Fuel Management

Portland Fire SUVs Keep Apparatus in Station

January 24, 2014, by Paul Clinton

Photo courtesy of Portland Fire and Rescue.
Photo courtesy of Portland Fire and Rescue.

Portland Fire and rescue crews have been using large SUVs as rapid response vehicles rather than a full-size fire truck for traffic collisions and other calls.

The four GMC Yukon SUVs were introduced in August to relieve the large apparatus on medical calls, which has resulted in a significant cost savings, said Ron Rouse, a unit communications officer.

More than 80 percent of the unit's calls are for medical emergencies. Response times have fallen at four stations using the vehicles.

"The specially-equipped SUVs get better mileage and their maintenance and repair costs are much lower than for full-sized fire apparatus, saving the department thousands of dollars," Rouse said.

Firefighters carry the same medical supply equipment in the SUVs as the would on a fire apparatus. Two fire engines were retired to pay for the SUVs, reports KATU.

By Paul Clinton

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