Are you kidding me? They ( Columbia SC ) are trying to cut expenses but how are they going to do that? They are going to use there engine as a reserve and there 100' platform Tower as a first response unit. Seriously? This is going to save money? I don't know a lot about the specs. of fire apparatus but as far as I know an engine gets a whole lot better fuel mileage than a tower right? I understand about having to find ways to save money but is this really the best way it can be done? I think this is the correct link to the video so you call can watch it and say what you think.

http://www.wistv.com/global/category.asp?c=151146&clipId=&t...

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Running a tower like that on shoe runs that's just silly. I've heard departments going to medic engines. I guess medic aerials is the next step in the evolution. The Pierce they have in "reserve" looks pretty new. Just a shame.
The ladders in question are quints. Columbia doesn't run nearly as high a truck-to-engine ratio as some cities, so they don't have a lot of ladders to close. Given that they had to shut down a unit in two different double-company stations, and that the quint can function as both an engine and a ladder, keeping the quints in service is the smart thing for them to do.

When you're talking about saving three firefighter salaries per station, per shift, the slightly lower fuel mileage for the quints is a drop in the bucket.

No one likes shutting down units, but when FDNY, Philly, Atlanta, etc. are shutting down companies, it's no surprise that Columbia would have to do the same.
St. Louis went to the all quint concept years ago. Reduces the number of apparatus on the road.

I have seen two companies, 3 man engine and 3 man ladder be consolidated into (1) 5 man quint. Reduces the engine apparatus completely, maintenance costs, CIP for future replacement purchases, and one firefighter per shift, but it can pump a fire just a good as an engine could...

The downside is if they reduce the manpower so low that you are only able to man the quint as an engine or an aerial, lets say laying off the entire ladder company and cross manning the quint with the engine men, this would be a reduction in services.

Where I work for example, we run a 3 man quint, we get our orders prior to arrival as to what and how we will operate, I could be an engine co tonight or maybe a ladder co but it depends on what the IC wants done on arrival.

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