Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Bethlehem Tp Comm'rs Approve $1 Million Ladder Truck

Just one week after failing to secure a $550,000 grant for a new firetruck from the Northampton County Gaming Authority, the Nancy Run Fire Company had a lot more success on their home turf. Bethlehem Township Commissioners unanimously agreed, at their May 5 meeting, to spend $1,063,853 for a new 100' rear-mounted ladder truck that will replace a 1991 model that is nearing the end of its useful life. In a divided 5-4 vote, Northampton County's Gaming Board rejecting a $550,000 grant request at their April 28 meeting.

Although Commissioners have agreed to foot the entire bill from a $10 million line of credit, Nancy Run is still seeking grants on a state and federal level. "We'll continue looking out for other options," Nancy Run Fire Chief Jamie Hauze told Commissioners.

One of those options might be the Gaming Authority. Some members like Lower Nazareth's James Pennington signaled a willingness to foot 25% if the cost, arguing that some of the need for this is the result of the casino. Other members, like Bethlehem's Joe Kelly, argued that the entire $550,000 should be awarded because the ladder truck is a back-up to Bethlehem's two ladder trucks. He said the firetruck is needed "to protect that asset," referring to the casino.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could decorate it with one of the memorial flags they stole from the FDNY at ground zero

C.P.M. said...

I wonder if this purchase was ever put out for bid??? $1M for a fire truck --- holy cow.

Anonymous said...

It was bid. They looked and got the best price. What is the matter with you? Did u get beat up in high school or something else that made you this bitter?

Anonymous said...

This will see a lot of use. There are a lot of parades for these volunteers to show off this truck at and maybe even win a trophy.

They could probably use a wildfire chopper as well.

Anonymous said...

C.P.M.,
You obviously have no knowledge in the cost of fire apparatus. $1M is a good price for an aerial. The original estimate was around $1.2M.

Anonymous said...

GOOD job Bernie, When You go Nancy Run will never be the same......To bad Your young punk Chief who thinks He knows it all has'nt learned from You or that money would have been donated to Your fire company...

Anonymous said...

Beth Firefighter says: Joe Kelly has no clue Nancy Run is not the 1st backup Allentown is 1st the Fountain Hill Then Nancy run.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Joe Kelly never said that BT is the first back up, but it is a back-up and is one that has been used. For a fire at the casino, BT would probably be the closest outside of Bethlehem. Maybe east side Allentown is closer, but I think Nancy Run could get there faster. Bob Mateff made the gaming board aware of all the back-ups.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I wonder if this purchase was ever put out for bid??? $1M for a fire truck --- holy cow."

This was bid. 100' ladder trucks are not cheap. They were not cheap in '91.

Anonymous said...

The casino is fully sprinklered and is already a well protected assset. Bethlehem Township does not back up Bethlehem until all the professional departments in the region have been exhausted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This will see a lot of use. There are a lot of parades for these volunteers"

Actually, it will see a lot if use, unfortunately. I don't know if you hate the truck or the notion that there are still some people left who volunteer their time to the community.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"To bad Your young punk Chief who thinks He knows it all has'nt learned from You or that money would have been donated to Your fire company..."

What the hell is this about? First, Chief Hauze is a very respectful, soft-spoken person. The way you have described him is so off-the-mark I have to address it. Second, it is not my fire company. I am not a member nor do I live in the township. Third, I do have a lot of respect for those guys. I have seen them as a result of covering different stories and they are all class acts. I can tell you are not one of them.

C.P.M. said...

8:50 AM
I'm not bitter you moron - just asking a simple question. Go take a happy pill.

C.P.M. said...

The above message was intended to be for 6:50 AM

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The casino is fully sprinklered and is already a well protected assset. Bethlehem Township does not back up Bethlehem until all the professional departments in the region have been exhausted."

I see. Because a facility is sprinklered, it needs no fire protection? That's just idiotic.

And if your other statement is true, then all the professional departments in the region have been exhausted at times bc Nancy Run has been called into Bethlehem.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to provide a list of fully sprinklered buildings where there has been a major fire. I didn't think so....

Bernie O'Hare said...

