Best Practices For Purchasing A New Fire Apparatus: Part 3
When the time comes to purchase a new fire truck, Midwest Fire is here to help. This blog is part three in a four-part series that will detail how to make the right choice when purchasing a new fire apparatus for your crew.
In parts one and two of the series, we examined the need for new equipment, discussed assembling an action committee, and talked about how to conduct preliminary research on applicable trucks. This blog will cover financing the new apparatus: how to ask for and gain funding as well as choose the purchasing process.
How to Secure Funding
In part two, we discussed various avenues to seek funding for a new fire apparatus. Obtaining that funding requires your committee to have financial authority. This essentially means you know what you are talking about and have a logical, objective argument for the amount of money you are seeking to receive.
The financiers of your new apparatus will want to know their money is being put to good use. You will need to have an undeniable reason for not only why a new fire apparatus is needed, but also why the specific apparatus the committee chose to buy is the right one. Identify data that will help defend the amount of funding for the equipment that you need. Sites like the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs can be great resources for objective data you can use to make your case.
Determine Your Purchase Process
When starting on the purchasing process, it is important to understand local bylaws and state regulations to be aware of. The most common purchasing process is to post a bid to 5-6 manufacturers you identified in your gathering information step. It is ideal to seek 3 or more sealed quotes. Each state has its own guidelines, and most require posting for 10 days.
Besides bidding, alternative purchase processes might be available to you. If you will be obtaining a bond or grant, follow the corresponding guidelines and requirements. Some communities have state procurement available. In these cases, purchasing a new apparatus through the state will offer special pricing with some manufacturers. Lastly, look into government-regulated programs like HGACBuy.
Remember that Midwest Fire makes the highest quality fire fighting equipment and is ready to help! Come back to read the final installment of our guide to ensure your crew is ready for a new fire apparatus!