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  • First in - Engine or Quint

    Hello everyone. My fire department just received a FEMA grant for a quint type apparatus. We are having some discussions on how the quint should be used. I would like to know how other departments that are setup like ours run their response. We have three engines a heavy rescue and a bls ambulance. We run engine, engine, heavy rescue, engine, bls ambulance. There are members that think that the first apparatus out should be a quint. I would like to know how other departments run and any thoughts/suggestions members members have.

    Thanks
    LT1CHFD
    29
    Engine
    82.76%
    24
    Quint
    17.24%
    5
    Other
    0.00%
    0
    Last edited by Lt1CHFD; 09-08-2003, 12:18 PM.

  • #2
    How much water will be onboard? How close is your nearest mutual aid truck/ladder?

    Even without knowing the answer to these questions, I think that the quint should operate primarily as a ladder company in a single quint department.

    In our department, we ran into the problem of engines blocking access for the "quint", so a policy came out saying the quint was the first truck to roll from its station (even though we have 2 other stations with engines, so it wouldn't solve that problem anyhow). Needless to say, once this quint shows up on scene at a fire, the truck ends up being hastily parked so that handlines can be yanked off it and advanced. We have had several occasions where the aerial device fell short of the building. Personally, I think the problem could have been addressed by hammering on the old adage, "You can stretch a hose a mile, but you can't stretch a ladder an inch."

    Now as I always say, it's not the quint's fault. It's our fault, with respect to policies, training, and implementation. I think using a quint routinely as an engine company confuses people--especially in smaller, low call volume departments. I'm a big fan of dedicated engine, truck, and rescue company evolutions so that things can be kept simple.

    I'm sure there are departments with one quint that are proficient at positioning the quint for effective engine and truck company operations. Still, you typically don't have adequate staffing on this one vehicle to do both, so you still end up doing mainly one or the other.

    It doesn't hurt to see for yourself through drilling what will work best for your department and area. But, I prefer having an engine company leave first, followed by the quint.
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    • #3
      I dont really know about your dept or your staffing and capabilities. I would want to know if you are performing truck functions now on fires. Just because you have a piece of apparatus with a ladder on top of it doesnt automatically mean you are suddenly capable of effecice truck work. If I had personel who were competent at truck work and it was being performed on the job, I would send the quint first. You will have the best opportuniy for apparatus placement if the truck is first. Place the quint for the best truck position, remember you can always stretch more hose, its pretty hard to stretch a ladder. If you get your apparatus positioned you can start engine work and later personnel can perform truck functions utilizing the quint. But that is assuming your people are capable of doing that. The amount of use you get out of your quint will be in direct relation to the amount of training and compentance your personnel has in basic truck and engine functions.

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      • #4
        Odds are you'll never use your ladder for a rescue at a fire. Odds are you'll use the ladder almost never. You'll use it from time to time on losers as a water tower and probably not efect the out come of the fire one lick. Odds are, it will be the most expensive engine you'll ever own pretty much use it that way. You don't need a ladder or a quint to perform truck operations. Thousands of FD's do truck ops daily with engines.

        The rig will last longer if it is not run on ems calls and crap fire calls. On confirmed structure fires, it would be nice to send it out first to own the front of the building. As far as I can tell only one FD in the US always runs their ladders out of the fire station first on all calls to make sure they own the street in front and rear of the structure.

        450K doesn't buy much of a quint, short of a quint a 75 footer is almost unsuable to get to the roof with any kind of a residential set back. If, you can swing a demo 70 foot tower, you'll have a 750 pound basket versus a 250 to 500 tip load. Probably easier to save someone in a bucket than a tip of a ladder. If a ladder pipe is like for mosty departments the most likely use, well might as well have the 1500 gpm flow capacity and a nice place to strand.

        Above all make sure if at all possible and you won't have much say with your $450K to make sure it is a good pumper that happens to carry a ladder and some extra ground ladders.

        I hear Smeal is so desperate to sell quints you can buy one for 380K a 75 footer.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Resq14
          so a policy came out saying the quint was the first truck to roll from its station
          OMG, are you finally admitting the truck is a quint???

          Don't forget the few times we've parked too close to the front door to use the stick (usually at the retierment home).

          I agree with 14, its the leadership of the FD who have the duty to insure the truck is optimized in its use. Too close/far will make the truck ineffective, in effect you might as well throw the stick away 70% of the time, is that a good use of your tax payer's dollar? Would it be better to spend a 150% of the cost of a quint and buy a plain ladder and simple pumper, both of which would weigh less than the quint and could be used closer to 100% at each fire? How far away is the next ladder if you tie yours up too close to the structure? And will your leadership be flexible enough to learn new tricks?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Resq14
            How much water will be onboard? How close is your nearest mutual aid truck/ladder?

            It doesn't hurt to see for yourself through drilling what will work best for your department and area. But, I prefer having an engine company leave first, followed by the quint.
            We want to spec a 500 gallon water tank. There are ladders in most surrounding cities, 3 to 5 miles away. One of the issues I think we would have by running the quint out first is lack of staffing. We are an combination department, we have a minimum of two on duty at a time, three are on duty on most weekends. On working fires the two or three ff's leave with the first out engine and the paid-on call members respond and fill out the second engine, usually 2-5 minutes behind the first engine. My thinking is that the engine can be first out and try to leave room for the quint, have the quint second out with a full 4-6 person crew. That way you would have enough people to set up the ladder, ground ladders etc... It would be a training/policy issue to get the first in engine to pull up and leave enough room for the quint.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by magnolia
              450K doesn't buy much of a quint, short of a quint a 75 footer is almost unsuable to get to the roof with any kind of a residential set back. If, you can swing a demo 70 foot tower, you'll have a 750 pound basket versus a 250 to 500 tip load. Probably easier to save someone in a bucket than a tip of a ladder. If a ladder pipe is like for mosty departments the most likely use, well might as well have the 1500 gpm flow capacity and a nice place to strand.

