1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    If I remember correctly, STL went to quints to when they shut down most of the double houses during a budget crunch in the 80s. So they went from having 34 firehouses with 34 engines and 10-15 truck companies to 34 firehouses with 34 quints/4 H&L towers/2 Rescues.
    That's more or less my understanding and touches on the point I've often made regarding the "Quints are bad" because they are "manpower killer" type discussions.

    Using the numbers above, St. Louis had 34 stations, 34 engines and (we'll say) 10 trucks. Assuming 4 FFs per company, that's 176 FF each day. I'm sure the major factor in the changeover was budgetary - the need to cut companies and manpower to reduce costs.

    Using the numbers above, the switchover to quints resulted in 34 stations, 34 engine quints and 4 truck quints and 152 FFs per day. So, 6 companies were lost, but no stations were closed.

    So, lets look at this from a different direction. Let's assume that the Fire Chief is told that he is going to lose 6 companies, but is given the discretion to determine which companies they will be and the ability to "reconfigure" the FD to make the most of the remaining personnel.

    Option A: Keep all stations open, but close 6 truck companies.
    Option B: Keep all stations open, but close 3 truck companies and 3 engine companies leaving 3 stations without direct fire suppression capabilities (i.e. the truck has no pump/water/hose).
    Option C: Close 2 stations (eliminating 2 engines) and close 4 truck companies.
    Option D: Close 2 stations (eliminating 2 engines), close 2 additional engine companies leaving 2 stations without direct fire suppression capabilities and close 2 truck companies.
    Option E: Keep all stations open, convert 34 engines into engine-quint companies and cross-train the personnel for both engine/truck work and close 6 truck companies. The net result of which is an increase of 28 aerial capable units rather than a decrease of 6. All stations retain a fire suppression capable unit. Increased operational flexibility since the new companies are cross-trained.

    Obviously none of them are ideal, but what's the best option given the reality of losing 6 companies?

    If Option E is chosen, the use of quints is not a "manpower killer" because the manpower was going to be killed anyway.

    So if they are going back to separate engine/truck companies, how many of each will they have? I bet the total won't be more than 38.
    It's my understanding that they aren't truly returning to a separate engine/truck company deployment. From info I've seen on another forum it looks like they've received about a dozen pumpers so far. All of which have replaced an engine-quint unit. The remaining engine-quint companies will continue to operate as before as will the 4 truck-quint companies.

    I'm not sure if the new non-quint companies will be limited to "engine work" or if they will continue to be utilized as a truck company in some situations that don't require the use of an aerial ladder.

    It's also my understanding that the change was budget driven with the intent to put the busier companies into a smaller apparatus for the cost savings that come with that and no aerial ladder rather than a true change in operational philosophy, however having seen the new pumpers I'm not so sure about that since they look about a big as the units they are replacing.
    Last edited by FireMedic049; 07-22-2011 at 05:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Not sure on the tank size, but think it might be 500? From a poster on another forum "in the know", they stated that the Smeal engineers told them that the weight of the water and the hosebed & hose was pretty much the same and therefore switching them really didn't affect that so much.

    Also, I believe they just started to offer the EHL on engines. Not sure if they did it on their own or if came about as a request from St. Louis???
    The EHL was first done on 3 Custom Top Mount Enclosed Engines for Fort Mc Murray AB Canada where it can get to -50 to 100 deg in the Summer so they had 2 Smeal Quints one a 75 and the other a 105 and asked if they could get the same so Smeal designed it and a number of them have been delivered mostly in Canada and to a FD in California as well.

    St. Louis had the EHL on their Quints and the crews liked it for ease of deployment and reloading and NO one having to climb up to the hose bed.

    The water tank capacity can be up to 750 USG for the EHL Pumper.

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    I can tell you a little about the new pumpers. I am not assigned to one I am on a truck now (75ft quint formally called a pumper). The new pumps I believe are the same size as the newer hook and ladders. They hold 500 gallons of water and some foam don't know how much. There is about 800ft of four inch and about 400 0r 500ft of 2.5 in the EHL. The rear bumper has two 200ft 1.75inch pre connected lines in it. The front bumper has a pre connected 2.5 blitz line in it I think it is 150ft but it could be 200ft. Everything on the truck was designed so members don't have to climb on top of the truck for anything even the deck gun is remote controlled.

    As far as extending hose lines we carry high rise packs with 100ft sections off light weight 1.75 that could be added if needed. (I think each new pumper has two 100ft sections) We also carry gated wyes that could be added to any of our 2.5 to make longer lines. For most of our fires we only need the 200ft but companies who have set back building and long hall ways usually have a plan of what they would do to extend their attack lines.

    As far as going back to pumpers from quints I do believe it was a money issue however i will say that they city and the fire dept didn't go cheap on the trucks they seem to be built the right way, as well as coming with all new equipment. As far as size to me they seem to be about the same size as the quints maybe a little wider and just a little shorter b/c of not having the aerial. As we are right now we have Nine Engines, 20 Trucks (75ft quints), and 5 Hook and ladders quints 3 125ft straight sticks and two 100ft tower ladders. About two years ago they took a pumper out of service and added another hook and ladder. There are rumors they want to add one more hook and ladder but I don't know for sure. And if they do I don't know if they will take another pumper out of service or just add a hook and ladder.

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    those rear bumper lines look like they'd be hard to get onto your shoulder. If they like the engines that's great, but it does look like a very unique design.

