Based on personal experience in the petroleum refining industry, my choice of a 'first response' apparatus to a process fire is one that should meet two criteria:
1) It should be able to commence foaming operation with the least possible lead time.
2) The apparatus should have the maneuverability to access the plant within safety distances but more importantly be able to speedily withdraw in the event of an impending fire escalation;

Basis the above, the ideal choice for 'first response' apparatus has been either 1) the (airfield) Crash Tender (a British term for 'truck') or 2) a Foam Tender.

In my current role, I am advising a major refining complex in a foreign country. The 'first response vehicle' here is an Aerial Ladder Truck and it takes well over 5 minutes to set up the truck. Before initiating changes to the existing practice, I would like to
a) Understand the practices adopted by FireHouse members in this regard;
b) Invite Members' comment on this issue.

Will appreciate your response and feedback on the above,

Regards,
Ramasami