Cities to jointly purchase air bottle fill station

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 16, 2018

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Along with new, longer-lasting air bottles for their self-contained breathing apparatuses, the cities of Grosse Pointe Farms, Shores and Woods are now also getting a new refilling station for those bottles.

During a meeting Oct. 8, the Farms City Council unanimously approved the Farms’ portion of the purchase. All three cities are contributing equally to the total cost of $35,876.22, making the Farms’ share $11,958.74.

Farms Public Safety Director Daniel Jensen said the Farms’ current filling station is no longer working and was only able to fill the city’s old air bottles, which can be used for roughly 30 minutes at a time before they need to be replaced with another air bottle on a fire or water rescue scene.

The Farms and the other cities recently have replaced their older air bottles with new ones that contain about 45 minutes worth of air. The new equipment has other improvements, but Jensen said the old filling station can’t be used with the new air bottles.

It wasn’t known at press time which city would house the refilling station.

“The location is still being discussed,” Jensen said. “We believe strongly it should be in the Farms … because we have a dive team and would use it the most.”

In addition, Jensen said the Farms has four fire specialists — more than the other cities — and they would be able to fix the fill station and fill the bottles when they’re depleted.

Also, “our station is already plumbed for it, so it would need less electrical work,” Jensen said. Because the Farms dive team practices on-site, having the fill station there “would be more expedient,” he said.

City Councilman Peter Waldmeir wondered if the Farms’ usage might be a factor in the cost sharing.

“(The cost) would be (evenly) split three ways … regardless of usage?” he asked.

Jensen said that was the case.

Keeping the expense of this purchase down was why the departments worked jointly.

“We got together with the (public safety) chiefs in the Shores and the Woods and did some research,” Jensen said. “We decided it would be in line with what we’ve been trying to do the last six, seven, eight years, to make these (purchases) as a group to cut costs.”

Jensen said Grosse Pointe City and Park weren’t interested in being part of this purchase because the Park has a fill station, and that was also the case for Harper Woods.

The low bid — one of two bids on this equipment — came from Breathing Air Systems, based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.