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Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

PPE purchasing: Doing more with less

By cooperating on routine purchases, it's possible that many departments will actually be able to save money

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's note: A newly formed purchasing consortium of departments in southeastern Wisconsin is working toward selecting one set of turnout gear for 22 local departments. Read our Editorial Advisor Chief Adam K. Thiel's take below.  

As fallout from the economic recession continues, affecting many communities across the United States, the drumbeat to "do more with less" is only going to get louder.

This article demonstrates one aspect of our business where we might be able to actually realize that goal.

I know equipment design, specification, and selection can be a very emotional topic for a fire department.

We all like to feel that we make the best choices for protecting our members from the broad range of hazards they face every day.

By cooperating on routine purchases, including PPE, it's possible that many departments will actually be able to save money that can then be applied to equipment upgrades or other needed purchases.

Working with surrounding jurisdictions will probably require some compromises.

But it doesn't have to mean losing your department's identity and could provide an increase in the quality of the equipment your organization can afford in this tough fiscal environment.

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel FireRescue1's editorial advisor is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.


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