Resolution 2007-05

Resolution 2007-05

SAN FRANCISCO FIRE COMMISSION RESOLUTION
APPROVING THE ADOPTION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT FIRE AND EMS APPARATUS AND VEHICLE REPLACEMENT PROGRAM


WHEREAS, the mission of the San Francisco Fire Department ("Department") is to protect the lives and property of San Francisco residents and visitors from fires, natural disasters, and hazardous materials incidents; and to save lives by providing emergency medical services ("EMS"); and

WHEREAS, the Department employs approximately 1,650 uniformed personnel, and protects a roughly 49 square mile urban city with an estimated population of 775,000 residents, with approximately the same number of visitors to the City each day; and

WHEREAS, the Department has 42 fire stations throughout the City, staffed with Triple Combination Pumper/Engines ("Engines"), Aerial Ladder Trucks ("Trucks"), Ambulances and/or Field Command vehicles; additional ambulances dynamically deployed throughout the City and specialty apparatus such as Heavy Rescue Vehicles, located at fire stations or other Department facilities; and Headquarters Command vehicles at Fire Department Headquarters;

WHEREAS, to accomplish its mission, the Department requires a fleet of reliable automotive fire and EMS apparatus and Command vehicles that are capable of meeting the mission requirements of the Department, and that perform at the highest levels of safety, availability, functionality and reliability; and

WHEREAS, Department personnel depend heavily on the performance capabilities of the Department's fire and EMS apparatus and Command vehicles when delivering emergency services to protect life, property, and the environment in San Francisco; and

WHEREAS, to provide emergency services without interruption, the Department must maintain its apparatus and vehicles in superior operating condition and promptly replace those apparatus and vehicles when adequate performance levels can no longer be assured; and

WHEREAS, one of the most important capital assets of any municipal fire department is a fleet of reliable apparatus and vehicles; and

WHEREAS replacing fire and EMS apparatus and vehicles is a necessary yet costly expenditure of public funds; and

WHEREAS, the National Fire Prevention Association ("NFPA") recommends that fire departments ensure that apparatus and vehicles are maintained to NFPA standards;

WHEREAS, given the importance of a reliable fleet of fire and EMS apparatus and vehicles and the costs associated with replacing those vehicles, apparatus and vehicle replacement should be a carefully planned process that is conducted at regular intervals, to ensure continued operational performance without imposing a financial burden during any single fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, apparatus and vehicle replacement intervals should be based on objective projections of the useful life span of the apparatus or vehicle, maintenance costs, and estimates of the time required to prepare bid specifications, conduct bid processes and award contracts, and construct and deliver apparatus and vehicles; and

WHEREAS, there are three aspects of apparatus and vehicle life span: (1) service life, which is the length of time that a piece of apparatus or vehicle can be expected to perform in a functional and reliable manner under the service demands and operating conditions to which it is exposed; (2) technological life, which is the ability of the apparatus or vehicle to continue to perform in a functional and reliable manner when changes in service demands, technology and performance standards occur; and (3) economic life, which is the length of time that an apparatus or vehicle can be operated and maintained in a cost-effective manner; and

WHEREAS, the useful life span of fire and EMS apparatus and vehicles varies among fire departments and is affected largely by age, frequency and type of use, local environment and operating conditions, and regular preventative maintenance efforts; and

WHEREAS, the long-term cumulative effects on fire and EMS apparatus of emergency response, repeated acceleration and deceleration cycles, frequent defensive driving maneuvers, high engine speeds prior to sufficient engine warm up, being operated at both high and low intensity levels for extended periods of time, and extreme operating conditions all result in reduced performance levels and fatigued mechanical components and assemblies; and

WHEREAS, Field Command Vehicles drive and operate under the same emergency response conditions as fire and EMS apparatus; and

WHEREAS, an analysis of Field Command Vehicles shows that on average, such a vehicle accrues slightly more than 10,000 miles each year, and that after 5 years, maintenance and repair costs for the vehicle begin to increase dramatically; and

WHEREAS, Headquarters Command Vehicles respond in an emergency capacity to a lesser degree than fire and EMS apparatus and Field Command Vehicles, but accrue equivalent miles to a Field Command Vehicle. And fire and EMS apparatus and Field Command Vehicles receive more frequent servicing and repair than Headquarters Command Vehicles, due to the nature of field operations and driving conditions; and

WHEREAS, as a piece of fire or EMS apparatus or a Command vehicle ages, it requires maintenance and repair on a more frequent basis, which increases maintenance costs. In addition, replacement parts for older apparatus and vehicles become more costly and difficult to obtain. Further, older apparatus and vehicles have higher chances of break down during an emergency response; and

WHEREAS, deferring replacement purchases to accommodate temporary budget constraints may not increase total fleet costs immediately, but failure to routinely replace apparatus and vehicles in a timely manner can result in quickly increasing fleet maintenance and repair expenditures, thereby transferring costs from the capital budget to the operating budget and likely increasing overall fleet costs; and

WHEREAS, deferring replacement purchases creates equipment-replacement backlogs; and

