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Order of Response (Best Use of Quint)

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  • Order of Response (Best Use of Quint)

    Hi everybody,

    I've tried to search the forms but I haven't found anything that quite fits my question. Please forgive me if I picked the wrong sub-forum, this one seemed like it!

    We are looking at rearranging our order of response for structure fires to better utilize our quint. Here are some quick references for our department


    2012 Sutphen SL75 1500/420 - 5 x SCBA
    Tanker 1050/2500
    Pumper/Tanker 1050/1500
    Heavy Rescue 5 x SCBA, Cascade system


    Unstaffed - Fully volunteer. Most members work out of town during daytime. Typically a fairly aggressive department, interior attack common.

    Service area:

    Small town with apprx. 1500 dwellings, hydrants available (water supply not generally an issue), situated on a hill with water pressure at the hydrant varying sharply depending on elevation. A number of abandoned homes.

    Currently, our order of response to structure fires is as follows:

    Tanker , Heavy Rescue, Pumper/Tanker, Quint

    We all believe this makes poor use of our Quint and prohibits the ability to place it most effectively. The question is, do we make use of the Quint's ability to "do it all" and run it is our attack truck to be backed up by our tanker, or do we utilize it in the same manner we currently use our Heavy Rescue, and have it respond with manpower without running lines from it during the initial attack. Does anyone have experience running a similar sized quint in a similar coverage area?

  • #2
    Just some thoughts....

    Your quint is acting as your only ladder company. It can do all but placement can be different for an engine vs. ladder company. So for the sake of discussion it is your ladder company.

    You say you are running the tanker as first due, which commits it for attack and not to do what it is intended to do haul water. You also state you have an engine tanker.

    So if you ran the Engine Tanker as first due and quint second due then tanker as third it gets most of your fire fighting capabilities at the scene in an order that should cover your needs.

    This of course is dependent on the time of day, type of call, drivers available, etc etc etc.... you have to be fluid and put the best approach you can based on the resources you have to address that particular call and time of day.

    Again just thoughts..... you have to figure out what works for you.


    • #3
      Agree with ChiefDog.... I don't think you are using your apparatus in the best way possible, and the ideal response would be pumper/tanker, quint (functioning as a ladder company), than tanker and then heavy rescue. If your area is in a designated bad hydrated area, I might say roll the tanker with 1 guy right behind the pumper to give you more water. No need for the heavy rescue on the initial attack, other than ISO points.

      The ladder's turntable should be at the front of the building, so having it arrive 4th typically means it's placement isn't idea. You should also have similar firefighting equipment on the rescue and ladder (hooks, forcibl entry tools, irons, etc), so bringing the ladder second allows you to do truck work and go to the roof from the stick if needed.

      Unless you are in an all quint system, I don't like running lines off your quint, because it limits your use of the aerial. However, my former department had an engine and ladder, and one day when the engine was on an assignment for an overturned vehicle, we were dispatched for a structure fire in our first due, and took the ladder and it pumped like a champ.

      Quints are great, because you can do engine or truck work. but you will still be limited by manpower, so it's tough to do both at the same time. Let the pumper and tanker do engine work, and the quint do truck work, knowing that if the engine is unavailable, you can still pump from the ladder.
      If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!



      • #4
        It makes absolutely no sense at all to send the tender out first. Further, since the heavy rescue has no pump sending it second is also counter productive.

        In a non-hydrant area send the engine first followed by the tender, then the quint, and lastly the heavy rescue.

        In hydranted areas send the quin first to allow for unblocked positioning, second the engine, third the tender then the heavy rescue.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate


        • #5
          Appreciate the thoughtful responses, and a third option we hadn't really considered. Thanks!


          • #6
            We've found that getting a line on the fire in residential fires has been the most productive use of our staff and apparatus. I'd look at sending the quint first backed up by incoming water second. If you're primarily rural water or poorly spaced hydrants I'd think the pumper tanker needs to go to the water source? With the tanker as the in between or nurse tank and then the heavy rescue last. How your town is laid out can be a big factor. Are most homes on private driveways that must be accesses by apparatus or are most street-side? Is there room for maneuvering or do you mostly get one shot at the aerial positioning? Any which way makes me think quint first (that's really their niche).

            So: Quint then Tanker to the scene, followed by pumper/tanker to the water source, heavy rescue to the scene.


            • #7

              All the previous points are valid and I state my opinion based upon my experience with my department not yours. Keep in mind I don't know your response area, department or mutual aid options.

              Does your quint have foam on board? Only reason I ask is because foam works. It doesn't mean it's required to put a fire out but it helps.

              Based upon the information given, on structural calls I'd recommend the quint, pumper/tanker, tanker and then rescue.

              Running the quint first gives it the best option on position and it can initiate the attack. The pumper/tanker can supply water and support the attack which would give you about 2,000 gallons to put the fire out. If more than that is required it can set up the dump tank, help establish drafting operations, drop equipment, personnel and start hauling water. The tanker could then dump, drop the second tank and roll. When the rescue is crewed up it can respond and provide manpower but be out of the way. It can even position to be ready to respond to an extrication call if needed. If you're in an area with hydrants the pumper/tanker can lay in, establish water supply and everything is easier.

              Hope this helps,
              Train like you want to fight.


              • #8
                I can only speak from my limited knowledge at my station. We are all volunteer, with no municipal water supply. All water comes on the trucks. We have two pumper/tankers 1000 gallon tanks, 1250 pumps. One 2000 gallon tanker, 750 pump. One 3000 gallon tanker, 1250 pump. Brush truck, and medic van.

                We roll our primary pump/tank first due, then our 1000 gal tanker, second pump/tank goes to scene if water supply on scene is sufficient or to a water source if a shuttle is needed. 3000 gal tanker shuttles water with mutual aid. Brush truck handles traffic control if needed and medic van handles rehab.


                • #9
                  2012 Sutphen SL75 1500/420 - 5 x SCBA
                  Tanker 1050/2500
                  Pumper/Tanker 1050/1500
                  Heavy Rescue 5 x SCBA, Cascade system

                  Can your quint get down every road, extended drive, etc? If so, it should carry everything you need for initial attack/rescue and it can go first, assuming hydrant sources are available. It makes placement easy and the pumper can relay water from a distant hydrant if needed.
                  If the quint can't get to a structure, pumper should go before it. With a town of 1500, you probably know where those locations are.
                  Tanker and Rescue depends on water sources, and whether or not you carry things on Rescue that are needed early and often. For example, you didn't mention SCBA's on the pumper and I've learned not to assume.

                  If having to shuttle water, pumper should go first so you have more time (1500 vs 420 gal) to set up drafting with limited personnel. Just make sure you place it where quint still has access.


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