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Big buys have a large price

July 21, 2013

We understand the need to be safe and battle blazes, but area municipal boards are being far too generous when it comes to fire truck purchases....

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Jul-21-13 8:55 AM

These trucks are replacing other trucks that are 25+ years old? You need a certain amount of equipment for your ISO rating. That saves homeowners money every year. How much do the volunteers save communities? Give them the equipment that will keep them around and serve the community well. It is a win win for everyone. Before anyone complains about these costs, join your local volunteer fire department.

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Jul-21-13 10:02 AM

Stephen88 is correct, its obvious that the observer has no idea what ISO rating is, seems to me that the observer should know the facts before offering an opinion.

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Jul-21-13 10:13 AM

Should ever any home of any of the clueless church lady gaggle OBSERVER board catch fire and become engulfed in flames, their so-called fiscal-principled, hen-pecking, penny-pinching boorishness with fire equipment would instantly disappear as they screamed "HURRY! HURRY! MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!"...

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Jul-21-13 10:16 AM

Having the proper and necessary equipment is one thing. Having the top line equipment for ego status is another.

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Jul-21-13 12:42 PM

IMO, if the equipment is maintained properly (and there's NO reason why it shouldn't), age has nothing to do with ISO ratings. It's more dependent on training, distances between fire hydrants, levels of mutual aide, etc. In fact, ISO ratings might have very little, if any, effect on insurance premium rates in many states. Most insurance companies have discontinued using ISO data and instead, have opted for a system where they use the actual loss within a zip code. I hope supporters here aren't suggesting that ISOs or PPCs are based on what year the truck was made, or that premiums are increased just b/c fire trucks age?

Now that both villages have "updated" trucks to better serve us, can anyone tell us how much $$$ we can expect to save on our homeowner policies? Just notify your insurance provider and inform them of the "new" truck, then let us know how much the cost of your policy dropped. I've owned a home for over 30 yrs, and it's NEVER gone down.

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Jul-21-13 1:28 PM

NYS still uses ISO ratings! Even properly maintained old trucks break down, the body and frame degrade, as well as the pump getting worn out. $500,000 for a custom pumper is on the cheaper end, and it is only costing the Village half that, spread out over a 20 year bond,, makes it a very good deal. Buying a cheap stock commercial pumper is bad value for the money, they do not hold up for 20+ years, they are made of cheaper grade parts, and they usually are not set up the way specific fire departments run! Reliable equipment is a must. Now mutual aid is great, but distances and relying on all volunteer Departments for mutual aid creates a much longer response time. When lives are at stake, that response time is unacceptable. Thats why Fire Departments like Dunkirk and Fredonia can handle most house fires by themselves, they are larger communities, which requires more equipment, also departments like Dunkirk and Fredonia go on a lot more calls than the others, reliable trucks are a must

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Jul-21-13 1:32 PM

Here is an example, Fredonia has been buying medium duty ambulances, for only a few thousand dollars more, but they hold up much better, they have heavier duty brakes and equipment, maintenance is lower on them, it is a much better investment over the long run!

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Jul-21-13 2:00 PM

I certainly want FFs to have reliable equipment, too, for our benefit AS WELL AS theirs, but to defend the purchase of expensive equipment from poor communities by saying it ultimately saves money for property owners is disingenuous at best, and downright false in truth.

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Jul-21-13 3:00 PM

Captain, the community ISO rating does affect your insurance cost, much more so for businesses. Fredonia unlike Silver Creek has a much larger tax base, property and population to cover than what Silver Creek does, Fredonia may not be overly rich, but they are not poor also, they do a decent job with the budget, just compare Fredonia to Dunkirk, 2 communities about the same size, then look at the budgets, Dunkirk is more than double Fredonia's, yet Fredonia still can supply decent equipment, plus paramedic level service.

