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December 3, 2008 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at the East Windsor Town Hall at 5:30 p.m.


Dale Nelson, Vice Chairman
Mark Simmons
Blaine Simpkins
Rand Stanley
Joseph Pellegrini
Marie DeSousa
Len Norton

Unable to attend:
Denise Menard, First Selectman, Chairman (scheduled)

MOTION: To nominate Ms. Nelson as Vice Chairman of the Capital Improvement Planning Committee
Made by Mr. Stanley, seconded by Mr. Pellegrini


Chief James Barton and Deputy Chief Richard Austin came before the Committee.

Ms. Nelson advised the WHPFD that the Committee is looking at different options to fund the CIP which will be

Replacement 1990 pumper

NFPA recommends twenty (20) years replacement on piece of fire equipment.  Connecticut is not an NFPA state, but OSHA follows NFPA regulations.  Estimated time of replacement on pumpers is 20 years. This request would fund the Pumper 2015 and at that time the amount to replace is $900K, which is the best estimate the Chief could get that far out.   

It was inquired what the situation will be if there no single engine supplier by this time?  It is thought there might be only one distributor of engines – it is unknown, but it is assumed if there is one supplier the prices may be higher.   Would this force the Department not to purchase diesel, but some other source?  That is unknown at this point.

Overhead door station 138
Ms. Nelson read the request that due to the height of apparatus it is housed at Station 2.  Currently there are not many firefighters who live near Station Two – so it presents a problem with Rescue response time for the highway. It was felt the apparatus should be at Station 1 where it can be used.

This proposal would change one on west side of firehouse – the bay towards the bank there is no wires or anything in the way – there is enough room.  The firehouse has 10 ft doors now and they should be 12.   The price is out of date as it is a quote from last year.  Realistically it could be an additional 10%.  This contractor has done work on the Ellington Fire house.

Ms. Nelson asked about the future vehicles in CIP – will this also be an issue. The Chiefs said maybe – but there is room at Station 2.  The aerial and rescue go to 80% of the calls and would better serve the town response wise to be at Station 1.

Ms. DeSousa asked committee member Mr. Stanley, the building inspector, about possible issues due to the renovations when opening up the fire house doors would it cause structural code concerns.  Mr. Stanley stated raising the doors is not a structural issues.   Not everything, just parts and pieces up to code – for example, if the electrical was moved, they would  have to bring the electrical up to code.  Mr. Stanley indicated a contractor should take that into consideration when providing a quote.   

Thermal Imaging Cameras

This request is over two years – two to replace and two additional.  Two additional cameras – the ones currently used are ten or fifteen years old now and there is a problem with batteries on some.  Today there are better cameras available.   These were $28,000 a piece when they came out – the price has come down to now about $15,000.

The plan is to get two new, use the two new and the two old – then when the other two are received – the department will have four new and the two older will be kept for spare in case a newer one is out to service.

It was noted that grants were sought for the Engine and SCBA’s.  The engine was denied.  The SCBA grant is still out.

Also Broad brook put in for four cameras – they are susceptible to white outs – in  high heat.  You can enter higher heat.  Both departments are working together to get best price for camera.


The current packs were purchased in 1992.  Since that time there has been two or three upgrades.  Therefore there is not even a retrograde kit to fix this.  The Chief is replacing all of them and thought this request is for 40 or 45 airpacks.  The bottles the Department has they can still use.  Those have to be replaced every fifteen years but he can do that through the annual budget.

It was determined this request could be reduced by five packs to a request for 35 – as with the new apparatus five packs are included.

Ms. DeSousa inquired if this could be expanded over five years due to the current economic environment. Chief Barton felt these needed to be done as soon possible as the Department is already out of date.    It was inquired if this could be staggered replacement in the future.  The Chief acknowledged that would be a good idea, but there is not enough in the budget to incorporate that. It was thought the idea was to replace all and then institute a staggered schedule.

It was inquired why price differential of CIP requests for airpacks on BBFD and WHPFD.  It was noted that the bottles are different – one Department has 30 minute bottles while the other has 45 minute bottles.   Chief Barton indicated if request is honored the two departments will work together to order them all at same time.   The Company providing the quote has the market cornered for Connecticut.

This request takes in the entire driveway – including the area of the requested taller door.  In 1965 the trucks did not weigh like they do now.  One concrete pad in front – they would extend the pad currently there.  The driveway would also be wider – an extension of 40 x 100.   This presents no easement problems on either side.  Chief Barton noted that this project is overdue and the Department started putting in this request in the late 1990’s - when they started requesting the other engine.  That being said, Chief Barton cannot avoid replacing his fire equipment because of driveway issues.   

Using State bid prices was discussed and Chief Barton had no problem using state bids.  


Chief Dave Lockwood, Assistant Chief Tom Arcari, Deputy Chief  Jerry Bancroft  and Lieutenant Jeff Huffmire came before the Committee.


