How many of you have the MABAS numbering system on your trucks?
We will have a new engine in the fall and we are wondering what we should number it as. Currently we use the St. Louis county system where the first two digits are the dept. identifier, the 3rd number is the station it is located at, and the 4th number is the type of apparatus. So our engine at station 1 is 1412.
Recently a number of depts. in the county adopted the MABAS numbering system which differs from the St. Louis County style. Some other departments still use the old county two digit system while others simply label their units as Pumper 1 or Truck 2.
When I started looking at department websites in what I consider the cradle of MABAS (division 1,2,3) I was surprised to see that I found NO four digit style numbering on ANY of the pictures of apparatus. Alot of the pictures were of recently delivered trucks.
So my question is, if the bastion of MABAS doesnt use the standardized numbering system why does MABAS have it? Do these departments that have "Engine 1" or "Engine 21" on the truck say something different when they are on the radio like Engine 1511?
As we replace new apparatus I am wondering if we should stay with the St. Louis County system, go to the 'official' MABAS system or go with the tempting Engine 1,2,3 Truck 1, Rescue 1, etc.
I have never been to a large MABAS incident but I would think operations personnel would refer to an engine from a town by the town name rather than the 4 digit number. If not, engines from different counties with the same two digit identifier would be confused. For instance if our engine in Godfrey (1412) and an engine from Cahokia in another county (1412) showed up in Springfield for a tornado wouldnt you say Godfrey's engine and Cahokia's engine rather than 1412? If someone didnt specify which 1412 would it not create confusion?
I appreciate any input and thoughts. Thank you!