What is it?
When certain types of vehicles are no longer needed by the federal government, they become available at military and federal installations across the country. Through the Federal Excess Personal Property Program (FEPP), the Nebraska Forest Service, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, is able to acquire some of these vehicles, which are reconditioned and loaned to cooperating rural fire districts. Currently, almost 300 pieces of FEPP equipment are in use by 180 rural fire districts across Nebraska.
While in use by rural fire districts, the equipment remains federal property. When no longer needed, the equipment is returned to NFS; it is then either reassigned or sold, with the proceeds returned to the federal treasury.
From Fire Shop to Fire District
NFS is responsible for screening, retrieving, reconditioning, inventorying and assigning federal excess personal property.
The process begins when vehicles are screened through the Government Services Administration (GSA) website and brought to the Nebraska Forest Service Fire Shop near Mead, Nebraska. Upon arrival at the fire shop, mechanics inspect each vehicle to determine what repairs and upgrades are necessary.
Next, repairs are made to bring the vehicle up to current safety standards. Additional safety devices, such as back-up alarms, light bars, electrical converters and, if necessary, hard tops are often added to each vehicle, making them suitable for use by rural fire districts.
Responsibilities of Cooperating Fire Districts
Cooperating fire districts are responsible for painting the vehicle within six months of receiving it from the NFS Fire Shop. Additionally, districts must keep the truck’s water load within specifications and maintain the truck while in use.
Benefits to Cooperating Fire Districts
The Federal Excess Personal Property Program allows fire districts to obtain essential fire-fighting equipment at an affordable price. Additionally, the NFS Fire Shop can provide cooperating fire districts resources for reducing vehicle maintenance costs. This includes securing parts for vehicles and providing compliementary maintenance checks during each vehicle’s bi-annual inventory.
Mechanics can also provide routine vehicle maintenance at the NFS Fire Shop or fire districts may use a trusted local mechanic. As part of the Fire Shop’s goal of remaining service-oriented, two mobile repair units are available to respond to the maintenance needs of cooperating fire districts. These units will be available to provide routine repairs, as well as on-site support for cooperating districts in the event of catastrophic fires.
For More Information
For more information about the Nebraska Forest Service's FEPP program or to inquire about equipment availability, contact Lew Sieber at (402) 624-8061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Printable version of the FEPP brochure. (Adobe Acrobat required.)