An engine company is the basic fire suppression unit. Engines are capable of pumping water and carry a complement of hose. Most of the recently purchased apparatus have pumps that are capable of pumping water at approximately 1000 gallons per minute. Some engines are also outfitted to flow foam and other special extinguishing agents. Engines respond alone to brush & car fires, emergency medical calls & service calls. They respond as part of a compliment of apparatus to building fires and hazards such as gas leaks. The minimum manning level is 3 personnel: driver/FF-II, FF-II and an officer (Captain).
The primary responsibility of an Engine Company is the extinguishment of fire with water. The fire engine typically arrives at the scene of a fire to lead out hose lines that direct water at the seat of the fire. Progress or forward movement of the engine company is dependent on the amount and volume of fire, as well as the condition of the building. In addition, engine companies are used at large fires to pump water into snorkel and tower ladders implemented to deliver large amounts of water to a fire.
Charlottesville Fire Department's newest apparatus is Engine 2. Engine 2 is a 1997 Pierce 1,000 gpm pumper with a tilt cab. This engine carries 500 gallons of water, 1,000 feet of 4" hose, 1,200 feet of 2 1/2" hose and 3 pre-connected lines. The power plant is a Detroit Diesel 60 series (425 hp) and the transmission is an Allison "World" automatic. Besides normal service brakes, Engine 2 is equipped with a Telma driveline retarder. Engine 2 is also equipped with the Opticom traffic signal control system, as is all other emergency apparatus in the fleet. Engine 2 is manned with a crew of 3 and is housed at the Headquarters Station on Ridge Street.
Engine 2 has several changes over other apparatus in the fleet. Featured are Dover roll-up doors on all compartments, a lockable EMS equipment locker, a powered electric reel in the rear for better access and better equipment mounting scheme. The generator is also a new concept. Equipped with a 7.2 Kw hydraulic generator, there is no need for powering up a gas or diesel power plant. The generator is running anytime the engine is running, all one has to do is flick a switch and the side quartz lights are running. This works really well for locating a street address in the dark as well as being much more reliable.