The fact that a building is sprinklered does not make it fire proof. They definitely help, but do not eliminate, the threat of fire.

Anonymous said...

Bernie @8:10,
With all due respect, those who know Chief Hauze personally, know that he is not the soft spoken person that was publicly portrayed Monday evening. The face he puts on for the photo ops is good for the camera, but the way he runs his fire company is very different.

Anonymous said...

In other words, you can't name a single major fire in a 100% sprinklered building. On case you forgot, that time when the Chief called out Nancy Run, every member of the BFD that want called filed a successful grievance because their contact started they must be called first. Volunteers simply don't have the same level of training, some do, but not the entire department, making them a huge liability risk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sounds like you have a bitch with volunteer firefighters, bc you are threatened by them, You demean yourself and your profession with those kinds of petty remarks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"In other words, you can't name a single major fire in a 100% sprinklered building"

We all can. How about the WTC?

And no, sprinklered buildings are by no means fireproof.

http://www.firefighternation.com/article/strategy-and-tactics/firefighting-tactics-sprinklered-buildings

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:01, You demean yourself with an anonymous personal attack. It's the mark of a coward, or someone with an agenda that is becoming more and more obvious.

Anonymous said...

I never used the word fireproof, you did. Yes indeed, 9/11 was a disaster because they were short of aerial apparatus...

For someone who claims he likes to argue, you aren't very good at it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. I think we can all see.

Anonymous said...

Bernie @10:19,
No agenda, just don't judge a book by its cover.

Anonymous said...

7:24,
What money donated to the fire company? If you mean the grant, it was a long shot, trying to get it. The Gaming Board decided not to fund large projects since the first year when most of the impact funding went to the Freemansburg municipal building.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie @10:19,
No agenda, just don't judge a book by its cover."

When you don't identify yourself, bash volunteer firefighters and make the ridiculous claim that a sprinklered casino negates the need for fire protection, you definitely have an agenda. When you don't ID yourself , you are a book with no cover at all.

Anonymous said...

Bernie @1237,
I made no claims that a sprinklered building of any kind, needs no fire department protection. I merely suggested that you do not judge Chief Hauze by the way he appears. There is more than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

Volunteer fire man charged with arson. Heard that story a million times. Maybe that is why they need a million dollar truck. I thought volunteer means volunteer. Why is tax payer dollars going to a volunteer unit?

Anonymous said...

Joe Kelly? Freeloader. Callahan clan. Did he not stand by his boy when they closed a fire house?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is very easy anonymously to claim you don't have an anti-volunteer agenda.

Anonymous said...

1:35,
It is clear that you are trolling, but let this be clear to those you have bought your b.s. PA Law places the onus of fire protection upon townships of the first class. By purchasing the fire apparatus, the township is partly guaranteeing that the equipment portion of their responsibility makes the grade. To suggest that the volunteers fund the purchase of apparatus is insane. You could hold fund raisers every day for a year, and never come up with the down payment for a truck. People take these volunteers for granted. They provide millions of dollars worth of manpower for free. The least the municipality could do is provide them with the tools necessary to do the job.

Lighthouse said...

Amen to 4:10. The Township has long purchased equipment for both companies, and they have purchased some on their own. Some years it has pushed a million dollars, other years far less.

While not all paid firefighters feel this way, I once met someone in a class whose husband was a "city firefighter". She had a very smug attitude toward volunteer companies. I suspect a few of the comments come from a similar direction.

With multi story hotels, and hospital, to claim that this is sought after for parades is an exhibition in extreme ignorance and/or arrogance. Likewise, it will be township owned. We are very fortunate to still be able to be served by two volunteer companies. Already our "volunteer" companies provide paid professional EMS personnel. Eventually the time will no doubt come that a municipal company will be needed.... then folks will complain about the impact on taxes for the salary and benefits.

Thank you to all of those who serve both NRFC and BTVFC. It is appreciated by most residents.

Anonymous said...

The bidding process is a joke. No doubt the bid request was written so only one manufacturer could meet the bid; Pierce of Wisconsin. Pierce is a favorite of volunteers and also the most expensive. Palmer Twsp will be getting a new aerial in a few years and no doubt will do the same thing.I bet Pierce will offer a small discount if the truck is ordered quickly.pprryou

Anonymous said...

