MLFPD will replace a 1990 E-One (3335), and a 1995 Freightliner (3331), as part of its’ strategic fleet replacement program. At nearly 26 and 21 years of service, respectively, these apparatus have served 5 years beyond expectation, which is exceptional given the elevation, grades, and winter driving conditions in Mammoth Lakes.
Engine 3335 will be replaced through award of a highly competitively grant (Assistance to Firefighters Grant – Vehicle Replacement). The total grant award is for $614,156 (a 5% grant match of $29,245 will be provided by the District). The replacement vehicle will be a 4×4 Pierce “pump-under-cab” design. Modifications for the challenging Mammoth area include motor and transmission options to maximize torque at altitude, pump 1500 gallons per minute, will have proper ground clearance on approach and departure, and automatic supplemental traction. The new 3335 will be part of the frontline response to major incidents, housed at Station #2 in Old Mammoth, and staffed with our paid-call firefighters.
Engine 3331, which is staffed 24/7/365, will be replaced with a Rosenbauer Squad (an apparatus smaller than the one it replaces) for roughly $200,000. The reason for the smaller engine is based on “right-sizing” the fleet. Most of the Districts calls for service are medical in nature, whether assisting the paramedic ambulances or staffing and responding with our own Basic Life Support ambulance (3371). The engine crew has a wide range of other responsibilities (fire prevention, fuels management, facilities management, equipment maintenance, etc.) that really do not require driving a full-size engine throughout the District.
Its’ smaller size and lighter weight are advantages during day to day non-emergency driving and the Squad can get the response started, and prepare the way for oncoming units when needed. The Squad will carry 200 gallons on water (as opposed to 500 or more on a full-sized engine), be able to pump 500 gallons per minute when supplied by a hydrant or other engine, have next generation hydraulic equipment, and generally everything a full-sized engine would, just in smaller amounts. The engine is built on a Ford 550 diesel chassis, and will be staffed with two people during the week. On the weekends, and as needed during exceptional call volume, a larger engine (3333) will be staffed with 3 people.
The District has completed all pre-construction design meetings with the manufacturers, and both are scheduled to be in serviced by the Spring of 2016. 2 District personnel will travel to the respective manufacturing sites (Wisconsin, and South Dakota) during the Winter to ensure all design specification are being met, and then confirm final performance during acceptance testing before taking final delivery.
We believe the acquisition of these two apparatus is operationally sound, fiscally responsible, and consistent with our strategic apparatus replacement plan. They should serve our responders, and our citizens, for many years to come.