M.D. of Bonnyville Council recently approved a request from the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) to issue a tender to replace five fire trucks (two pumpers and three tankers) over the next three years at an estimated cost of just over $2.9 million.
This process will allow the BRFA to save two to three percent per truck, not including inflation.
At the April 13 regular council meeting, the BRFA submitted a request to procure five additional fire apparatuses scheduled for replacement between 2022-2024.
The request was submitted under their proposed 15-year interval as follows:
1) 2007 Pumper 20 (Goodridge) – replacement due in 2022, already one year behind would arrive in 2023
2) 2007 Pumper 91 (Cold Lake South) – replacement due in 2023, would need to be ordered in 2022
3) 2007 Tanker 21 (Goodridge) – replacement due in 2023, would need to be ordered in 2022
4) 2010 Tanker 31 (Glendon) – replacement due in 2024, would need to be ordered in 2023
5) 2009 Tanker 41 (Iron River) – replacement due in 2024, would need to be ordered in 2023
“The BRFA will request tenders on a combined package of the five MD trucks and one truck from the Town of Bonnyville,” Dan Heney, Regional Fire Chief of the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, said. “Tendering multiple trucks, especially if some of them are the same spec, can result in savings of two to three percent per truck. This can be substantial when looking across a multiple truck purchase, and the BRFA saw an opportunity to maximize the buying power available.”
Ordering multiple units in the same order can result in one percent to two percent savings; containing identical units within the
the same order can result in two to three percent savings per unit.
Ordering all five apparatuses at the same time with deliveries in 2023 and 2024 can maximize savings by minimizing the annual inflation cost and locking in the estimated price of the chassis at the 2022 figure as follows:
1) 2007 Pumper 20 (Goodridge) – $689,062
2) 2007 Pumper 91 (Cold Lake South) – $689,062
3) 2007 Tanker 21 (Goodridge) – $502,031
4) 2010 Tanker 31 (Glendon) – $502,031
5) 2009 Tanker 41 (Iron River) – $551,851 (double axel unit)
For a total of $2,934,037. The BRFA maintains that a 15-year replacement cycle for trucks is prudent based on two pump failures in
2021, one on an MD truck and a second on a Town of Bonnyville truck, both at 14 years. While these failures were identified during a test, they could have occurred during deployment and cost as much as $60,000 to repair. On February 10, 2021, after an assessment conducted by BEHR Integrated Solutions, Council passed a motion confirming that a hard fifteen (15) year interval was not supported and left Administration with an option to extend a vehicle’s retirement period beyond 15 years.
The purchase of trucks and apparatus and their intervals are not governed by legislation. Testing and equipment compliance are based on recommendations and standards as set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriter’s Laboratory of Canada (ULC).
“Having the municipalities support the BRFA replacement program means we can continually have crews operating in current, consistent, and high-functioning apparatus,” Heney said. “Having apparatus crews can count on to get the job done is pivotal in our success. A lot of time and effort is put into maintaining, testing, and re-certifying apparatus to industry and legislative standards to ensure the highest state of readiness possible, but eventually trucks need to be replaced.”
The M.D. did not budget an ask for five fire units during the 2022 budget deliberation process. The ERP currently has funding for only one team, Pumper 20 in Goodridge, which is due for replacement in 2022 at an estimated cost of $689,062.
As BRFA trucks are decommissioned, the BRFA typically arranges for their disposal, and the M.D. then receives the proceeds of the sale. An estimated return on the decommissioned unit should land between $40,000 – and $60,000. Still, it will not be realized until after the delivery of a replacement truck and subsequent sale of the old unit.
At the meeting, M.D. Council approved issuing a tender for the replacement of Unit 8270 at the Goodridge Fire Hall as agreed in the Municipal District of Bonnyville’s 2022 Budget.
“There are no significant issues with any apparatus being replaced other than approaching the end of their expected service life,” Heney concluded.