Bid awarded for new countywide firefighting training trailer

FLINT TWP. —Three bids for a Mobile Fire Training Facility was presented to the township board Monday night.

The board accepted a recommendation from assistant fire chief Mike Burkley to go with American Fire Training System’s bid of $182,000. It was not the lowest bid but Burkley said the Illinoisbased company came highly recommended by customers he contacted nationwide including one in Michigan.

Eighty percent of the cost of the trailer — $142,264 — is covered by a matching FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The remaining $36,566 is expected to be picked up by donations and funds raised or contributed by area fire departments who will share use of the trainer.

Fire Chiefs from throughout Genesee County have pledged matching grant con- tributions. The Genesee County Fire Chiefs Association and the Genesee County Firefighter Training Committee each voted to give $5,000 toward the cost. Fire Departments pledging $1,950 to the fund include Atlas Township, Burton, Davison, Grand Blanc, Linden, Fenton, Flint, Swartz Creek and Mundy Township for a total of $19,500.

Burkley said that $4500 of the 20 percent match has been collected to date. Grant requests are pending from Walmart, Target Corp. and other donors. He said he expects to raise the full matching amount.

On order are a Live Fire Trainer mobile Unit with a Self-contained Breathing Apparatus. The mobile unit consists of two 40-foot containers that include a 14×8-foot burn room, enclosed staircase, confidence mazes, a crawl tunnel between the units, breach wall, roof chip simulation, smoke machine, a swing-away breach wall and much more. The grant also covers initial training costs.

The township board accepted the FEMA grant in late February. The Flint Township Fire Department will house the trailer and handle its administration but it will travel throughout the county to participating departments who will be responsible for it while it is in their possession.

Burkley said delivery of the unit is expected in about 75 days at which time the balance of funds will be due.

Trustee George Menoutes questioned the township’s obligation if the entire amount of matching funds is not raised.

The low bid for the trainer was $179,000 from Fire Training Systems of New York. The highest bid of $194,600 came from Fire Blast 451 Inc. of California.

Burkley noted that the successful bidder, based in Lockport, Illinois, is closest to Genesee County to facilitate follow-up service and consultations during the one-year warranty period.

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