FLINT TWP. — Like doctors who make house calls, firefighters carry pagers that go everywhere they go in order to be reached whenever an emergency rises. As a result the equipment gets dirty and takes a beating, said Assistant Chief Mike Burkley in his recent request to buy new ones.
“We have not bought pagers in about five years,’’ he said, adding that this year’s budget includes the cost of buying replacements.
Not to mention that new technology has emerged since the last time new pagers were bought.
Fortunately, the department can take advantage of a rebate offer to buy back old pagers for $50 each if at least ten new ones are purchased. The rebate offer is good through to the end of the year, Burkley said.
He asked the township board to approve the purchase of 10 Motorola Minitor VI Fire pagers from U.S. Firecom for $397 each – a total cost of $4,022.63. The purchase includes a stored voice, battery, belt clip, and charger and carries a two-year warranty. Each pager also offers up to 16 minutes of voice recording and customizable call alerts. The rugged design is rated to withstand dust and water intrusion.
The $400 rebate for the old pagers would come directly from Motorola after the purchase.
Quotes also were received from two other vendors. Firecom is the only vendor with a buyback program for Minitor 5 pagers, Burkley said. They also will evaluate 43 older outdated Minitor 4 pages for a potential buyback payment of $15 each, if accepted. Those pagers are currently in storage.
Before unanimously approving the purchase of the new pagers, township board members questioned which budget the funds would come from.
Burkley said the purchase was included under small items in the 2015 fire budget.
Trustee Frank Kasle asked why the purchase was not being paid out of Fire Equipment millage funds.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the funds could come from wherever the board instructs the controller to take it.
Board members agreed that the fire equipment millage was meant to cover these types of expenses and included that stipulation in its unanimous approval of the purchase.
Trustee George Menoutes also asked Burkley which firefighters would be issued the new pagers.
Burkley said that two would be placed at each of the township’s three fire stations and the rest to the on-call firefighters with a record for showing up most often for fire runs.