Foam fire suppression system in works for NM fire dept.

Fire Trucks Plus Inc. of California building system for the NM department's fire engine

By Dianne Stallings
The Ruidoso News

RUIDOSO, N.M. — A compressed air foam fire suppression system will be installed on a fire engine being built in California for the Ruidoso Fire Department.

And Village Councilor Jim Stoddard was pleased when the vote was unanimous last week. He had advocated the need for such a system for more than a year during discussions with the village's former fire chief.

Before the vote, Stoddard told other board members, "I encourage the council to approve this. It being left off was one of two reasons I opposed (the purchase of the engine previously). It's so instrumental in fighting fires in a safe manner and it significantly reduces the type of harm that occurs with (fighting fires with) water."

Harlan Vincent, assistant fire chief, said when he advertised for bids, he received two requests for the paperwork, but only one response was submitted by the deadline Jan. 14. The response was from Fire Trucks Plus Inc. of California for a total bid of $55,500. The price includes installation.

Councilor Denise Dean said she saw nothing in the bid about a warranty. Vincent said while Fire Trucks Plus is building the engine, work already awarded, Hale Manufacturing will handle the installation. Hale is just down the street from Fire Trucks Plus, and will act as the subcontractor.

Dean said she'd like a five-year warranty in writing from Hale.

Vincent said Fire Plus will fly the fire department's mechanic to California for training on how to service the system. It must pass inspection annually by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety for the warranty to stay in effect.

Councilor Gloria Sayers asked if the foam compression system was left off before as a result of an oversight or a difference of opinion.

Vincent said it was a difference of opinion.

Sayers asked about the average life of a fire truck and Vincent said about 10 years, but the loan on the fire truck purchase is for 15 years.

"We try to take really good care," Vincent said. "It's only driven on certain calls, not every alarm."

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