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  • Feedback on Quint Operations

    I would like to get some feedback / opinions on initial company operations with a Quint. Some background: We operate a 75' Quint, 1500 gpm pump, 900' 5" with 300 gallons water as our first out unit. We run a pumper second out, and our mutual aid companies all run pumpers first out.

    I would like to know how other companies with similar vehicles handle initial operations at a "normal" structure fire. Assuming you have a crew of four, driver, officer and 2 firefighters with SCBA, what are your most immediate priorities if you are first in. Specifically:

    1. Who would be responsible for setting up the ariel, setting jack plates, jacking the truck, etc?

    2. Do you have your attack crew help with setting up the truck?

    3. Who would operate the ladder if you are also pumping (we do not have ladder controls at the pump panel)?

    4. What changes if you have more or less than 4 people on the truck?

    And any other input you have. Also note that we do not normally lay line with this vehicle, we typically have the first engine in do that. We also do not normally have another ladder truck on the alarms, normal response is 3 or 4 engines and our Quint plus aux. units.

    We are trying to set up seating assignments for this truck and want to do some more research on it.

    Thanks for any input.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • #2
    OK - you have me a little confused. You said:

    We operate a 75' Quint, 1500 gpm pump, 900' 5" with 300 gallons water as our first out unit. We run a pumper second out, and our mutual aid companies all run pumpers first out.

    If I read that correctly- then the first truck out- and I assume the first truck to arrive is the quint.

    Then in the closing of your posting you said:
    Also note that we do not normally lay line with this vehicle, we typically have the first engine in do that.

    The quint is first out, probably first to arrive (right ?)?

    If you are first in- and you don't lay hose with this apparatus - who is laying hose to fight fire? If you are waiting for the first in engine to lay hose (aren't you the first in engine?) Is the fire getting ahead of you - while you wait for the next in engine?

    To me - size-up seems to be crucial here.
    Your apparatus can perform two functions - that of a ladder and an engine. You need to make a decision as to how to act and that is determined by size-up. Is there an immediate threat to life safety? Is there a person on an upper floor threatening to jump? Then you will need to set up as a ladder and rescue that person.

    If there isn't a life threatened - well, then you better be stretching a line to get to that fire.
    Life Safety first, then ...
    Locate, confine, extinguish.

    You also ask several questions -

    1. Who would be responsible for setting up the ariel, setting jack plates, jacking the truck, etc?
    2. Do you have your attack crew help with setting up the truck?
    3. Who would operate the ladder if you are also pumping (we do not have ladder controls at the pump panel)?
    4. What changes if you have more or less than 4 people on the truck?


    The answer to these questions falls back on size-up. What you encounter will determine what needs to be done. Your 'attack crew' isn't doing much attacking if they are setting up the aerial.

    If you need the aerial to save a life.... then get it set up - put that stick in the air, and save the life. Forget about the handline until you accomplish the task at hand.

    You have kinda set something up for me- and it is the reason that I don't like quints. Before anyone tries to say anything against me-- I could care less - if it works for you, then use it - but follow my train of thought here.

    I feel that a 'Truck'- any ladder, should have a pump. If you have a waterway on your aerial device, then it should be able to supply it. I think it is a waste of equipment to task an engine to supply water to an aerial. Poor management. Granted - there are many different situatons that can be encountered, and there may be a situation where a pumper is needed to relay pump, etc...

    I also feel that ladder apparatus should have at least one handline - as a means of self defense. By their nature- once thay are set up -they are in a fixed position and the fireground situation may change quickly, and radiant heat can really effect the paint job of your $350,000.00 quint.

    Quints are nice, as long as your department's buying a quint doesn't replace 2 seperate pieces of apparatus.
    Firefighting is a labor intensive activity. If you had a ladder, and an engine, then you could be accomplishing both tasks at the same time. The ladder would be rescuing person threatening to jump- while the engine company is stretching the initial attack line.

    We [the fire service] have been cutting our own throats.
    "We'll do more with less..."
    When are we going to say enough is enough. There does come a time when we are too shorthanded to accomplish the task at hand.

    To answer your questions --
    1. The chauffer (driver, apparatus operator, whatever you call him) can set up the truck with the aid of the officer. This would leave the two other FF's to stretch hose. But it prohibits the officer from being able to conduct his size up.

    2. Again- depends on size up. What is the more necessary task - stretching the line- or setting up the aerial?? If you need it done quickly - then put 4 people on the job.