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Jul-21-13 3:02 PM

It never stops. Community leaders get what they want. No matter the cost to the taxpayer. And the city and village leaders well they get reelected. These expenses (fire trucks) are a necessary item. However the trucks are priced from the not so expensive to the over the top models. City and village leaders tend to go for the top dollar models. Why? because they can and the public just sits back and allows it to happen. Never has a group of people taken to the streets to protest incompetent spending by their elected leaders. You are making your bed folks so be prepared to sleep in them.

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Jul-21-13 4:00 PM

hadenough, you will find that custom pumpers go for a lot more than $500,000, you will find that Fredonia is not going for "over the top", plus there are multiple bidders, and usually the low price one is selected. I asked, the one Fredonia is buying is the lowest bid price one out of 4 bids! Plus as stated the Village is only paying $250,000 which will be bonded over 20 years, sounds like a good deal there! Plus the really cheap trucks, is what you get--really cheap that does not hold up for the expected life span of 20+ years. Silver Creek is spending a lot of money for a 20 year old truck, with 20 year old problems and wear and tear! The chassis, parts and body do degrade over time. Thats why departments get rid of them usually after 20 or so years.

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Jul-21-13 4:04 PM

Something else, Fredonia also got the motor and its components donated by Cummings, ( which donates 1 or 2 motors) a year to Fire Depts in chautauqua County, subtract $60,000 or so from that price and the truck is actually $440,000. Still a very good price for a custom truck designed to last for more than 20 years!

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Jul-21-13 4:56 PM

Hadenough, Be careful what you wish for! The volunteer fire service is declining rapidly. The requirements, training, time constraints are all leading people to volunteer less and less. Keeping them happy is the best use of our tax dollars. Give them what they want. If you keep making it harder for them, be prepared to hire paid firemen. The last thing we should do is give them a hard time for saving us.

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Jul-21-13 6:51 PM

Where exactly did the Observer obtain it's knowledge of what equipment is needed for fighting fires? Show me your firefighting credentials.

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Jul-21-13 9:33 PM

Is there some reason why Dunkirk and Fredonia can't share a ladder truck if the specs are written up to meet the needs of both communities? Is there some reason why Fredonia can operate with six paid firemen and a volunteer force while Dunkirk must employ about 25 paid firemen with no volunteers? I am not trying to be critical or sarcastic but why is it that when Dunkirk has a fire they seem to always be a total loss as was the case with the masonic building and the recent home fire on point drive north? We rarely if ever see a loss of life and nearby buildings are usually saved from heavy loss so we can be grateful for that.

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Jul-21-13 9:34 PM

In the case of Silver Creek, just how many buildings over 35ft( the height of one of the ladders they have now) does the village have? Answer according to a previous post... 5 three of which are vacant and should be condemned so we get a ladder truck for 2 buildings and a possible use for deep gorge rescue instead of the repelling team we already have. Our bond rating continues to go because of the high cost of water and sewer upgrades mandated. Our bonded debt is double that of all the village assets so we have to borrow another $150,000 when there are 2 ladder trucks within 12 miles of the village and more than ample other mutual aid vehicles. There is a saying that timing is everything and this time the time is wrong. It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that if you close a police dept. because it is too expensive and then borrow another 150 grand!!!!!

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Jul-21-13 10:59 PM

Phil, even if Dunkirk and Fredonia were to combine, the rating would call for 2 ladder trucks, Fredonia went with a Tower platform, because Dunkirk has a straight stick ladder, so they complement each other instead of duplicating!

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Jul-22-13 8:12 AM

Everyone is acting like Fredonia is getting the ultimate firetruck with every bell and whisle available, but from the price listed I can tell you they aren't.

Are their trucks out there for less then $500k? Sure there are a department the size of Fredonia, that has the number of calls it has requires solid reliable equipment that will last a good long time.

It's not like this truck is to replace a two year old truck, and instead the one it replaces is likely over 20 years old, and as anything ages it gets less reliable and more costly to maintain.

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