This request is for 25 Scott Pack – the average pack is 15 years old.  Is it governed by number of volunteers or apparatus.  The idea is to equip the apparatus.  The issue can be the spare bottles – you need to carry spare bottle and can use more than one in a fire.    It used to be bottles were more reusable and could be traded in and upgraded but now the bottles tend to be more disposable.  The bottles for BBFD are different and they ask for spare bottles.  Mr. Huffmire gave the schedule of 32 bottles that will be absolute in future years.  Also these packs have a tracing system – if the firefighter collapses it can trace where the firefighter collapsed – instead of sending 8 to 10 to locate a trapped person – they can send in four.  The company will come and program this system into the BBFD computer system at no extra charge.

BBFD is currently waiting on a grant for four cameras – where the town would be accountable for 5% if the Department is awarded the grant.  

The Department has put the Scott bottles in for the last four or five years – but these requests have historically been cut -  so the Department has  attempted to put a schedule in place to avoid a large request such as this.   Unfortunately, now their hand is forced to make this large request.

Ms. DeSousa indicated the Department needs to communicate to the Board of Finance when items budgeted are not funded to due to other costs throughout the fiscal year.   It is important to keep the Finance Board up to speed on these items.  Ms. DeSousa indicated that when a resident is on line and looking at line items funded – and when the Department comes forward at budget time to request items again – that on paper were funded last year – the resident gets the wrong impression.  The Department needs to make it a part of the record when items funded were not purchased due extenuating circumstances.   Mr. Huffmire detailed the characteristics including the truck chargers which charge the tracking devices.

Regarding the two bottles on scott pack.  A firefighter is allowed to come out of a fire once, put a new bottle in and go back into the fire.  Once that second bottle is expanded  that firefighter is done – due to safety precautions.  Therefore, other firefighters go into the blaze at that time.  The OSHA requirements for 2012 tracking devices were discussed. The Committee was looking for future OSHA  requirements to be submitted.  

It was again noted that Connecticut is not an NFPA state – but OSHA follows NFPA and they would come in to investigate the state.  OSHA does not have firefighting guideline, they would use current NFPA guideline and fine according to that.  There are Senators out West who are seeking to make NFPA federal standards.   Therefore the Department tries to keep up with the NFPA standards to avoid these possible scenarios.  

It was noted that CIRMA would do a mock OSHA without follow up letter.


The Department has tried to increase hose through budget to no avail. This would be way to boost supply and help with replacement and get the department on a regular schedule.  Majority of used hose going on 20 years old and there have been failures recently with interruptions in water supply.   The issue is due to the volume of water thru the hose, once there is a crack the hose is gone. The hoses are tested each year.  

It was asked if all had to be replaced in one year – it was not for all, it was for half.  The request is for half the supply.  It was felt this should be put through the five years so it’s a recurring expense and not just half the supply fixed.

Ms. Nelson mentioned that the CIP is trying to do things differently this year in how the money is distributed, but again cautioned the members present as to the State of the economy.


Chief DeMarco and Captain Hart came before the Committee.   


The hot water in the locker room comes from across the building and takes 20 to 30 minutes to run before hot water comes in.   There is a need for showers on occasion if you need to change your uniform due to occurrences on duty.   The water heater in the janitor closet was discussed – but it was not ideal as it was put in primarily to handle the kitchen.  Mr. Stanley did not feel that water heater was commercial.  Mr. Stanley suggested looking into solar heater where there is possibility federal and energy rebates available which may provide a pleasant surprise for the town.  Mr. Stanley will research this issue, including the Governor’s initiative to go green as well as the initiative for solar and the potential return to the Town from the State.   Mr. Stanley will pull information for the Police Department.

As of right now every uniformed officer does not have a locker.    If you go to a scene with blood or body fluids you do not go home with that on your clothes.  So officers come in plain clothes and then get changed.   Whatever they carry there is a lot of gear and there is a need.

There are supervisors and officers with no locker which makes things difficult.   Current lockers are from a school and only 17 are wide enough to be used.

It is labeled Men’s Lockers – but that is a typo – this is a submission for Men’s and Women’s locker room.   


There needs to be a regular cruiser rotation to avoid it coming in waves.  The Department is seeing a situation where unmarked cars are hitting high miles.  The department would like to reach out in plan that is set for years to come and then the Town would have a solid, safe well maintained fleet.   

Maintenance costs were discussed, including the higher number vehicles. These are service vehicles and the maintenance costs are higher. These are cars that run 24 hours a day, multiple drivers, with stops and starts.  This schedule will help including the rotation through the town of these vehicles – viable vehicles can be handed down to other departments.  

The captain indicated concern last year with maintenance budget due to the age of his vehicles – and the use of scrap parts on vehicles which were salvaged helped weather the storm of the maintenance costs.  This year presents a different scenario and is more in line with maintenance budget as a result of the new vehicles many of which can go to the dealer under warranty.  

It was asked if there was a magic number if a vehicle is taken off the road.  It was felt the 100,000 mile mark in law enforcement realm.  That being said some vehicles 75 to 80K a car can go townside and be viable.  It is difficult to determine the mileage per year of the fleets.  The goal is to have a fleet that is shared – so the mileage on vehicles goes up equally.   The idle hours of these vehicles is high as well.   


MOTION:  To adjourn at 7:05 p.m.
Made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Ms. DeSousa

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary