My department got done replacing a 1977 pumper with a new rig, which is working out satisfactorily so far and a 1984 LaFrance is the next candidate for replacement. What concerns me is how many volunteer depts. in Western New York are still operating equipment older than 25 years of age and are these rigs even capable of passing the tests required of them. Another concern of mine is that the standards for apparatus could be manipulated to force smaller departments to either replace older rigs with new equipment, whether or not they can afford it or close up shop. Not every volunteer department can afford to replace aging equipment on a regular basis. Who sets the performance standards for fire rigs, experts who know what they are doing or are political hacks who do not know anything about the fire service also involved. To force a small company out of business because it cannot afford a shiny new rig like the wealthier suburbs and cities can, would most assuredly strip the area it serves of badly needed fire protection. Shouldn't Home Land Security be paying for some of this cost?