WHEREAS, both rehabilitation restoring a piece of apparatus or vehicle to meet the standards to which is was originally constructed and refurbishment improving the condition of existing apparatus or vehicles to meet current standards may extend the life span of an apparatus or vehicle and thereby delay the need to purchase a replacement apparatus or vehicle. But delaying the purchase of replacement apparatus could greatly increase the price of replacement in the future, and may be neither practical or cost effective due to changes in service demands, increase in fire and EMS apparatus and vehicle performance requirements, and existence of new emergency vehicle technology; and

WHEREAS, the Department takes steps to extend the useful life span of fire and EMS apparatus and Command vehicles by rotating apparatus and vehicles between stations and assignments, to distribute annual engine hours and unit activity level more evenly among front-line units; and

WHEREAS, the Department has a comprehensive apparatus and vehicle inspection and maintenance program, to perform routine and as-needed maintenance and repairs, to assess the operating condition of essential components, systems and equipment of each apparatus and vehicle, and to ensure that each apparatus and vehicle in use is safe; and

WHEREAS, the Department collects and manages maintenance data for analysis and forecasting purposes; and

WHEREAS, a piece of front-line fire or EMS apparatus and a Command vehicle that has reached the end of its useful life span for front-line emergency service, may be placed in reserve status for a reasonable period of time, provided the vehicle remains in good operating condition and receives regular preventative maintenance; and

WHEREAS, eventually all fire and EMS apparatus and Command vehicles reach the end of their useful life span, and are no longer usable even as a reserve apparatus or vehicle; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that an Apparatus and Vehicle Replacement Program is necessary to ensure that the Department possesses a fleet of reliable automotive fire and EMS apparatus and Command vehicles that are capable of meeting the mission requirements of the Department, and that perform at the highest levels of safety, availability, functionality and reliability; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that based on recommendations from the Chief of Department and command staff, and in order to ensure that Fire Department apparatus can meet NFPA guidelines, the Commission hereby adopts the following Apparatus and Vehicle Replacement Program:

A. This Apparatus and Vehicle Replacement Program evaluates and establishes the Department's needs for Trucks, Engines, Ambulances, Heavy Rescue vehicles and Command vehicles, both in the field and at headquarters.

B. To meet its mission, the Department needs the following front-line and relief apparatus:

Apparatus

Front-Line Units Required

Relief Units Required

Total Units Required

Truck

19

8

27

Engine

42

15

57

Ambulance

43

N/A

43

Heavy Rescue Vehicles

2

1

3

Field Command Vehicles

16

4

20

Headquarters Command Vehicles

22

4

26


C. Considering the topography in San Francisco, the high run volume and resulting engine hours, and other use and operating conditions, the useful life span of front-line and relief apparatus is as follows:

Apparatus

Front-Line Use (Years)

Relief Status (Years)

Truck

15

5

Engine

10

5

Ambulance

10

N/A

Heavy Rescue Vehicles

10

5

Field Command Vehicles

50,000 miles or 5 years

2

Headquarters Command Vehicles

50,000 miles or 8 years

2


D. Due to under-funding for apparatus over the past years, the Department currently lacks appropriate front-line apparatus. Currently, the Department has twenty-two vehicles (4 Trucks, 10 Engines, and 8 ambulances) that are serving as front-line response apparatus that have passed the useful life span for a front-line vehicle.

E. The Commission finds that an initial Accelerated Apparatus and Vehicle Purchase program is required to ensure that the Department possesses adequate front-line fire and EMS apparatus. The Commission has determined that in order to mitigate the fiscal impact of this Accelerated Apparatus and Vehicle Purchase Program, the Program should extend over a 3-year period. Accordingly, the Commission finds that beginning FY 2007-2008, the Department needs to acquire the following apparatus each year to attain a reliable front-line fleet:

Apparatus

2007-08

2008-09

2009-2010

Truck

3

3

2

Engine

6

6

6

Ambulance

5

5

5

Field Command Vehicles

2

4

4

Headquarters Command Vehicles

5

5

5


F. After an initial Accelerated Apparatus and Vehicle Purchase Program to return the Department to required front-line apparatus and vehicle levels, in order to ensure on-going adequate front-line and relief apparatus and vehicles that meet Department standards, the Department needs to purchase the following apparatus each fiscal year:

Apparatus

Number Needed Each FY

Truck

2

Engine

4

Ambulance

5

Field Command Vehicles

4

Headquarters Command Vehicles

3


G. The Commission finds that funding for both the initial Accelerated Apparatus and Vehicle Purchase Program and the on-going Apparatus and Vehicle Replacement Program is vital. Without funding for these Programs, the Department will lack a reliable fleet of apparatus able to operate at the highest levels of safety, availability, functionality and reliability. Such a fleet is crucial to the Department's ability to fulfill its mission to protect the lives and property of San Francisco residents and visitors. Deferral of needed replacement apparatus and vehicles is also fiscally unsound, as it increases maintenance and repair costs, often above the actual value of an apparatus and vehicles. Accordingly, the Commission strongly recommends and encourages the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to ensure continued adequate funding for this critical public safety purpose.

Adopted at the Regular Meeting of the San Francisco Fire Commission on May 24, 2007

Ayes: Conroy, Lau, Nakajo, Clarke

______________________________
Tania Bauer, Secretary