WALLINGFORD — The fire department is slated to replace a decades-old air fill compressor – a piece of equipment that is used to fill the airpacks firefighters wear during fires.
Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd said the department’s air fill compressor had a “catastrophic” mechanical failure and cannot be repaired. The new compressor and installation will cost $83,000.
The department had the same compressor for roughly 20 years and conducted maintenance and repairs when needed, Heidgerd said.
“We had no indication that it was going to fail,” he said.
The Town Council recently approved the department’s request to waive the bidding process for the equipment. Heidgerd felt the bid waiver was needed because the normal process would take 16 weeks he said. With the bid waiver, the vendor will deliver the new equipment in 8 to 10 weeks.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. also supported the waiver.
“These aren’t items that are in inventory somewhere,” Dickinson said during a recent council meeting. “They have to be manufactured.”
The vendor that supplies the equipment is the only air compressor vendor in the state, Heidgerd said.