Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 007-19180-00; City of Cranston
PW ID# PW 693; Replacement of Fire Department Protective Gear
January 6, 2012
J. David Smith
Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency
Executive Office of Public Safety
645 New London Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920
Re: Second Appeal–City of Cranston, PA ID 007-191800-00, Replacement of Fire Department Protective Gear, FEMA-1894-DR-RI, Project Worksheet (PW) 693
Dear Mr. Smith:
This is in response to a letter from your office dated March 30, 2011, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of Cranston (Applicant). Your correspondence also refers to the second appeal for PW 577 (Police Vehicles), which will be addressed in a separate letter. The Applicant requests that the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fund the full replacement costs of fire protective gear and equipment damaged as a result of severe storms and flooding restoring the disallowed amount of $33,106.
The Cranston Fire Department sustained damage to fire protective gear and equipment as a result of performing emergency protective measures for the community due to flooding from severe storms during the period of March 12, 2010 through April 12, 2010. The Applicant prepared PW 693 for total costs of $58,277 to replace bunker gear protective equipment, boots, gloves, ice rescue suits, and selected sections of fire hose.
FEMA reviewed the PW and concluded that some of the equipment could be returned to service after cleaning and decontamination, based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and industry cleaning standards. FEMA Region 1 contacted a certified service provider for cleaning and decontamination of fire department protective gear and equipment, for their recommendation on cleaning and decontamination of the affected gear. The service provider stated that hose and bunker gear that are contaminated with raw sewage can be cleaned by using a commercial cleaning service specifically for fire department equipment. The PW was amended to reflect cleaning costs for twenty Fire-Dex Bunker Pants and Jacks and assorted suction and fire hoses resulting in a net deduction of $33,106. This adjustment also included shipping costs for all equipment and hoses that would be cleaned. The reimbursement for new gloves, boots, and ice suits was considered fair and reasonable because decontamination of these articles was not feasible. On August 24, 2010, FEMA obligated PW 693 for a total of $25,171.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on September 14, 2010, which was transmitted by the State to FEMA on September 20, 2010. The Applicant stated that all fire department protective gear and equipment should be replaced based on the fact that the equipment and bunker gear cannot be tested for contamination without destroying the materials, and therefore the equipment is not known to be safe for reuse. The Applicant further stated that FEMA overlooked and ignored the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement of twenty Fire-Dex Bunker Pants and Jackets, and assorted suction and fire hoses. On October 26, 2010, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal and reaffirmed FEMA’s initial determination that cleaning costs for twenty Fire-Dex Bunker Pants and Jacks and assorted suction and fire hoses were reasonable and consistent with FEMA policy and NFPA standards.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 3, 2011, which was forwarded to FEMA from the State on March 30, 2011. The Applicant reiterates its claim in the first appeal that it is not possible to know if the selected gear and equipment is contaminated without testing to destroy the materials, and should be replaced. Supporting documentation includes a letter and email from the Applicant’s regional sales manager for Fire-Dex gear that states that the affected gear should be retired from service and disposed of in accordance with NFPA standards. A copy of this letter was also included in the original PW.
In accordance with FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9524.10, Replacement of Equipment, Vehicles, and Supplies, “the cost to replace equipment, vehicles, and supplies that are destroyed by a major disaster are eligible for reimbursement.” The Applicant did not provide sufficient evidence that the selected items were destroyed by the event, but claim testing for contamination will destroy the Fire-Dex bunker gear. In Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9525.8, Damage to Applicant Owned Equipment Performing Emergency Work, eligible costs “…include replacement of fire hoses used to pump raw sewage or other contaminated liquids under emergency conditions, and when the cleaning of the hoses was not reasonably feasible." NFPA 1851 standards state that cleaning and decontamination must be performed by trained personnel or a certified service provider. FEMA confirmed standard practices for cleaning versus replacement of the gear and equipment in question. This practice includes cleaning and decontamination of equipment and gear that has been exposed to water contaminated with raw sewage. The Applicant has not provided sufficient documented justification to support its position that the selected personal protective gear and equipment cannot be cleaned, decontaminated, and returned to service.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal. Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: Don R. Boyce
FEMA Region I