              Above all make sure if at all possible and you won't have much say with your $450K to make sure it is a good pumper that happens to carry a ladder and some extra ground ladders.

              I hear Smeal is so desperate to sell quints you can buy one for 380K a 75 footer.
              We have a total of about 600k to spend and possibly more if we absolutely have to.

              The set backs in our city vary widely, anywhere from 15 feet to 90-100 feet. The majority of residential property are from 15 feet to 50 feet. With the $$$ at 600k or less the tower idea is pretty much out, also we have station height restrictions.

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              • #8
                So 50 foot set back is standard?

                SO>>>>

                At 50 feet set back you can reach 34 feet up on a building.

                At 40 feet set back you can reach 46 feet up

                30 feet 53 feet

                20 feet 57 feet

                15 feet 70 feet

                Does the 70 foot tower still work for you?

                ^ooK eh? Well keep a ton to equip it!

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                • #9
                  Does anyone here agree with magnolia that a ladder is a waste of money. What is wrong with this guy? My department is small combiation dept that does 900 runs a year and we used our stick 15 time already this year. It the SAFEST way to go and safety should be number one.

                  Stay Safe

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                  • #10
                    As far as I can tell only one FD in the US always runs their ladders out of the fire station first on all calls to make sure they own the street in front and rear of the structure.
                    That must be us! Our first due on all calls (we don't run EMS) is a 50' E-One Teleboom.
                    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                    • #11
                      Never said it was a waste of time, in fact I was supported your point. "does 900 runs a year and we used our stick 15 time already this year." So 900 calls, wow 1.6% of the calls. of those whopping 15 calls, how many times did you use the stick that a ground ladder would have done the job or been quicker? If the ladder wasn't there could another non ladder have done the job? Could you have climbed the adjoing stairs, used the fire escape, etc? Like a engine or rescue? How many times did you use the ladder pipe? How many people did you carry down the ladder?

                      The point was you won't use it very often and your number support that. Go to search on Fire Engineering magazine and you'll see FDNY is about the same as you percentage wise.

                      "Safest way to go?" To what? How so?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lt1CHFD


                        We want to spec a 500 gallon water tank. There are ladders in most surrounding cities, 3 to 5 miles away. One of the issues I think we would have by running the quint out first is lack of staffing. We are an combination department, we have a minimum of two on duty at a time, three are on duty on most weekends. On working fires the two or three ff's leave with the first out engine and the paid-on call members respond and fill out the second engine, usually 2-5 minutes behind the first engine. My thinking is that the engine can be first out and try to leave room for the quint, have the quint second out with a full 4-6 person crew. That way you would have enough people to set up the ladder, ground ladders etc... It would be a training/policy issue to get the first in engine to pull up and leave enough room for the quint.


                        That plan's fine, but don't get stuck in the mindset that those who ride a piece in are the only ones that can work off of it. You have a lack of staffing issue regardless of which piece you send out first. Now I'm not saying you should definately take the quint first, just offering another point to consider. There's no reason (in theory, at least) that the quint can't go first with the 2-3 guys, get positioned, get started on the fire and then the 4-6 guys on the engine can come up and set up the aerial or throw the ground ladders, etc.

                        My department operates with 4-6 guys on duty split between a quint and an engine from two stations. We see a decent amount of fire for a small department, most of the time the quint arrives first. Unless we are going straight into a defensive mode and need the elevated stream, usually the ladder doesn't go up (if even at all) until the off-duty recall guys show up. Same with ground ladders, most of them don't get thrown by the first arriving crews unless they need them for entry or rescue.

                        One advantage we have is that the quint, when arriving first, can usually go straight into the scene without laying in. The engine is usually only a minute or two behind and picks up the plug if they don't have one next to the building. This can make positioning the quint a little easier. Something else to consider since your second piece is usually several minutes behind the first.

                        As you mentioned, alot of it comes down to training/policy and also practice. Find out what works best for you. There's alot to consider in deciding which to take first.
                        Mark
                        Firefighter / Paramedic
                        IAFF Local 10

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                        • #13
                          I AGREE WITH Resq14. MY DEPT. HAS ABOUT 225 FIREFIGHTERS TO RUN 8 ENG., 2 TRUCKS, AND 2 RESCUE'S. OUR 2 TRUCKS ARE 75' AND 105' QUINTS.
                          JASONSFD LADDER 5
                          IAFF L2801 WOODEN LADDERS AND IRON MEN

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mstclair190
                            That plan's fine, but don't get stuck in the mindset that those who ride a piece in are the only ones that can work off of it.
                            mstclair has hit the nail on the head with that one.

                            If you're gonna run a quint with the expectation that it respond as both an engine and ladder company the entire department, not just the ladder company, must be reprogramed. The wall of separation between truckie and engine co. duties must come down and all hands need to perform all jobs. It is not enough for just the quint's crew to be able to multitask, if they are all inside on primary search and attack who will vent? The engine companies have got to learn how to perform all truck company ops and be expected to do so at the majority of calls if the quint is 1st due. This might ruffle some feathers with the old guard who joined an engine company because they were afraid of heights (just kidding), but it has to be done to insure you can complete your 1st alarm assignments.
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                            A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

                            IACOJ Fire Boat 1

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