Jul 28, 2014
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Trimming The Fat

Fleet Sizing and Utilization Final Report Recommendations – Part II

Trimming The Fat

Last week I provided the background for the Waterford Fleet Management Plan.  Today I will discuss the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Fleet Sizing and Utilization that were published in November 2010.

On December 8, 2010 the Waterford Board of Finance tabled a consideration of these recommendations after a heated discussion engendered  by members of the Fire Service led by  former Goshen Fire Chief and current member of the Representative Town Meeting Tom Dembek.  The volunteers contested the elimination of an additional pumper truck claiming that it would reduce the fire companies to seven pumpers.  On long time volunteer noted that when the fire districts were originally funded they in the sixties and seventies, they plans were that each fire company should be self sufficient.  Board of Finance Member and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee George Peteros noted that current policy is that the fire companies back each other up and there are also mutual aid agreements with neighboring towns to provide further support.  In the end, it boiled down to the definition of a pumper truck.  BOF Chairman Ron Fedor moved to table the consideration until the ad hoc committee could sort this out.  Immediately after the meeting, the Ad Hoc committee agreed to meet on January 5, 2011 to reconsider the fire pumper truck recommendation so that the BOF could consider the action at the January 12, 2011 meeting.  There was no discussion on the other recommendations but that may occur in January.

1.      Discontinue the practice of reassigning retired police cruisers to meet municipal needs.  Instead, begin a phase in to fill auto pool needs with smaller, lower cost sedans.

The Chatham Report found that based on a ten year vehicle life, this recommendation would save the town around $900 per car.  The most significant savings from capital and fuel costs over the ten year period.

2.      Have an independent and qualified outside party review future fire truck purchase specifications to ensure that they are written in a manner that will result in multiple, qualified vendors bidding.

The fire companies need to change from a specific design specification to a functional specification that defines how the vehicle is to perform but includes little about the specific design.

3.      Both municipal and fire fleet users should be networked to the same fuel management system (cards).

The Chatham Report recommended the use of a fuel management card such as those provided by Wright Express or Voyager.  "These systems have duel fuel car d capability to track both vehicle operator and vehicle involved in the transaction."

4.      Install video security cameras at all fueling sites to monitor fuel transaction activity.

This is the least expensive alternative and will require manual review of video images and fueling transactions.

5.      Adopt the two quantitative methods provided in the Report for determining when a vehicle or equipment should be replaced after it has gone into service. 

One is a vehicle assessment report filled out by the operator and the second is the repair/cost history of the vehicle.

6.      Fire companies and the Public Works Department should use the same information system (software) for capturing vehicle and apparatus maintenance and repair history, including costs.  New software will likely be needed.

The current system "Equipment Manager" is no longer vendor supported.  The Chatham Report implies that this system should have a link to the financial system used by the Town to prevent transcription errors.

7.      Use the parts management system to ensure data accuracy for inventory purposes and to develop performance measures and reduce repair times.

According to the Chatham Report the parts management system data are poorly kept and the system is not integrated into the financial system.  The report recommended using Inventory control ratios such as Inventory variance, Inventory turnover rate, and Inventory stock out.  Accurate numbers of inventory items and their costs could not be determined.

8.      For vehicles or equipment >10,000 GCVW, establish a formal pre and post trip inspection program addressing the thirteen safety items required by the U. S. Department of Transporation.

The Chatham Report provided  a sample driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) that could be used in a formal policy promulgated by the Public Works Department and a recommendation on how to administer such a program.

9.      Standardize a preventative maintenance program around the thirteen DVIR safety items of inspection.

The Chatham Report suggests a preventative maintenance (PM) sequence and recommends staff training on how to properly conduct the PM inspections.

10.    All Town-owned vehicles inclusive of those owned and operated by the Board of Education should be clearly identified as Town vehicles.

Certainly this is a good idea but it is not mentioned in the Chatham Report.

11.    W-12, the back-up pumper should be taken off the Fleet Management Plan and declared surplus for sale. An existing pumper should be designated as the reserve and one pumper currently in the plan be deleted and declared surplus.  The decision as to which pumper to delete and which to designate as the reserve should be left to the discretion of  the Fire Service Authority.  This will leave the Fire Service Fleet with eight front line pumpers and one reserve, excluding W-15 the aerial ladder pumper with the small tank.  This number will allow adequately for a four pumper attack.

W-12 was declared surplus at the November 16, 2010 Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting.  The fire service has not yet indicated what additional pumper to delete from the FMP.

12.    The following vehicles should be eliminated from the Fleet Management Program and be declared surplus due to underutilization:  a) A-4, a 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo assigned to Permitting; b)  H-29, a 1970 Ingram Roller assigned to Public Works; c)  R-1, a 2003 Crown Victoria assigned to Recreation and Parks; d) H-26, a 1959 Bergeson tractor mower assigned to Public Works; e)  @W-12, a 1984 Seagrave Pumper assigned to Jordan Fire Company; and f)  TBD Pumper as designated by the Fire Service Authority.

The listing of W-12 and the to be determined (TBD) pumper is a duplication of Item 12 but it does completely identify the vehicles that should be eliminated from the FMP.  The list does not include all of the vehicles listed and underutilized by the Chatham Report.  The report also encourages setting up a motor pool function for departments rather than individual assignments of vehicles to individual departments.

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