While much of the attention at the most recent Folsom City Council meeting was focused on discussion surrounding the consideration of a proposed tax hike measure, another important item that involved public safety and medical aid for the community with the need for an updated medic unit.

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Council reviewed and approved the request by the Folsom Fire Department to fulfill the need to add an additional ambulance to its incoming replacement fleet.

According to information gathered by the Folsom Fire Department in its request for the purchase of a new Type 1 Ambulance for the city the current ambulances in use are operating with more than 120,000 miles on them. The excess mileage on the units requires “significant maintenance to keep them in service,” according to the proposal submitted by Folsom Fire Chief Ken Cusano.

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The Fire Department requested council member’s blessing to become a “tag-on” to the Houston Galveston Area Council Public Safety Project (HGACBuy). 

The project is a government to government cooperative purchasing program. Its enabling legislation allows the program to act nationwide on behalf of local governments, special districts and private non-profits that providing a government service. This allows participants to use any of HGACBuy’s competitively procured contracts for goods and services.  

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Through this relationship, the purchaser is covered by the HGACBuy procurement. HGACBuy’s procurement process includes research, preparation of specifications, pre-bid and preproposal conferences, legal notice posting and advertising, bid and proposal review, and contract execution, according to the documents prepared by the Folsom Fire Department in its request for approval. 

The Fire Department consulted with the City Attorney’s Office on this purchasing method. The City Attorney’s Office concurs that a cooperative purchase using the HGACBuy program is permissible under Section 2.36.170 of the Folsom Municipal Code. 

According to the council packet data, the ambulance manufacturing industry in North America is experiencing lead times more than 40 months on newly purchased ambulances. The Fire Department has an opportunity to add an additional ambulance to the four ambulances it has procured and ordered in FY 2021-22 and FY 2022-23. 

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The four ambulances purchased in FY 2021-22 and FY 2022-23 have an expected delivery date of April 2024.  Fire Department has the opportunity to add an additional Type 1 Ambulance to the builder’s queue and accept delivery along with the four ambulances within six months. 

“The current ambulance fleet is becoming less reliable as we extend their expected service life,” noted Cusano. “Excessive maintenance issues associated with the vehicle motor, chassis, and air conditioning systems are resulting in our front-line ambulances being unavailable for service use.” 

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The estimated contract cost of the equipped ambulance is $479,538.70 with a four-year contingency of $19,181.55 for a total amount not to exceed $498.720.25.

Alan Inderkane
Author: Alan Inderkane