Engine 7 is taken out of service

Comments: 0

Fire Engine 7 has been taken out of service after 84 years of service to Roanoke’s Southwest neighborhoods. The engine was placed into service on December 13, 1922 when Fire Station 7 was opened at 1742 Memorial Avenue. A ladder truck was added in 1950 after Roanoke’s Firefighters added on an additional bay with a large bunk room above. The first Engine 7 was a 1920′s model Seagrave.
Engine 7 has been replaced with an ambulance (Medic 7). The other unit which will remain in service at Station 7 will be a Quint (Ladder 7). A Quint is a multitasking truck. Ladder 7 boasts a 75′ Aerial Ladder, Ground ladders, 300 gallons of water, hose, and a pump. In the grand scheme of Quints, ours is about as underdesigned as they can get. Ladder 13 is an identical truck and is only run as a ladder.

From the ground up, Ladder 7 has shortcomings. Here are a few of the major ones.

The ideal reach of an Aerial Ladder is at least 95′; Ladder 7 is 75′.
The ideal amount of water on an engine is at least 500 gallons; Ladder 7 holds 300 gallons.
The weight of the truck is obviously too much for the single axle design in the rear end.

From what I understand, Quint 7 will be run as an engine in its first/second due and as a ladder truck outside of that area.

The reason why I bring all this stuff up is because of what is going on in Roanoke.

Roanoke has the most aggressive Fire Department in the State! If you don’t believe me look around the State. We have had fairly safe history (knock on wood); and are very blessed by having quick response times, dedicated personnel, and hard workers.

So my question is if it isn’t broke then why fix it?

Several years ago, Engine 12 was taken out of service and replaced by Medic 4; the additional two positions were sent to Roanoke County at Clearbrook Station 7.

Now we lose Engine 7 to put another Medic truck in service.

Before you guys start screaming, I will admit that we need more ambulances. It seems like the City gets dumped daily and we are calling on other agencies to fill in and run calls for us. At what cost?

Think of it this way, if we are running more EMS calls then we are billing for more EMS calls and thus making more revenue for those EMS calls. Naturally, you would think that the additional revenue would be used to fund these additional medic trucks. Until I am proven otherwise, it is my understanding that the revenue from EMS billing is placed in the general fund of the City and not earmarked for Fire-EMS uses.

The additional Medic Trucks must come at a cost. That cost has become Engine/Ladder Companies. Our fleet of Medic trucks increases, our fleet of Fire Apparatus decreases. It seems as though we are on a crash course for potential disaster. Look around, most of the large incidents we have had in the past we have been able to handle with limited loss of life and property. But will the cost be greater in the future?

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!