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  • Engine

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  1. #1
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    Default 3 man Dept. Engine VS Truck?

    I work on a small combo. dept. we have 3 firefighters (1-2 full-time and 1-2 part-time) on at all times. We have a engine and a 100ft mid mount platform/ quint. Our SOG's now state Truck 1st due on Commercial and Multi-Family dwellings and engine on everything else. Some in the dept. feel we should be responding to everything in our engine because of low man-power. Any thoughts.

  2. #2
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    I would think that taking the quint first due makes sense. You get both the ladder and the pump to the scene. Of course I'm not taking into account hydrant availability, manpower or other details.

    Of course someone will point out that there isn't much that you can do with 3 people anyway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    I would think that taking the quint first due makes sense. You get both the ladder and the pump to the scene. Of course I'm not taking into account hydrant availability, manpower or other details.

    Of course someone will point out that there isn't much that you can do with 3 people anyway.
    I agree with taking the quint. The 2 firefighters can advance a hoseline and the MPO can engage the pump set the pressure governor and then raise the stick if needed or ladder the building other wise.

    If immediate rescue is needed have the quint with its ladders and other tools on scene make far more sense to me.

    I guess I would like to know how quickly the POC's arrive. That could make a difference in some cases.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 11-19-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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  4. #4
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    You raise an interesting point. After carefully reviewing the situation, I have come to the conclusion that you should follow your department's response SOGs and stop attempting to impose your individual views on the "Esprit De Corps" of the proud fire service.

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    thanks for the input
    Last edited by ffgluss; 11-22-2010 at 06:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Cool Cross Staffing Idea

    If the report is a single story, single family dwelling, F/G, F/V or a M/A then take the Engine. If it is a commercial, industrial or multi-story dwelling, T/C, R/Q, W/S (Water Salvage) then take the Truck. As far as Mutual Aid calls, take what is asked for.

    It's kinda hard to give direction when we do not know how each piece is equipped.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  7. #7
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    Seems like there is a lot to take into account. I am assuming if you have commercial and multi residential you have hydrants avaible in the close vicinity. That would be my only concern is the water source with the quint, atleast the aerials we use don't carry much water and most of that gets used carging lines where as our engines carry a lot more but if you can get hooked into a hydrant fast that would not be an issue or if you know you will have an engine quickly behind you. No point in having an aerial if you are going to be dry once you push water through all the pipes. As for the 3 person initial responce I would assume all you can do is pull lines and start an exterior attack, with the 2 in 2 out anyways.

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    As for the 3 person initial responce I would assume all you can do is pull lines and start an exterior attack, with the 2 in 2 out anyways.
    I don't necessarily agree..... Laddering, pulling RIT tools, setting-up Exposure Line(s), Forcible Entry/softening the Building, Utility Control, limited Salvage Operations, making a Grab, establishing a Water Source are all things that can be done with a (3) person Crew. It sucks to be short on Manpower, I get it. There is no reason to think "we're just a (3) person Crew, what can we do?"
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  9. #9
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    Good point Mikeyboy, I would have better worded in saying all you can do with the water is an exterior attack. You are right there is plenty to do without spraying any water and be that much ahead once more personnel arrive. I did completely forget exposure protection though which you could do with the limited manpower.

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    So goes the first line goes ........... you know
    Bring enough hose.

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    How well is your quint laid out? Is it a truck with a pump and a hand line or two and a small tank or a full quint that was really designed for interior attack with the unit?

    We run a 110' mid mount quint platform with a 500 gal tank, 4 1 3/4" and 2 3" lines off of it. It also carries 1000' of 5". As it it, the truck runs first on all residential alarms, fires, etc and second due on sprinklered structures.

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    Default 3 man Engine vs. 3 man Truck

    From a Truck Officer point of view, I would opt for the Truck to be first due at everything because of all of the options that you have. You can go into fast attack mode just like you can with an Engine or you can go into rescue mode with your ground ladders. Another thing that sticking with one piece of apparatus does is that it gives all of you the comfort of knowing what is expected on what type of alarm. Why should I have to ponder on which apparatus to take? Anyone will tell you that if you take one piece for this type of call and another piece for another type of call, it is just a matter of time until you get caught with the wrong apparatus. But, if you just bring the same apparatus to everything you will be much more comfortable with that apparatus and its' capabilities as well as limitations. And as far as mutual aid, every department around you would love to know that they can depend on you and your crew for a certain piece of apparatus at all times and not just if you happen to be on it for that day or that alarm. Reallistically, you can get a mutual aid Engine from just about anywhere, but Truck Co's are becoming as rare as diamonds. Also, an apparatus with people on it does not make a Company regardless of how many or how few you have. A True Company is a group of members who ride together, work together, and strive together to accomplish a common goal based in trust in one anothers' abilities and confidence in one anothers' loyalty to the crew.

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    can the truck get its own water?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    Another thing that sticking with one piece of apparatus does is that it gives all of you the comfort of knowing what is expected on what type of alarm. Why should I have to ponder on which apparatus to take? Anyone will tell you that if you take one piece for this type of call and another piece for another type of call, it is just a matter of time until you get caught with the wrong apparatus.
    I think AbduNur has a great point. Our department purchased a 110 foot truck, (that happens to have a small 300 gal water tank and small hose compliment.) We were able to get minimum staffing for main station to be a 4 man company. The problem is they are cross manning with with the engine on medicals and the truck on fires. Also like Abdunur pointed out sometimes the engine gets called on the way home from a medical and the needed truck is left sitting in the bays. If you can use one piece of apparatus I would go for that method and stick with it.

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    How far behind are the volunteer staff that brings the second-due? I assume it's volunteer staff, at least, since you stated you're a combination department.

  16. #16
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    I like to look at it this way, how much do you REALLY need that ladder when you first roll up on scene? If it were me rolling up on any confirmed working structure fire, I'd feel more comfortable arriving in an Engine. It has EVERYTHING I could possibly need to quickly set up interior or exterior fire supression ops. And the water in the tank to sustain it (Both our engines carry 1,000 gallons and our tanker 1,800 gallons)

    It's just my opinion that quints, even though a great concept and a proven rig. Don't carry enough water to be a initial attack piece.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38 View Post
    It's just my opinion that quints, even though a great concept and a proven rig. Don't carry enough water to be a initial attack piece.
    My department has 9 years of successful experience disproving that theory with our Quint. BTW, our Quint has the same size water tank as our new Engine.

    I know, I know, we're only a small department with only the one quint so what do we know? So maybe you should look towards St. Louis, they have a bit more experience at using quints as initial attack pieces.

    Maybe you meant to say "in rural or non-hydranted areas" since your engines carry 1000 gallons and you have a tanker?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    can the truck get its own water?
    In OUR case, YES. T.C.

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    The unanswered question is how long is it before the POC component arrives?

    There are others.

    What is thier response? Can they pick up the other piece from the station? Do you use automatic aid? What do they respond with? What is thier response time? Can they respond with a truck? What kind of supply lays are you looking at?

    Basically there are way too many questions and not enough answers to form any kind of an opinion.

    We are also a combo department with 3 paid firefighters a Chief officer and myself (when not doing public education) to respond during the day, and paid 2 firefighters at night. We average 8-10 volunteers during the day and 14-20 at night, so they pick up any needed apparatus beyond the trucks that respond from Central Station with the paid staff.

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    It's just my opinion that quints, even though a great concept and a proven rig. Don't carry enough water to be a initial attack piece.
    Our Quint carries the same amount of water that our Engine does, 500 gallons.....

    Ideally, the idea of only staffing (1) Rig and letting the POC or Vollies staff the other Unit would be best in my world. If your Chief would buy off on it, I'd recommend staffing the Truck/Quint full-time and cover the Engine with POC/Vollies. If not, then I'd staff it as I stated above.

    AbduNur, I like your thought process and agree 100%.

    As a Truck Captain I could be partial though..... LOL.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 02-07-2011 at 06:45 PM.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  21. #21
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    I understand where you guys are coming from, done get me wrong. But here it just wouldn't work, sometimes its only going to be that first rig out the door and alone for several minutes on scene. If we to roll up on a well involved house fire with a full crew of four, pulled a 1 3/4 inch line off and went to work inside. Flowing 150GPM with a 500 gallon tank woulf give us 3 maybe up to 5 minutes flowing water (Depending on how many times we shut the line down, if we're actually flowing 150GPM so on and so fourth)

    Is that honestly going to be enough in a out-of-hydrant district where the next in truck/water source is 5 to 10 minutes away? I for one don't think so, and that is why at leat here. Having an Engine w/ 1000 gallons on board as 1st due is the best bet.

    In the cities where pretty much ever street corner has a hydrant, I'm sure the quints work great. But its not the solution for every department out there.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38 View Post
    I understand where you guys are coming from, done get me wrong. But here it just wouldn't work, sometimes its only going to be that first rig out the door and alone for several minutes on scene. If we to roll up on a well involved house fire with a full crew of four, pulled a 1 3/4 inch line off and went to work inside. Flowing 150GPM with a 500 gallon tank woulf give us 3 maybe up to 5 minutes flowing water (Depending on how many times we shut the line down, if we're actually flowing 150GPM so on and so fourth)

    Is that honestly going to be enough in a out-of-hydrant district where the next in truck/water source is 5 to 10 minutes away? I for one don't think so, and that is why at leat here. Having an Engine w/ 1000 gallons on board as 1st due is the best bet.

    In the cities where pretty much ever street corner has a hydrant, I'm sure the quints work great. But its not the solution for every department out there.
    Right and that was part of the point I was making.

    You made a blanket statement regarding the effectiveness of a Quint as an initial attack piece without any attempt to qualify that statement to refer to your situation or response in non-hydranted areas in general and you got called on it.

    I wasn't trying to imply that Quints are right for every department and setting, just simply addressing the fact that Quints can be more than adequate for initial fire attacks.

    I agree that in the scenerio you described in this post, having more water on the initial unit would be the most beneficial.

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