Part 2 of a commentary by Bill Post on the Chicago Fire Department history: Part 1 can be found HERE.

Mike, I too felt that it was ridiculous for the Chicago Fire Department to be running with a ‘Snorkel Squad 3’ for over 2 years without a Snorkel assigned to it. Only for the last few months before going out of service did they correctly re-designate Snorkel Squads 2 and 3 as Rescues 2 and 3. There was a reason for that however. The simple answer would be to say that it was recommended by a consultant study known as the Maatman Report. This was only partially true as ultimately the city didn’t want to spend the money that was necessary to keep fire companies in service and to provide adequate staffing.
The City of Chicago had hired a consultant who was the head of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Fire Science program by the name of Gerald Maatman. He also headed the National Loss Control Service Corporation. The City of Chicago had first hired him in 1963 to do a comprehensive study of the Chicago Fire Department, which included the fire stations, their locations, and the distribution of Chicago’s fire companies. The study was done in part to help Chicago raise the AIA fire insurance rating to a Class 2, which it achieved the following year. For your information, the AIA now is known as ISO and was originally known as the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The 1963/64 Maatman study was really quite good. It recommended that many new fire stations be built and that fire companies from the center city be relocated to the outlying areas of the city that had poor fire station coverage.
While there were some companies that he did recommend be taken of service, there were also some companies that he recommended to be moved into the new fire stations. He didn’t recommend any manpower reductions on the companies, plus there were even a few select fire companies that he had recommended to have a 6th man added. The report recommended that 16 engines be taken out of service from a total of 120 engines that were still in service, and that three new truck companies be added to the 60 that were in service. No Snorkels, Snorkel Squads, or squad companies were recommended to be taken out of service. Five years later (in 1968) another Maatman Report was commissioned by the city, however this time the recommendations were quite a bit different from the first (1963) report.
First let me tell you what had changed. In 1967, the Chicago Fire Department had given firefighters an additional day off (in other words they agreed to further reduce their working hours). However, the city refused to hire more men or increase the number of firefighter positions to reflect the reduction in hours. By 1967, two of the squad companies had been out of service for a few years. Squad 12 was taken out of service in 1964 to create Truck 62. Squad 7 was taken out of service in 1965 to create Snorkel Squad 3. In December of 1966 and February of 1967, Squads 1 and 2 had become Salvage Squads 1 and 2. That really wasn’t a big change as both stayed at their same locations and even had the same apparatus. They were given more salvage covers and would respond citywide on 2-11s to do salvage work. In April of 1967, Squad 3 was involved in a serious accident and the apparatus was declared a total loss. Squad Company 3 was disbanded on April 17th. Squads 6 and 13 were taken out of service on June 16th, just three months after Squad 3 was disbanded. Squads 8 and 10 were downgraded (on the same day) to one-man companies who would only respond on Still and Box Alarms with their driver. Slightly over a month later, Squad 10 was taken out of service and Squad 5 became a one-man company.
By the end of the summer, only Salvage Squads 1 and 2, and Squads 4, 9, and 11 were fully-manned squads. In early 1968, all of the squads (with the exception of Salvage Squads 1 and 2, and Squads 4 and 9) were out of service. I’m not including Snorkel Squads 1, 2, and 3 that were still in service in 1968 even though SS3 was running without a Snorkel for over a year by then. Because of the reduced hours, the manpower situation was so bad that by 1968 one wouldn’t know from day to day if an engine or truck would be running with five men or only four. The unpredictable manpower situation was another reason why the city rehired Gerald Maatman to do another study.
This new study recommended that about 3/5ths of the engine and truck companies run with only four men assigned to them. It further recommended the creation of six Flying Manpower Squads with a crew of six firefighters each to respond to still alarms supplementing the four-man companies. The remaining engines and trucks, which were located downtown, near the lakefront, and in the busy areas of the city, were to run with five-man companies. These wouldn’t normally have a Flying Manpower Squad respond with them.
There was more to the 1968 Maatman Report.  It recommended that all three Snorkel Squads be taken out of service and that only Salvage Squad 1 remain in service as the “downtown” squad company. He stated in his report that the special equipment that was carried on the Snorkel Squads could be carried on the new Flying Manpower Squads and the remaining Salvage Squad. He also had recommended that some of the equipment could be assigned to engines and trucks. He was right about that, as the fire department started equipping most of the engine companies with new multi-versals that previously were only carried on the Snorkel Squads.
The CFD also started assigning all trucks a K-12 rotary power. These saws previously were only carried on the Snorkel Squads. In the same report from 1968, the consultant recommended that one regular Snorkel Company (Snorkel 6) be taken out of service. Another recommendation was to move Snorkel 3 from Engine 84’s old house to Engine 60, which wasn’t a problem after Snorkel Squad 2 was taken out of service. Snorkel 2 was supposed to remain in service at Engine 28’s house, except they were to be given Snorkel Squad 1’s new Mack MB 55-foot Snorkel that had been delivered in 1967. Snorkel 4 was to be moved from Engine 25 (near the Loop) to Engine 67 (on the far west side) and Snorkel 7 was to be moved from Engine 55’s house to Engine Company 110. Snorkel 5 would remain at Engine 43’s house on the northwest side. The idea was to have the five remaining Snorkels located either in or near the high fire frequency areas. In those days (the late 1960s) the high fire frequency area on the south side really didn’t go much further south then 79th or 83rd Street, about as far east as Jeffrey (2000 East), and about as far west as Ashland (1600 west).
The consultant also recommended that ladder pipes be put on every truck company. There weren’t more then 25 ladder pipes in the field at the time. Having a ladder pipe on a truck allowed them to put an elevated stream into operation without having to wait for a Snorkel to arrive.