The North County Fire Protection District declared a 1990 auto extrication system to be surplus equipment.
The 5-0 NCFPD board vote Jan. 28 allows the 1990 Amkus auto extrication system of a pump, a spreader, a cutter, and three rams to be auctioned or otherwise sold using approved methods.
The district used the Amkus systems after purchasing them. “Since then the technology has improved,” said NCFPD deputy fire chief Ed Sprague. “We have new extrication tools on our apparatus.”
A significant factor in the need to upgrade extrication equipment was a Federal motor vehicle standard in the 1990s which called for increased side impact protection. The use of a stronger steel alloy made extrication more difficult, if not impossible, using the older extrication equipment, and the extrication equipment manufacturers responded with their own upgrades. The old cutters had a strength of 40,000 pounds with a maximum strength of 70,000 pounds at the notch while the new cutters have a strength of 57,000 pounds with a maximum of 200,000 pounds at the notch. In 2008, the North County Fire Protection District purchased Holmatro extrication systems.
All six NCFPD stations have ram extrication apparatus. Stations 1, 4, and 5 also have cutters and spreaders while Stations 2 and 3 have a combination cutter/spreader system. Stations 1 and 4 also have tension buttresses.
The Amkus system which was declared surplus was pulled from service in 2012 but maintained as a backup. The district has other backup equipment to augment the primary extrication systems. “It’s time for this to go find a life with another apparatus,” Sprague said.
The auction may send the 1990 system directly to a volunteer fire department or a Mexican fire department, and it could also be purchased by a resaler who would sell the equipment to a willing fire department. The sale is expected to bring NCFPD approximately $2,000, and the proceeds would be deposited into the fire district’s general fund.