax money wisely

Laker18601

Agree. Terrible waste of money. You want to really save people's lives from the threat of fire? Install residential sprinkler systems--they actually DO put out the fire and give people a chance to escape. I hope people vote NO on this kind of expenditure.

mharmon

Laker, your proposed solution "having residential sprinkling systems" would be great if you could afford the $25,000 price tag. Call me crazy but I would rather see my taxes go up $20.00 a year to cover this truck and keep our firefighters safer as well as being able to extinguish a fire in a fraction of the time!!

newspaperlawyer

I think Chief Gerencer did a nice job presenting this issue. Safety is always the issue in firefighting... Huge risks are taken daily by our firefighters.. Its part of the job. If its too dangerous do we then risk our lives??? I don't really understand the issue about the safety of this vehicle if it rolls over or is involved in a crash. If these vehicle are so unsafe on the road then they should be removed. Maybe the drivers are not operating them properly which is usually the issue in most crashes... or a vehicle manufacturing error. I think any heavy vehicle of this size involved in a crash will not turn out good. But the real issue is can the twp afford this project this year. I have no doubt some day the twp is in need of the "quint" style fire truck. But is this the year... most of the aged fire equipment is in need of being replaced down the road. I would rather see this piece of equipment being properly budgeted. If they have $400,000.00 already set aside for this purchase then I would think they could set aside the rest of the money to finish this purchase in 2013 budget. Or even replace this old truck with a new pumper and then show the need for the "quint". by using the equipment available to them in the Tri-Cities area. It appears that the plan was always to keep the old truck in service to increase the size of the truck fleet or maybe even their have been behind the scene talks about building a second station.

Currently, none of the township’s fire engines or tankers have the foam capabilities of neighboring fire departments for extinguishing fires. The quint would have Class A foam, which knocks down fires 2-3 times faster than water, Gerencer said, and would reduce water consumption and damage. This sounds like poor managing if they have not added this type of equipment on the existing equipment. I believe the other area departments have this equipment also in service and available under the joint response plan.

I like the governors idea about not wasteful spending on duplication's of services and equipment purchases. Maybe the time has come for a fire authority to be formed for the Tri-Cities area. That the departments have a fire authority board so that we don't have wasteful spending, the purchasing of duplicated equipment, services or even cut some personnel costs.

Once again I highly doubt that the tax payers don't support the purchase of a new fire truck to replace a older vehicle. But usually with the GH Fire Twp Department they have some hidden agenda or wishful thinking.

Taxpayingresident

I think what a lot of you are not getting here is the huge safety factor, not just for the fire fighters, but for us as home owners. As the fire chief said their one truck has been out of service for over 77 days now. Currently they have 1 pumper truck avaliable to run fires, and 1 tanker truck, thats all it. Yes the broken truck is at the station, but why have it gone sitting somewhere when it has valuable equipment on it they may need yet that they can't fit on the other trucks? What happens when they pull up to your house and they have a failure of a pump or a certain part and you loose everything, or someone gets hurt because the old truck just finally breaks down completely? You will be saying well I wish I would have paid the 1 time fee and been done with it. Its simple people. Its only going to cost you one time. Its not like they are asking for higher taxes for the next 5 years. I also agree with mharmon about the sprinkling system. Its not justifiable. I have been to everyone of the township meetings for the fire department and their proposed quint and support them 100% of the way. I will be voting YES for the quint and look forward to seeing it in the station when I drive by.

ThomasLieber

I think the fire department needs a advanced technology or materials they needed. This would help their work most effective and efficient. Good job on this .- Mercy Ministries

freddy99

The fire dept definitely needs all the support that they can get. I think the work towards this is going to pay off. I hope the support will come in the future here. Brochures

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