Here is the letter Freightliner sent to Joe Hester, President of the Glendale Fire Union. Note that it was copied to the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Mayor and all Councilmembers and the Glendale Star. I apologize if the formatting is a little wonky. I am still not an expert on all things blog.
February 17, 2014
Captain, Glendale Fire Department
Vice President, United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association
Dear Mr. Joe Hester.
I am shocked that you are attacking Freightliner Arizona with baseless facts and trying to characterize our organization as not wanting to support the safety of the Firefighters in Glendale.
In your opinion piece, “Fire Truck Manufacturers Should stick to the Facts”, you point out that Freightliner of Arizona was offering an inferior product that lacked the Extruded Body and Cab, the Telma Auxiliary Brake in our proposal. Maybe you never got a chance to look at our proposal, but it included those items at a price of $422,838, plus tax.
We spent a great deal of time trying to get specific information in written form so we could verify we were providing exactly what Glendale Fire wanted. What we received were a couple of verbal “Must Haves”: Extruded Body and Cab, Telma Brake and Electronic Valves. These items were all supplied in our proposal. We even went as far as going to a Glendale Fire Station to measure the body and compartment dimensions so we could have Rosenbauer duplicate them and draw up the apparatus to best match the equipment being used by the department today.
It is insulting that you or any Fire Fighter might feel that Freightliner of Arizona would condone providing inferior or unsafe Fire Apparatus to any community, least of all Glendale Fire. We know that there are severe budget issues facing the community and some of the “must have options” are very expensive and not widely used throughout the industry. Freightliner of Arizona’s proposal included all of these items, but communicated to the Department that there were less expensive more widely used options that could be provided; Thus, saving the Department and Glendale money so that these funds could be used for other purposes in the Department.
You claim that all of the communities around Arizona have these options. I would ask that you investigate this claim, because you will find that 80% do not have Extruded Bodies and that 90% do not have Telma Brake and about 90% do not have electronic valves. These items are available on Fire Trucks and fit certain purposes, but the cost versus the benefit has been reviewed by most of your fellow fire fighters and they chose not to have these items on their apparatus. I am sure that you feel that these are needed in Glendale, but the majority of fire fighters do not. There is no data that would indicate that these items improve safety for a fire fighter. If there was, the National Fire Protection Association, which provides governance over Fire Fighter Safety, would require these devices on all fire apparatus.
Freightliner of Arizona has been providing Fire Apparatus and parts, service and warranty to Arizona Fire Departments since 1998, and did not just return to selling Fire Trucks as you said. We have participated with most of the major Fire Departments in bids and RFP’s. We have never had to approach a City Council about how we were treated in the procurement process. We have never suggested that Fire Fighters should ever be put in unsafe apparatus or conditions. We believe quite the opposite! We understand, probably better then most, the importance of fire fighter safety and how vehicle specification and design can insure it.
Joe, it is extremely unfortunate that you have been misinformed about what we provided to the Glendale Fire. I am providing you a copy of what we submitted to Glendale so you can confirm what I am telling you is the truth. I hope you realize that our objection on the way the procurement process was handled was not an attack on Glendale Fire Fighters, but on the people who were responsible to conduct themselves as professionals and fiduciaries of the community.
I think that when all the facts weigh in you will see that Freightliner of Arizona was mislead and provided inaccurate information on which we provided a proposal. The apparatus our competitor proposed to Glendale Fire was not the same design and more expensive resulting in the Council being asked to approve $484,000 plus dollars instead of the $422,838 we bid. With tax that only comes to $ 57,934. That leaves over $26,000 unaccounted for! Doesn’t that concern you? It sure did us! Especially when we knew we included the “Must Have” components and told that our bid was high bid! It just doesn’t add up!
Freightliner of Arizona is not the enemy of Glendale Fire Fighters. That is not why we brought this issue to the Council. We did it because the procurement process to purchase this new Fire Truck was broken. We want to participate in a fair and transparent process where the most competitive and responsible bidder wins the award! We look forward to participating in the new RFP that Glendale Fire will be issuing. We hope the process will be fair so if we can provide the best, safest and most competitive Fire Truck, we hope Glendale Fire will want to do business with us.
General Sales Manager
9899 W Roosevelt St.
Cc: Mayor Jerry Weiers
Here is the Freightliner bid document. Freightliner represents Rosenbauer in Arizona:
Bid Price and Delivery Schedule For
************ City of Glendale ***********
Rosenbauer America, LLC is pleased to provide this bid proposal. The proposed apparatus has been tailored around the requirements of the fire service industry and we are confident that our proposal will meet and exceed the needs of the department. The proposed apparatus will be constructed utilizing only the highest quality materials and workmanship available in the industry. The apparatus will provide the upmost firefighter safety and efficiency on the fire ground along with extended life and lower maintenance cost throughout the life of the vehicle.
 Rosenbauer Commander pumper w/EXT body: $422,838.00 plus tax and HCAC fees
* See page 2 for prepayment discounts and page 3 for additional options
The specifications herein contained shall form a part of the final contract, and are subject to changes desired by the purchaser, provided such alterations are interlined prior to the acceptance by the company of the order to purchase, and are provided such alterations do not materially affect the cost of the construction of the apparatus.
The proposal for fire apparatus conforms to all Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations in effect at the time of bid, and with all National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines for automotive fire apparatus as published at the time of bid, except as modified by customer specifications. Any increased costs incurred by the first party because of future changes in or additions to said DOT or NFPA standards will be passed along to the customers as an addition to the price set forth above.
The proposed truck will be completed in no more than: 330-360 Days ARO
This offer shall remain valid for thirty, (30) calendar days from the quotation submittal date of November 22, 2013
Contract payment of one-hundred percent (100%) of the purchase price shall be paid upon delivery and acceptance of the completed unit.
As an option Rosenbauer is offering a prepayment discount should the City wish to 100% prepay for the apparatus at the time of order. This option will include a 100% performance to guarantee the production of the unit. The prepayment discount would be $5,707.00 and would drop the sale price to $417,131.00 plus tax and HGAC fees. The tax rate would drop from 8.3% to 5.6%.
Original price $422,828.00 + $35,096.00 (8.3%) = $457,934.00 plus HGAC fees
Prepayment price $417,131.00 + $23,359.00 (5.6%) = $440,490.00 plus HGAC fees
The prepayment option would save the City over $17,000.00.
I want to thank the City of Glendale for the opportunity to serve the needs of the department.