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    The guys from Lincoln County, MO saw the STLFD bumper at FDIC, and apparently like it well enough that their new pumper under construction at Rosenbauer/General has one on it as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    those rear bumper lines look like they'd be hard to get onto your shoulder. If they like the engines that's great, but it does look like a very unique design.
    We have been running front bumper crosslays on our 2005 HME for 6 years now and laying out the lines isn't that much different. We have ours loaded with ears that you can grab and pull up on your shoulder to allow you to carry is as you deploy it. Or you can do a drag it if you prefer.

    To be honest, that minor inconvenience is FAR outweighed by not having to climb up on the rig to load or unload the hose. Two guys can reload those crosslays in about 5 minutes. That is sweet!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    The guys from Lincoln County, MO saw the STLFD bumper at FDIC, and apparently like it well enough that their new pumper under construction at Rosenbauer/General has one on it as well.
    Great to see a good idea copied...In fact to be fair Fort Worth had SVI do it a number of years ago with a single rear bumper hosebed under a lift up lid with just a normal rear step even prior to the Smeal's for St. Louis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    To be honest, that minor inconvenience is FAR outweighed by not having to climb up on the rig to load or unload the hose. Two guys can reload those crosslays in about 5 minutes. That is sweet!
    I've seen and used other bumper loads, but this appears to be in a "tub" with no good way to get under it. Also looks like a hassle to break the line and carry the entire bundle if you need it.

    I never found it at all difficult to get on top of the engine to load hose or step up onto the back step to get it off. I'm a bit confused about this growing aversion to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I've seen and used other bumper loads, but this appears to be in a "tub" with no good way to get under it. Also looks like a hassle to break the line and carry the entire bundle if you need it.

    I never found it at all difficult to get on top of the engine to load hose or step up onto the back step to get it off. I'm a bit confused about this growing aversion to it.
    Just like everything else in the fire service from nozzles, to helmets, to apparatus color...everybody has their own ideas on what works best.

    We like the ease of deploying them without hving to work around the pump operator. And, to be honest we like reloading them while standing on the ground with 2 people even more.

    They work for us and really that is all that matters.
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    Here is a shot of our bumper crosslays with 200 feet. I am not sure I would like the rear bumper lays that are in a tub and not open at the ends for easier deploying.

    The other shot is our over the pump 300 foot preconnects.

    We have modified the way we load them since this picture was taken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Just like everything else in the fire service from nozzles, to helmets, to apparatus color...everybody has their own ideas on what works best.

    We like the ease of deploying them without hving to work around the pump operator. And, to be honest we like reloading them while standing on the ground with 2 people even more.

    They work for us and really that is all that matters.


    but whats so hard about getting on top of the truck to reload it? I never understood that. In fact if done right everyone is standing upright and not bent over oddly, something I can't say of these bumper loads.
    Last edited by nameless; 07-24-2011 at 11:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    We have been running front bumper crosslays on our 2005 HME for 6 years now and laying out the lines isn't that much different. We have ours loaded with ears that you can grab and pull up on your shoulder to allow you to carry is as you deploy it. Or you can do a drag it if you prefer.

    To be honest, that minor inconvenience is FAR outweighed by not having to climb up on the rig to load or unload the hose. Two guys can reload those crosslays in about 5 minutes. That is sweet!
    Amen, brother! Our 05' 4Guys engine has the same set up, for the same reasons. It also keeps the charged attack lines far away from the pump operator, and is very helpful when pulling lines in those tight rural and garden apartment driveways. In those situations, pulling crosslays or bringing a rear pre-con forward is a right pain in the arse!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    but whats so hard about getting on top of the truck to reload it? I never understood that. In fact if done right everyone is standing upright and not bent over oddly, something I can't say of these bumper loads.
    I guess it all depends on your rig, and how it's set up. Some are easier than others to climb onto and work with. esp the suburban and rural rigs with 1000 gal+ tanks. Those who spec pool ladders or big steps with aggressive treads do us a huge favor! Those dinky folding steps SUCK!

    The other reason is winter weather. Where Fyred up and I live, winter can be nasty. Climbing up on top of a rig can be dicey, and getting off even more so- due to icy streets, and slick icy running boards and steps. Designing a rig you don't HAVE to climb goes a long way towards reducing slips and falls. Not to mention the cost of comp time, and medical bills.

    I do agree that this bed- with it's closed ends does seem a bit odd, but if it works for them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    but whats so hard about getting on top of the truck to reload it? I never understood that. In fact if done right everyone is standing upright and not bent over oddly, something I can't say of these bumper loads.

    Wisconsin, ice, snow, slippery surfaces. Like I said before we like it and it works very well for us. You prefer the over the pump crosslays and I am cool with that.

    Those bumper lays are not that low and unless you are over 6 foot tall it is not an uncomfortable level to reload at.
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    I'm from upstate NY, so I've fought fire in winter, don't need a lecture on cold weather. Never had a problem getting on top of a rig to load hose, even after hours at multiple alarm fires. I'm pro-rear bed, we use cross lays but only after exhausting all of the hose loaded in the rear bed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'm from upstate NY, so I've fought fire in winter, don't need a lecture on cold weather. Never had a problem getting on top of a rig to load hose, even after hours at multiple alarm fires. I'm pro-rear bed, we use cross lays but only after exhausting all of the hose loaded in the rear bed.
    Look, it is really simple. You do what you do and what works for you and we will do what we do and what works for us. That wasn't so hard was it?

    Here stretching from the rear from deadlay beds is generally limited to either 2 1/2 attacks lines or for making up "apartment lines." It is not a common tactic on any department I am familiar with.

    I am pro doing whatever YOUR FD has decided is best for YOUR FD.
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