In Effort to Save Money Portland Fire Bureau Sends SUVs

January 23, 2014

The Portland Fire Bureau says it’s saving money by sending specially equipped SUVs to some aid calls instead of full-size fire trucks.

The new rapid response vehicles have a crew of two compared to four people on a truck. The SUVs also cost less to operate than a fire engine or ladder truck.

The Oregonian reports the bureau is testing the vehicles at four stations. A study to be presented to the city council Wednesday says they have saved the bureau nearly $2,000 in the period between July and October.

The fire bureau says the vehicles can respond to low-level non-emergency calls that account for about 7 percent of the dispatched calls or about 5,000 responses a year in Portland.

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