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Purchasing the correct apparatus that is capable of doing the best job for the least amount of money is a tremendous responsibility for fire department officers.  As these vehicles involve an investment of thousands of dollars, caution must be exercised when writing specifications, evaluating bids, and awarding the contracts.

Competitive Bid Purchase For New Apparatus

Generally, purchases are made by specifying the features desired in a fire apparatus and asking for bids.  This method is known as purchasing by competitive bids based on adequate specifications.  It is designed to eliminate favoritism or personal influence, ensure delivery of equipment that will perform satisfactorily and provide the purchaser with maximum utility and economy.

However, such benefits are only realized through the use of proper standards, the apparatus will be no better than the specifications.  Few are able to employ personnel with qualifications and ability to draw up specifications that will adequately cover all phases of construction and performance of fire apparatus.

Frequently, in attempting to draw up adequate specifications, the result becomes so excessive or restrictive in some requirements that it increases the cost unnecessarily or prohibits bidding entirely.  Often important requirements are omitted and irrelevant and unduly costly provisions are included.

In order to provide uniformity and ensure basic essentials are included, this office suggests that fire apparatus be designed to ULC S515 Standard for Automobile Fire Fighting Apparatus.  The specific sections to meet your needs are explained in this guide.

Writing the Specifications

Determining exactly what type, size, and model to purchase is the first step in writing specifications for fire department apparatus.

As the department will probably be either blessed or stuck with this equipment for 20 or more years, a great amount of thought must be devoted to acquiring the best vehicle for the job.

Consideration should be given to the fire hazards, terrain, roads and highways, weather and climatic conditions, building heights and areas,

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