|This week, City Council passed an ordinance that will allow the Houston Fire Department (HFD) to lease 105 light-duty vehicles for the Life Safety Bureau through a new pilot program. The program is designed to turnover fleet vehicles on an annual basis, which allows for the continuous introduction of new vehicles with upgrades in safety and emission standards while aiming for cost neutrality to the citizens of Houston.
“Leasing vehicles for this particular program is a sound government strategy and a more efficient and cost-effective use of taxpayer funds to replace light-duty HFD fleet at an appropriate time,” says Fire Chief Samuel Peña. “It will allow us to stretch limited budgets and we believe it will pay dividends in several key areas, including acquisitions, maintenance, and fuel expenditures.”
The agreement is a three (3) year term with two (2) one-year options with Enterprise Fleet Management. This is the first time the Houston Fire Department will successfully change out a complete division of aging vehicles at a wholesale rate.
“I have many to thank for the recent passing of Ordinance 31 this week, after 2 years of internal debate,” says Chief Peña. “First, Mayor Sylvester Turner for backing the vision of this request and supporting with the full weight of his office; Councilmember Peck and Councilmember Kamin who, among other councilmembers have supported the concept; Agenda Director Marta Crinejo who ensured a smooth process in getting the item on the last Council agenda of the year, and Assistant Fire Chief Ruy Lozano and staff, Director Jerry Adams, Director Vic Ayres, and Director Tantri Emo, who without their professionalism and dedication to fiscal responsibility this would not be possible.”