Clark County Fire Department Vehicles get a New Life
In these days of ever-shrinking budgets, fire departments are having to find a new way to stretch the funding they have to make ends meet. This dilemma does not just strike the smaller departments across the State, but even impacts the largest like the Clark County Fire Department (CCFD). We have been faced for years with an aging fleet in our rural/volunteer division and an inability to keep pace with the replacement of our apparatus. One solution was to begin a refurbishment program for some of the apparatus that seemed viable candidates.
The CCFD began working with a local vendor, Fire Trucks Unlimited of Henderson Nevada when they were awarded a contract to refurbish the department’s aging Rescues. To date, the CCFD has refurbished nine department Freightliner Rescues and currently has two Pierce Engines being refurbished. The Rural project began when I identified 4, Type 6 light Engines (Squads) for the project. All of the vehicles are “Sisters” and were purchased new in 1995. While the vehicles were 23 years old, the “3D manufacturing” service bodies were in remarkably good condition having been originally constructed with 3/16 aluminum rather than the current day 1/8 inch. Working with our fleet Forman, we developed a statement of work for the units, which became a formal request for bid. Fire Trucks Unlimited once was awarded the bid for the refurbishment of the 4 Squads.
The vehicles were delivered 2 at a time as to lessen the impact on operations. Each unit was disassembled, painted, all doors and hardware replaced or repaired, all existing diamond plate was polished, all lighting was upgraded to state of the art LED, new fire pumps were installed with new pump engines and plumbing, a totally new operators panel was fabricated including a new priming system and foam proportioning system. This refurbished body was then reinstalled on a new 2017 Ford F-550, 4 wheel drive chassis equipped with a 15K winch mounted on the front bumper.
Total time for the first two units was approximately 6 months, but that included ordering and delivery of the chassis from Ford. The next two units should be much faster as the chassis are already painted and waiting for the boxes to be refurbished. In the end, each of the units were completed for $111K which equates to a savings of approximately $75K per unit compared to the cost for new. This provided Clark County approximately $300K in cost savings for the project. With the success of this program, we have already begun looking at the remaining fleet to find other suitable candidates for refurbishment. We are also looking to expand the program and refurbish some of our older Urban Division Freightliner Rescue boxes and then mounting them on smaller light/medium duty truck chassis for new Rural Division Rescues. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Larry D. Haydu, Assistant Fire Chief “A2”
Clark County Fire Department
4425 W. Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas Nevada 89103
(702) 455-7757 Office
(702) 379-9540 Mobile
Train like your life depends on it…it does!