1. #1
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    Question New Quint - Does it need 1 or 2 operators?

    We just recieved our new 77' Ferara quint. 1500 gpm pump, 400 gallon tank. It will be our first due followed by a 2500 gallon 6 man tanker and a 1000 gallon 5 man engine. Both have 1500 gpm pumps. We are a small community of roughly 10,000 residents and roughly 1000 calls per year including medical. About half the town has hydrants from 500 to 3500 gpm capacity.

    We are putting the finishing touches on our new SOP's for the quint (we just started).

    1) Do most communities that run a quint as a dual role commit 2 operators to the quint (pump and aerial) at every fire? If so, do both the operators come on the first due?

    2) Does anyone lay in with their first due quint or is that too much work for one truck?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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    My thoughts:

    1. If you have the manpower, two operators would be ideal. I know that's not always the case though. A pump operator has a fair amount to pay attention to as is, so having him run a stick at the same time may get a little hairy. If the ladder is just being used as a master stream, I suppose that would be a lot easier for one man to handle rather than having a body up there to watch over.

    2. We don't have a quint, so I can't give an opinion from experience. However, like all fires, I suppose it would depend on the situation. If you know you have additional resources coming (or not), that would probably be the dictating factor. Also, are you going to be flowing water from the stick? If so, what is your pump capacity relative to the water flowing from the waterway? Basically, are you going to have enough muscle left over to properly run the handlines?

    My $0.02
    Last edited by Tim1118; 06-09-2010 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Re-worded
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    We will write the guide line assuming a crew of 6 on the quint.

    The pump is rated at 1500 gpm, aerial master stream is rated at 1250 gpm. Most of our hydrants can produce around 1000 gpm.

    Obviously with a smaller crew, and smaller water supply the officer will have to make judgment calls and adjust priorities.

    I'm looking for "best practice" if that makes sense.

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    Depends on how the Quint is being used. If you're pumping and using the aerial, then yes, you should have 2 operators. In my dept, everyone that is regularly assigned to a Quint is qualified on how to at least run the aerial. We try to get everyone trained on it, but sometimes it just doesn't work out.

    Depending on how the Quint is staffed, it may lay in hose line also. If staffing allows, we try to staff our quints with 4, but that's not always possible. Luckily, our city is laid out in such a way that we have good response times so we don't usually have to do everything with the Quint since the next engine is usually less than a minute behind them. If our quint is first in, one FF will pull lines, the driver will get the pump going, one will raise the aerial and the officer will take command. Then the second (or third, depending conditions) in will hit the hydrant. That's A LOT of work to have a single company working on, esp since our quints are usually staffed at 4 or 3. But if you're running 5 or 6 on the Quint, there's no reason it couldn't do all the jobs.

    I think of a Quint as a "jack of all trades, master of none." It does many jobs adequately or well, but not perfect for any of them. It takes us usually around 1-2 minutes once the apparatus is parked to have the outriggers set and the ladder getting into position. Remember that stopping to hit a hydrant will delay this. Also, positioning the quint in the most advantageous position to utilize the aerial will probably delay getting water flowing. Depending on how far out the tanker is, 400 gal won't last long and you probably won't be running water from the aerial until you get a dependable water supply.

    Bottom line, I'd try to staff it with two operators, train everyone to capabilities and then let the officer/IC decide on how to utilize it. Detailing its duties in an SOP leaves less room for an officer to lead and make decisions on the fireground based on circumstances.

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    i would suggest that those who ride with the rig to operate as an engine.
    -get water by laying in, then attack the fire or protect the stairs. (make the building behave). lay in, locate, confine, extinguish. maybe initial vent via windows.

    the next crew can assume the truck/support functions.

    the next crew does you back up line.

    as far as qualifications to run the aerial, start with a core group and then work at all getting qualified.
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    My Dept commits one operator to a Quint.

    Although, most of our are platforms that allow them to be used by the crew independent of the ground man. But it's an unsafe practice for the pedestal guy to not pay attention to what's going on.

    For the most part, once supply and discharge lines are attached and charged, the pump pretty much runs itself, allowing the operator to focus on the ladder operations.

    I never understood why some pump operators are scared to walk more than 50' away from their truck while it's pumping.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1 View Post
    i would suggest that those who ride with the rig to operate as an engine.
    -get water by laying in, then attack the fire or protect the stairs. (make the building behave). lay in, locate, confine, extinguish. maybe initial vent via windows.

    the next crew can assume the truck/support functions.

    the next crew does you back up line.

    as far as qualifications to run the aerial, start with a core group and then work at all getting qualified.
    you hit the nail on the head!!

    That is how we do it hundreds of times a year.
    1st in does engine work
    2nd in does truck work
    3rd in does back up line
    4th in does RIT

    Operating the quint as an engine and truck is doable. the truck is probably capible of doing it. The determining factor is the manpower. you cannot do effective engine and truck work with 4-5 men at the same time. You have to pick one or the other.

    We lay in with our quint for every fire. If going defensive (ladder pipe) you need one person on the turntable and one person on the pump panel. That is really the safest way.

    Personally here is how I would do it based on the little bit of information you have given. 1st in quint foward lays from the hydrant (leaves a man at the hydrant). Position as a ladder truck. (Hose lines can be added too, ladders cannot). Have your remaing back step firefighters pull inital attack line. have you next in tanker hook into a humat valve on the hydrant. This will come in handy if you have to go to a ladder pipe operation. The crew then uses the equipment off the quint to work as a truck company. The 2nd in tanker lays from another hydrant from the oppisite end of the block and functions as RIT.

    Just my thought on how my inital thoughts.

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    If the aerial is up, you had better have an operator on the turntable. Period. What you decide to do with the pump operator's position is up to you, based on your department's manpower and SOP's. During a combined pump/aerial operation, having two operators is optimum but not strictly necessary once the pump is operating . . . but again, anytime that aerial is out of the cradle there should be someone on the turntable. Safety first.
    "SYRACUSE - An ISO Class One Fire Department"

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    Thanks everyone,

    The responses seem to be in line with what we have been thinking:

    -Driver operator runs the pump and sets up the outriggers.
    -All firefighters get trained on how to operate the aerial.
    -One member from the crew that will be operating off the aerial device (ie vent crew) will be committed to the turn table operating console.

    -The decision to lay in will be left to the officer or command based on time before the second truck arrives and other considerations.

    Does this plan sound reasonable? Any problems or suggestions associated with this philosophy?
    Last edited by billbarr100; 06-10-2010 at 03:37 PM.

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    I realize this is a new truck for you, and you want to use it as much as possible, but why the Quint as your first due?

    Your original post stated you are running your 5 man engine that carries a 1000gal. in the tank as 3rd out.

    Personally, I think you would be far better off running the engine in first, leave the quint for 2nd due. It has the smallest water supply at 400 gal., and doing it this way leaves a little more flexibility with both placement, and whether it needs to be another engine or whether it needs to be a truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PNEFD23 View Post
    I realize this is a new truck for you, and you want to use it as much as possible, but why the Quint as your first due?

    Your original post stated you are running your 5 man engine that carries a 1000gal. in the tank as 3rd out.

    Personally, I think you would be far better off running the engine in first, leave the quint for 2nd due. It has the smallest water supply at 400 gal., and doing it this way leaves a little more flexibility with both placement, and whether it needs to be another engine or whether it needs to be a truck.


    I posted before on the forum regarding the order of response. It is titled quint first or second due. There is a good discussion on that issue there.

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