By Frank Lewis
Portsmouth City Council will take action to authorize Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen to begin to advertise for bids and to enter into contracts with the lowest and/or best bidder for required supplies, materials and services for 2016. The move is in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 735.05.
On Monday night Council is expected to give the action a first reading.
Yearly requirements include such items as manhole rings and covers, asphaltic concrete, uniforms for police and fire departments, chemicals for water filtration, police department radio maintenance and other equipment and services.
Section 735.05 requires municipalities to let for bid on items when an expenditure exceeds $50,000.
Meanwhile, the city will now need to purchase a fill station for it’s Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipment used by members of the Portsmouth Fire Department.
A self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA, sometimes referred to as a compressed air breathing apparatus (CABA), or simply breathing apparatus (BA), is a device worn by rescue workers, firefighters, and others to provide breathable air in an “Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health” atmosphere (IDLH).
In 2014 the fire department replaced its SCBAs with new 5,500 per square inch (psi) Scott Packs. The new breathing apparatuses are lighter and more compact than previous generations. However, the personnel were unaware that fill stations being produced up until very recently, and designed in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901 requirements, were not designed for containment testing above 4,500 psi.
That meant the current fill station, purchased in 1998 potentially would not handle the pressures generated by a 5,500 psi bottle should a catastrophic failure occur.
The estimate from BreAthing Air Systems lists the original price of $11,842, showing a 16 percent discount, bringing the cost to $9,947.28, less $1,000 for the trade-in of their existing unit, the new price is $8,947.28. Allen said there is an additional cost for shipping and installation of $819 and he is requesting an additional $1,000 for contingency.
Allen authorized Fire Chief Bill Raison to go ahead with the purchase because of the safety issue, and he said the city can take care of the appropriation at the end of the year.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.