    3. Most ladders have controls both at the turntable and the tip. Do you need to have the chauffer "at" the pump panel?
    Maybe you might reconsider retrofitting aerial controls on the pump panel.

    4. You really need 4 people to adequately staff this truck.


    Just my opinion...
    Marc

    "In Omnia Paratus"

    Member - IACOJ
    "Got Crust?"

    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FFMcDonald
      To me - size-up seems to be crucial here.
      Your apparatus can perform two functions - that of a ladder and an engine. You need to make a decision as to how to act and that is determined by size-up. Is there an immediate threat to life safety? Is there a person on an upper floor threatening to jump? Then you will need to set up as a ladder and rescue that person.

      If there isn't a life threatened - well, then you better be stretching a line to get to that fire.
      Life Safety first, then ...
      Locate, confine, extinguish.
      Truer words have never been spoken.

      I hate quints ... when used incorrectly.

      When used correctly, they function as two separate functions, with two separate crews to perform those functions. As a result, I would recommend something similar to McDonald in that the quint is either one or the other (truck or engine) depending on the situation, but not both.

      If you are going to staff the piece with 8, then you would have the ability to properly perform two separate functions with one piece of apparatus.

      Assignments for 4 when operating as an engine (as determined by the officer or first arriving OIC):
      Driver - perform the obvious, establish water supply, and run the pump
      Officer - assist/direct FF's 3 and 4 with fire suppression
      FF3 - knob
      FF4 - back-up man

      Assignments for 4 when operating as a truck company (as determined by the officer or first arriving OIC):
      Driver - perform the obvious, and set up aerial for operation, ladder building
      Officer - SAR
      FF3 - SAR
      FF4 - OVM

      Obviously, these assignments are terribly over-simplified, but it gets the idea across. Obviously, if you're able to run w/ 8, then the piece can perform both functions. Just like you wouldn't expect an engine or truck to perform its function safely with only 2, you shouldn't expect 4 to perform two functions safely.

      Stay Safe

      Comment


      • #4
        Your line of thinking is pretty close to mine

        We bought the truck to replace an engine. We had been relying on mutual aid companies for ladders. The problem is they were normaly 4 th or 5th on scene.

        We run automatic mutual aid. We have an odd shaped area at the end of the township. Our mutual aid companies nearly always arrive within 30 seconds to a minute of our first in truck, either before or after. Our policy of not layng in with the first truck is a left over from when we ran an engine first out with 750 gallons of water, first truck hits the fire, second truck lays in and pumps the first. Worked good with 750 in the tank, so-so with 300.

        I agree with the concept that you need to decide early on what your major goal is in the inital attack, truck, engine, rescue, whatever. We have disagreement (not you and I, within the company) over the need to set up the ladder prior to carrying out other operations. I tend to agree with you, if you need the ladder use it. If you don't, don't.

        Thanks for the input. Any others?
        Last edited by PATF1engineer; 10-03-2003, 02:18 PM.
        Thomas Anthony, PE
        Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
        Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
        The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

        No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

        Comment


        • #5
          We have almost the same situation as you. Mutual aid or another engine from our station always arrive at or about the same time. We have been running a quint first out for about 8 years now. The key is to pick the prime use (truck obviously) and utilize 2 sets of riding assignments for both your quint AND engines. We have assignments for 6, try to get at least 5. Our minimum plan involves 4 members. For example if we arrive and will operate as the truck (98% of the time):
          Driver - Outside team, initial RIT, operate main as required, work with OV and Roof man
          Officer - Inside team, lead search
          Seat 1 - Inside team, forcible entry and search
          Seat 2 - Outside vent - initial RIT, horizontal ventilation and ladders
          Seat 3 - Can - Inside team, hook and 2 1/2 gallon extinguisher
          Seat 4 - Roof - Outside team, hook, saw, ladders as necessary

          If we have to operate as an engine, we announce that on arrival and the next engine is assigned truck work (the second engine still gets the water supply. The assignments switch to:
          Driver - Lays in, pump operator
          Officer - Nozzle team
          Seat 1 - Nozzleman
          Seat 2 - Back up
          Seat 3 - Door
          Seat 4 - Hydrant (the driver usually lays in, we only leave a hydrant man if we have 6, a qualified probie or the fire obviously requires an immediate supply line)

          As I said, we have been doing this since about 95, refining the duties as we went. We just replaced our original quint with one that is much more suited to doing both jobs. Good Luck!

          Comment

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