Reno Commission approves purchase of new extraction tool for Fire District 3

By John Green
Hutchinson Green – September 12, 2018

The Reno County Commission Tuesday approved Fire District 3 spending $34,420 on new extraction tools for the department, replacing a 25-year-old set of “jaws” used to access passengers trapped in crushed vehicles.

Before the vote, however, Commissioner Dan Deming, noting the department didn’t seek competitive bids for the equipment, questioned how often they use it and whether the department pursued used equipment from other agencies.

Fire Chief Bobby White advised that the equipment they want to purchase is a demo model, so it is at a deep discount, and there was a limited window to buy it.

“We don’t use it a lot,” White said. “But when it’s time to use it, it’s time. We don’t have a lot of hazmat (hazardous material calls) either, but when you need specialized equipment, you need it … One call I can remember was at 82nd and Plum. We were there quite a while before Hutchinson could get there. Hutchinson has two units, but if they are on a call, they’re not going to be released to another call.”

The purchase from Amkus Rescue Tools includes four pieces, all battery operated, White explained, including a cutter, a spreader, a ram and a smaller combination tool.

Their current equipment is gas-powered hydraulics, requiring the engine to be hauled out by two people and set up, then started.

“If it’s not close enough and the hoses don’t reach, it has to be moved,” White said.

The battery-powered unit has no hydraulic hoses coming off it and it’s a much more flexible tool, he said. Also, all the tools, since each is independently powered, can be operated at the same time.

The system runs off a universal DeWalt battery, with a pair of replacement batteries 2 for $199. The compares to the battery for the Hirsch tool which is $625 for one, or Milwaukee-brand, which is about $250 each.

Incidentally, a Hurst extractor comparable to the one the department is looking at, White said, was advertised for $45,000.

“We have other DeWalt tools in the department, such as a reciprocating saw,” he said. “The same battery can be used in all the tools, so we don’t have to worry about somebody grabbing the wrong battery.”

The combo tool, White said, will be put out at the station at The Highlands, which doesn’t have any extraction equipment.

Deming asked whether fire departments in the county could establish zones to share equipment, such as the extractor tool, rather than each department spending $30,000 on one.

“My job is to be physically responsible to my taxpayers and the public that come through the district,” White said. “It’s up to each department to decide what’s best for them.”

White said the department has about $600,000 in its equipment reserve.

“I’ve got a plan for two pumpers and a brush to replace over the next five years,” White said. “So a big chunk is earmarked, but we have no problem covering this.”

Commission Chairman Ron Hirst asked whether the department, like several others, is looking at acquiring equipment for filling air bottles and cleaning bunker gear to reduce cancer exposure.

White said they are close enough to Hutchinson that filling air bottles is not an issue, and that the District 3 fire station will need an upgrade to its plumbing before extraction they can install washers. They’re concentrating on cleaning gear before it leaves the scene, which cuts down exposure some 85 percent, as well as new hoods that go under the clothing.

“Also on our radar, is that station in Nickerson, which is undersized for our trucks,” White said. “We’ve started some drawings.”

After about 15 minutes of discussion, the commission approved the purchase 2-0, with Commissioner Bob Bush absent.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

0 Responses to “Reno Commission approves purchase of new extraction tool for Fire District 3”



  1. Leave a Comment

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.





%d bloggers like this: