City considering contract amendment to GFFR station upgrade contact; grant funds for equipment

City Commissioners will consider two funding agreements during their June 6 meeting for fire department upgrades.

Commissioners will be asked to consider a $48,000 amendment to a professional services agreement with Cushing Terrell for fire station upgrades.

Commissioners approved the agreement in December 2022 for $248,000 for the design of improvements at all four Great Falls Fire Rescue stations including updated HVAC systems, dormitory and gym areas.

City approves design contract for fire station upgrades

The project is being funded with American Rescue Plan Act funds and was identified as a top tier project for the city’s allocation of the federal COVID funds.

When commissioners approved the initial design contract, construction administration wasn’t included “as it was unclear” how much would be needed from the contractor.

City Commission approves $2.73 million contract for fire station upgrades

“Construction administration is an important task for Cushing to be able to review submittals for equipment specifications, answer questions from contractors, and be able to mitigate any necessary design changes needed during construction due to unknown conditions in the field,” according to the staff report.

The amendment will include construction administration for the entirety of the project at all four stations, according to city staff.

City discussing public safety infrastructure bond

Commissioners will also consider a $442,861.35 request for Community Development Block Grant funds for GFFR equipment at Fire Station 1.

GFFR is requesting the funds to purchase:

  • Thermal imaging cameras/3: $26,925
  • Life Pak 15 cardiac monitors/2: $74,193.84
  • Fire/ Rescue UTV: $47,000
  • Alternate response vehicle: $73,500
  • Extrication equipment: $41,193.74
  • Fire investigation vehicle: $86,347
  • Incident command vehicle: $82,800
  • Air bags: $9,409.18
  • Ice rescue suits: $1492.59

Fire Station 1’s service area accounts for a majority of the calls within the community often leaving the downtown station without additional response vehicles or equipment, according to city staff, and an increase in call volume for incidents that need smaller vehicles for response due to the location or type of incident.

GFFR launches program to gather information to help emergency responses

“The proposed equipment would greatly diversify Fire Station 1’s abilities to respond to calls in the District 1 service area and reduce the time it takes to provide response services. Because the equipment will provide fire safety services and response to a low to moderate income area, it is eligible for funding. Additionally, fire equipment is specifically stated as an eligible use of CDBG funding in regulations,” according to city staff.

City staff is recommending approval as did the city’s internal grant committee.

Without the CDBG funding, GFFR “would likely defer purchase of the equipment with their own funds due to excessive cost,” according to city staff.

Due to the station infrastructure improvement project, several of the main office staff at Station 1 downtown will relocate to other offices beginning June 5.

To pay for safety inspection certificates, call 406-791-8960.