The bid specs are always provided to the volunteers by a manufacturer. Best option is to buy a fire truck off the state's cooperative buying agreement.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Something like an aerial ladder truck has to be speced out, and then bids are sought. I honestly doubt there is a state source for this. I have never heard of one for any of these pieces of fire equipment.

Anonymous said...

8:04,
Won't you be surprised when it's not a Pierce?

Anonymous said...

Bernie @10:17,
The COSTARS program, run by the PA Department of General Services, has streamlined the bidding process. If a vendor is a COSTARS contractor, the need for bids is not necessary. Most apparatus manufacturers are COSTARS contractors, so for the most part, no more bidding. FYI, the NRFC aerial will be purchased from a COSTARS vendor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie, Pierce Mfg. makes heavy trucks for our Armed Services. Made near the famous Oshkosh Air strip,they are on the field each year. They make overall, trouble free as can be,equipment and consistently. When you have to do it right the first time ,pay up front,like a good divorce attorney, OR you pay more in the back end,on the long run.Good Morning all.

Anonymous said...

Many fire departments are now buying their fire trucks thru the state purchasing program and that is how most of local government buys their police cars and highway trucks but it doesn't man that Nancy Run Fire went with the lowest qualified bid. Someone on this forum stated that the truck was purchased from the state program so tell me, Is this new truck a Pierce? Or is it something else like a Spartan or KME?

Anonymous said...

The population and call volume in Bethlehem Township already warrants a full-time career fire department, and they have known this for years. Unfortunately, guys like Hauze know that when that day comes, they will no longer be able to just sign-up and play fireman, so they have stymied this process, risking the lives and property of the tax payer in the process.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Here we go. We may come to the day when a volunteer firefighting force is not enough. But you are not going to get there by bashing people who volunteer. You represent everything that is wrong with public sector unions.

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about people who assume. I'm not in the public sector and I'm not in a union. Facts are not bashing. They put the public at risk by trying to avoid going to paid EMS, and now they're doing the same for fire protection. It's all about egos.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure. When you don't say who you are, I'll make the appropriate inference. My guess is you are an ex-firefighter who lost his job in Bethlehem.

Anonymous said...

6:53,
Facts about other municipalities' fire protection:
Buckingham Township, Bucks County: Population 20,000 - Served by volunteers. Bristol Township, Bucks County: Population 54,000 - Served by volunteers. Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County: Population 15,000 - Served by volunteers.
Maybe you should use your criticism more constructively. Step up and do your community some good by volunteering.

Anonymous said...

11:02,
You make these wild accusations that the public was in danger by Bethlehem Township trying to avoid going to paid EMS. Step into the 21st century, and realize that BT has had paid EMS staff for nearly 20 years. You seem to be bitter about anyone who wants to help their community, but doesn't demand a paycheck,

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, Bernie played the Schlener card!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sounds just like James Schlener who was fired after an off-duty DUI accident that occurred when he called in sick and misrepresented his health.

He has bragged about trolling this blog, so it's a logical guess.

Anonymous said...

5:20,
You will just have to wait and see.

signed-An insider

Anonymous said...

Not a ex fire fighter of current fire fighter in Bethlehem but someone who knows. The ex fire fighter had a doctor excuse for a back injury he suffered on the job. By know means I am saying the DUI was a good decision but as usual BO only tells half the story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That excuse meant nothing in your arbitration, Jimmy. Do us all a favor and stop making public sector unions look bad with this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Guess what. Wrong again. Your obsession with this guy is insane. Just like some many other people.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Let's get back to the subject. BT has two fire stations and their call volume WILL INCREASE not decrease.The Ems side of the house is very active whit increased demand from folks at more than 60 years old , traffic wrecks and diabetic issues. The fire side " the one ladder truck' that carries equipment needed for various other emer mercies in addition to providing an escape from elevations and a water way for highrise attack.This one ladder truck is absolutely a necessity in your jurisdiction on that merit alone. BT- has as many residents as Easton .