New fire depart­ment air-fill sta­tion ap­proved by com­mis­sion

The Standard Journal - - POLICE & FIRE - By Kevin Myrick SJ Edi­tor

The ma­chine that fills air tanks for fire­fight­ers to use when they’re go­ing in­side of burn­ing build­ings is be­ing re­placed for the Polk County Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment in com­ing weeks with a re­fur­bished model that is ex­pected to last for years to come.

Com­mis­sion­ers voted to ap­prove a quote for a re­fur­bished piece of equip­ment priced at $3,999 for the fire depart­ment to use, which will come out of the county’s por­tion of the 2014 Spe­cial Pur­pose, Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax fund set aside for pub­lic safety pur­poses.

Dis­trict 2 Com­mis­sioner Chuck Thax­ton was the only one with a ques­tion over what war­ranty will be guar­an­teed on a new piece of equip­ment.

County Man­ager Matt Den­ton said that “it will have the same war­ranty” as a new piece of equip­ment. Mean­ing that if it breaks down based on prob­lems with the equip­ment in the short term, parts or a re­place­ment could be avail­able based on the terms of the war­ranty.

Right now the county is us­ing an air fill sta­tion that is not Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion Cer­ti­fied, Polk County Pub­lic Safety Di­rec­tor Randy Lacey said in the bid com­mit­tee pre­vi­ously.

“We’ve got to have an en­closed one, just in case we have a bot­tle ex­plo­sion so that it doesn’t kill ev­ery­one and knock a hole through the roof of the EMA build­ing,” Lacey said.

The cur­rent air fill sta­tion was still op­er­at­ing nor­mally, but was get­ting older and re­place­ment parts for when it did break down are get­ting harder to come by, since it was put into op­er­a­tion for nu­mer­ous years.

A com­pres­sor that pumps air into the fill sta­tion still works fine, and is less than 10 years old, so it won’t require re­place­ment any­time soon.

Three bids were re­ceived for the air fill sta­tion, and Breath­ing Air Sys­tems of Chat­tanooga will get the busi­ness with their $3,999 bid. A brand new sys­tem from the com­pany would have cost $6,999.

Ad­di­tion­ally, B&T En­ter­prises of Sharps­burg, and Alabam­abased NAFECO put in bids as well. The pair of com­pa­nies were slightly higher than the Chat­tanooga out­fit, with B& T sub­mit­ting a price of $4,500 for a re­con­di­tioned air fill sta­tion, while a new one from them was priced at $7,995. NAFECO wanted $9,925 for a new air fill sta­tion, and pro­vided no quote on the cost for a re­fur­bished sys­tem.

Lacey added that he did try to keep prospec­tive com­pa­nies seek­ing the busi­ness as lo­cal as pos­si­ble when they were pre­sented to the bid com­mit­tee in March.

The new sta­tion ar­rived last week on Tues­day, and is al­ready in op­er­a­tion ac­cord­ing to Lacey.

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