1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Sep 2004

    Default Rockford Fire Question

    Why does the city run comercial engines instead of custom, is it a price thing, just a preference. Just asking because you dont usually see that with a larger fire dept.

    Also out of the 18,500+ calls how many are fire calls (automatic alarms,car fires,trash fires, etc) and how many are actually structure fires
    Last edited by firefightermfd1; 03-01-2006 at 06:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    npfd801's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Somewhere in Illinois


    I'm not on Rockford, but I'll try to throw some answers out there. Rfd will probably chime in and correct me if I'm wrong...

    Rockford has never been a "rich" department. I think the current chief is frugal and savvy enough to realize that the commerical engines get the job done and he can have other luxuries than custom engines with the limited funding the city gives. The quints and aerials are custom units, so if the need is there for a custom unit, the department bucks up and buys what's needed... If it weren't for the prior mayor putting out a bond issue, there wouldn't be four new engines and two new ambulances put on the street this last year.

    Rockford has run commerical chassis engines as long as I remember, and in fact just recently took the last of the Forc C engines they still had in front line service and put them into reserve. Rockford runs their stuff until the wheels fall off, and has a decent shop facility to be able to do so.

    Given the size and population of Rockford, you could also make the argument that they do more with less stations, as you'll see many departments with more companies and stations serving a smaller city...

    I'm not on the inside, but I'd give the department pretty high marks for "budgetary efficiency."

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Joel, was right on the money in regards to why we run commercial engines. We run a fair number of calls on each rig and they are the most cost effective. Our engines carry basic engine equipment, trucks carry truck equipment, quints carry a little of both, and our extrication engines carry extrication tools in addition to basic engine equipment.

    Here is a close approximation of calls for last year (I saw the numbers, but didn't write them down).

    Engine Co's.: 8
    Quint Co's: 3
    Ladder Co's (including our H & L): 2
    Paramedic Ambulance Co's: 5
    District Chiefs: 2 (1-West Side, 1-East Side)
    11 Stations
    Population: 150,000-160,000

    2005 Total Calls: 19,500
    Structure Fires (Actual, where lines were laid): 225+
    Car Fires: 300+
    EMS: 15,000
    Alarms, Misc Fires, Haz Mat, Good Intent: 3,000-4,000

    FF's on the job: 272

    Minimum Staffing per Company (except for ambo): 4
    Minimum Staffing per Day: 61

    Starting Pay: $35,000 (this increases to $41,000+ on the first day of your second year). We are also in the middle of contract negotiations.

    Next Testing: Summer-Fall 2006

    14 FF's started the academy last week, I believe that we took the top 40 from the current list.

    Rockford is a great place to work because you get to see a little bit of everything (Fires, Wrecks, Shootings, Stabbings, etc....). I came from a small volunteer department before getting hired full-time and this is a whole different ball game. We have a bunch of different personalities that make the job interesting and fun.

    I you need anymore info, give me a shout!


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