Columbus Fire Department

Media Release



The Columbus Fire Department announces the addition of a rescue unit to its reserve fleet after a two year capital funding project to refurbish an invaluable public safety emergency vehicle.  Squad 5, formerly under the call sign of Squad 2, was placed into reserve status on Friday, November 9, 2018 at Columbus Fire Station 5, 100 Goeller Court. The 1998 Pierce manufactured rescue squad served as the departments front-line specialized rescue unit until early 2018.  In 2017, the Columbus Fire Department purchased a new heavy rescue unit to replace the 20 year old squad at a cost of $ 452,816.00.  In February of 2018, the department transferred the Squad 2 call sign after the delivery of the new heavy rescue unit manufactured by Emergency One Inc.  Squad 2 is housed at Station 2, 2376 Arnold St.

Columbus Fire Chief, Mike Compton, said that the department requested $150,000.00, in a 2017 capital investment request, to refurbish the 20 year old rescue after evaluating the current and future service area and delivery needs of the community, particularly on the west side of Columbus and Bartholomew County. In addition, the refurbished squad was outfitted with updated extrication equipment. The reserve unit will primarily be utilized for mutual aid calls within the county during an instance when Squad 2 is already dedicated to an emergency call.  Station 5 firefighters will have the ability to transfer staffing from Engine 5 to Squad 5 and respond on mutual aid calls or serious motor vehicle extrications within the city’s current west-side service area, which includes Interstate 65 and West State Road 46. Squad 5 is also equipped to respond to hazardous materials incidents within the city and county.

According to Columbus Fire Department data spanning 2013-2018, one third of all motor vehicle extrications occurred within the western census tracts of Bartholomew County.  Chief Compton said the decision to place the reserve unit at station 5 is a proactive approach to prepare for the 2019 increase in rail traffic projected by the Louisville and Indiana Railroad, as well as upcoming 2020 construction on the west-side SR 46 overpass “We know that the potential for response delays will increase with the number of trains moving through our community. We want to get ahead of this to maintain the highest level of service and adapt to the ever changing dynamic created by the increasing traffic issues of Interstate 65 and Louisville and Indiana Railroad.” Chief Compton adds that the department foresees a future need to fully staff the reserve unit to increase the number of firefighting and rescue resources on the city’s west-side. Chief Compton states, “The Columbus Fire Department is constantly reviewing our response areas, looking for ways to improve our service to our customers, the citizens and the visitors to our community. As our city continues to grow, this addition to our fleet is a step in the right direction.”

Squad 5 is equipped with a full complement of vehicle extrication tools, air cascade system-to refill firefighter SCBA bottles, scene lighting and hazardous material equipment.  CFD’s Squad 2, considered a Rescue Company, and is one of the most advanced companies within the department. Rescue Company firefighters have extensive technical training covering several specialized disciplined of rescue.  Its responsibilities traditionally include responding to structure fires, hazardous materials incidents, rope rescue, water rescue, building collapse, confine space rescue and vehicle extrications. The Columbus Fire Department’s Squad 2 also responds to vehicle extrication calls in rural Bartholomew County through mutual aid agreements with the county’s 10 volunteer fire departments.


Squad 5 Refurbishment Project-

Purchased as a front line Rescue Company in 1998 at a cost of $288,972.00

Cost of Refurbishment:  $150,000.00

Refurbishment Includes:

New Cummins Engine

New Transmission

New PTO Generator

New Paint and Stripping

New LED Emergency Lighting and Wiring System


Before                                                                      After