Quint first or second due?
I am part of a small paid on call department considering a new Quint apparatus. This will be our first aerial apparatus. Our department has operated for the past million years with two engines, and one tanker truck. We protect about 9000 residents and have a downtown district with many four and five story buildings. We also protect many large apartment buildings that are three to five stories. We have three neighboring towns with 100’ ladder trucks about 5,10 and 15 miles from our downtown. About half of the residential town is newer construction with setbacks averaging 30-100’. The Quint would replace one of our engines and due to budget constraints, we would probably only be able to afford a 75’.
My number one concern is if this truck should or should not be first due? I am concerned about the reach and constraints of the 75’ and with the average setback of a house being 50’, I’m told a 75’ stick is rendered useless unless its parked right in the driveway within 30’ of the house. Most of the advise I have read on this forum is to either run the Quint second due as a truck company or run it first due - but the first arriving company parks it for ladder placement and then behaves as an engine company leaving ladder operation and truck company ops to the second or third due crews. My concern is that if the truck is second due, it will not have the reach with only 75’ unless it has the optimal placement flexibility of being first due. Also, our second truck is usually tied up with water supply, putting the Quint at the hydrant and not setup for ladder placement. How have other small departments handled these issues?