Lombardi bids low, lands rescue vehicle

Lombardi bids low, lands rescue vehicle

Need for outside help continues decline

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The town has secured another frontline rescue vehicle for a fraction of what it would cost new.

Mayor Charles Lombardi, the town’s public safety director famous for acquiring good vehicles cheap, said the town had only one spare rescue after it went to a three-rescue system in February, so he was looking to get another rescue truck to bring the Fire Department’s total to five, with two spares.

“With the third rescue and the number of calls we’ve been getting, we needed that truck,” he said. “This was instead of buying new, the way I do it.”

He visited the Upperco Volunteer Fire Company, in Upperco, Maryland, after learning that that department was merging with another and looking to offload a truck.

“We took advantage of it,” he said.

The department was asking $30,000 for a 2004 F550 truck, so naturally he came in with an offer of $16,500.

“Dick (Fossa) said, are you crazy?” he said of his chief of staff.

Representatives for the Maryland fire department then said they wanted to get at least $20,000, so Lombardi bumped his offer up to $17,500 and department officials agreed.

“I’m a motorhead, I knew it was a good vehicle,” he said. “They took care of it.” This type of vehicle, if purchased new for the department, would cost about $186,000, said Lombardi.

“Will we use it for 10 years? Maybe, maybe not, but we’ll have it for at least five years,” he said.

The North Providence Breeze reported in March that the first month of service with a third rescue on the road had allowed the North Providence Fire Department to respond to 51 calls for service that they would otherwise have had to call in outside departments for. That trend has continued, said Lombardi, with an estimated 50-55 calls per month that the department is now able to respond to that it wasn’t able to before. That all means more medical billing revenue to the town, he emphasizes.

Lombardi in the past months has lambasted the town’s fire union for requesting an extra 3 percent pay increase in return for adding the third rescue.

Negotiations of sorts continue, with some suggestions that firefighters could be open to other options, including a contract extension with another raise included.

“We’re in some negotiations right now, I don’t know how far it’s going to go,” said Lombardi.

The mayor sees the shift in manpower toward rescue service as a way to enhance public safety while earning more revenue for the town.

The “new” Rescue 3, housed at the Marieville Fire Department, has been buffed, striped, and cleaned, with new lettering added. There was also some radio work and other upgrades done.

With all service to the vehicle included, the total price tag on the added rescue is slightly less than $22,000, said Lombardi. He estimates there are between $2,000 and $2,500 worth of new tires on the vehicle.

Is this exactly what rescue personnel would have specified if they were in the market for a brand new vehicle? Likely not, said Lombardi, but it works for what the town needs.

Comments

Charlie to the RESCUE. Keep up the good work Mayor. Saving dollars saves me taxes.

I wonder how many people actually bid on this 15 year old truck?
As far as medical billing, town tax paying residents should not have to pay for emergency medical services, period.

Mayor Lombardi gets it!

Guess your not a Charlie fan.. Who cares how many bid on the truck. Probably no one needed one. If there was a bidding war going on the price would have been full price.