Most fire departments would be tempted to display their newest fire engine on the main page about fire apparatus. We are proud to show you our reserve fire engine, Engine 5. This apparatus logged over 140,000 miles of heavy use before being placed in reserve status. This reserve fire engine is the apparatus our crews put into service when their primary (front-line) fire engine is out-of-service for maintenance or repair. Even when a vehicle is tired and ready for replacement, we care for and maintain that vital asset until it is taken out of our fleet.
There are two vital components critical to our mission of responding to mitigate loss and suffering for our community. One is our physically fit, highly-trained professional firefighters and command officers. The other vital component is our "rolling toolboxes" of specialized equipment and functions, also known as our fire trucks.
The San Luis Obispo Fire Department takes great pride in maintaining your apparatus and equipment because - much like an airplane - the impacts of mechanical failure can be life changing. Most people don't keep their personal vehicles for 20 years, but that's exactly what we do with our heavy duty equipment, even though it often times works harder and in more adverse conditions than most other equipment.
We realize the incredible investment our community makes in providing us with quality fire apparatus, so we start every shift by inspecting, operating, and maintaining our fire engines, ladder trucks, and specialty equipment. For fire engines, we maintain them for 16 years of front-line service followed by 4 years of reserve status. For fire ladder trucks, we maintain them for 20 years of front-line service.
Maintaining heavy-duty emergency response apparatus requires much skill, training, experience, and certification. While our Fire Engineers perform daily inspection and routine maintenance on the fire apparatus, the San Luis Obispo Fire Department is proud to have on staff a Master Fire Vehicle Mechanic. We've collocated our maintenance shop at our training facility, both of which are on the campus of Fire Station 1. This allows our crews to come to one central location in the City for both training and maintenance. Often times our firefighters are in the classroom learning while our Fire Vehicle Mechanic is inspecting their apparatus. Our Fire Vehicle Mechanic and Mechanic Helper are responsible for developing the specifications for our specialty apparatus, and together this team works with our Fire Engineers to maintain our entire fleet of heavy and medium duty apparatus in Emergency Response/Operations as well as all staff vehicles that support Fire Administration and the Fire Prevention Bureau.