1. #1
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    Question Need help to justify buying quint and related questions

    I'm a civilian trying to help our small town FD get first quint. General public only views the aerial as justification. I'm sure that there are other non-pumper non-aerial functions a quint would give us. We have a 26 yr old pumper that will be replaced by quint. Been told that max size std ladder on our pumpers is 24' ext and that quint would give us 36'+ or so.

    What types of equip is common on quints that would not be on pumpers that can help justify need for quint? Would we carry some of our tech rescue stuff that we now have in a trailer? Because the more types of calls we can use quint for helps make case for it.

    Also, what is the typical setup time on scene for aerial? I presume it varies depending on type or brand but there must be some minimum as nearest mutual aid ladder is 6+ miles away so travel time alone makes it less than ideal. If I were able to say that setup takes "x-y" min, that helps justify need to have our own.

    Thanks!

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    While I appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to helt the local department in filling their needs, you might want to coordinate with them. There are thousands of options and variations in truck building. They will know better than anyone here what they need, why they need it, and how the truck will be fully utilized.

    Having a coordinated effort between the department and a citizen group would be of great influence, but only if coordinated. If you are pushing the benefits of a 60' ladder and they are looking for a 75' platform, you are not helping each other.

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    I fully realize there are basically no two trucks alike but also presume there is certain equipment which may occur on 75-90% of all of them and which is also unique to trucks vs pumper/engines. That's the type of info I'm looking for. For example, I gave the extension ladder because I know there's not enough length on engine to carry above a certain size...but there must be other similar things that a small town with 3 engines and shift of 6 would always want on a truck.

    Our chief has said he's wanting a 75' mid-mount platform ideally. I'm not trying to disagree with that.
    But he's not been that good so far in trying to convince public what functions other than the most obvious external ones would be served by this quint.

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    Also be carefull of trying to fit 10lbs in a 5lb package. The most basic thing (and you would think it's basic...but what is for your area may not be for my area) is to get the equipment that the department needs for it's basic engine and truck functions. Then you can start to talk about what extra things to add to it. You (they) will quickly realize there are space limitations and not be able to put every thing on 1 vehicle.

    As to the 24' ladder being max on an engine...mine has a 28'. Town near me has a 35' ladder on their engine. 24' is not the max.

    I have 2 engines in my station. 1 has different equipment than the other. There is a second station in town...they have an engine with equipment that is a mix of my 2. They also have a truck. My 1 engine has a lot of similar equipment to their truck.

    Why? Because that setup fits the needs of my department. Not because it "justifies" a type of vehicle.

    The basic "need" for a quint is this....does the vehicle fit the departments (communities) needs? Will the vehicle be used as a truck? Will it be used as an engine? If there are less than 8 guys riding it...it won't be able to do both at once....unless a second crew is coming to take one function.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    You need to sit down with the Chief and discuss all the aspects of the trucks, what it's functions will be, staffing, equipment, etc. Don't rush into it. Take the time to look at different trucks as well. Make sure it will reach the buildings in your area, sometimes even a 75' ladder won't reach the roof of a 2 story McMansion because of setbacks from the road. Also see how it will fit in with your mutual aid depts.

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    You also need to realize that road and driveways in the primary service area can effect the size and weight of the truck. If your trying to do the multitool role forget about it,your going to need to define two primary roles and a third minor function like medical response. The more you cram into one truck the worse the handling and the maintenance is going to get expensive. There is several rear mount aerial manufactures that have a rear mount 75' with a 500 Gallon Tank and a 1000 GPM with the aerial prepiped for use as a monitor. If the department was smart they would buy a newer aerial and keep the pumper in the fleet for reserve duty, what happens if the new aerial breaks down ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Make sure it will reach the buildings in your area, sometimes even a 75' ladder won't reach the roof of a 2 story McMansion because of setbacks from the road.
    Al of us who know even something about it understand that a 75' may well not reach everything..but...since we don't have ANY aerial now, getting the town to vote for a 75' will be a huge challenge as many general public don't seem to think it's needed...I say to those: if we only had one story homes w/o any chimneys, it would reduce but not eliminate need for it..but since we have 2 story homes and plenty of chimneys, it's needed...asking voters at this time for a 100' or so would get rejected for sure as taxes are going up by 15% already due to sewer projects and other long term capital exp...we have a 110' stick in nearest town so we just need something to start with.

    Also, the 26 yr old pumper its going to replace is our oldest of 3 and already is a reserve located at separate garage...its having major rust and maint issues...next town to us is similar size and has 2 engines + a quint so we're going same path.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    As to the 24' ladder being max on an engine...mine has a 28'. Town near me has a 35' ladder on their engine. 24' is not the max.
    I said that I was told 24' was the longest that fits on the 3 engines we have now, not that others might not have capabilities for longer.
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 03-17-2012 at 02:40 AM.

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    Depending on the cost a few year old unit may be cheaper to get a newer truck in the fleet. There is a lot of refurbished units and they are fairly reasonable on the price. The thing one needs to review is the need for a 75 aerial device.

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    Our department went to the voters 3-times and failed to get approval for the re-chassis/refurb of a 75' MM platform that we own and the cost of the project was $725,000. After waiting three years we got approval to spend up to $ 370,000 on a rebuild, it's not easy trying to get the tax payers to pay more each year there property tax bill comes in. The economy is still not that good, and people say to use what you have or call for mutial aid!

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    2 story homes with chimneys is very far from justifying the "need" for a $750k truck. I'm willing to bet the FD can access all the roof's in your area with their 24' ladder and roof ladders. So you will have a hard time using that as justification. For example....how many fires has your Department not been able to handle due to the height of the fire? Are there overhead power lines in your area? Lots of trees? I have a 100' platform in my town...there is a good # of buildings that the bucket can't be used at due to wires/trees....and we get there with ground ladders.

    Also, if you can fit a 2 section 24' ladder on the engines now....you can fit a 3 section 35' ladder. Pretty much the same overall length when not extended. (2 14' sections vs 3 14' sections)

    What is your FD/Town ISO rating? Would adding the aerial give you a better rating and therefore lower insurance costs for your residents/businesses? Do some research on that....people like to hear about something that will save them money....


    *** understand...not telling you they don't need it....just letting you get an idea of the questions people can ask. Have been there....done that....we got the truck.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Perhaps the best way to help is by connecting with other like minded citizens, and working to get more on your side. If you can let your elected officials know that a good chunk of taxpaying voters care about fire protection, the fire department will have a much easier time getting their wants and needs filled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    2 story homes with chimneys is very far from justifying the "need" for a $750k truck.
    I live in a full 2 story modular, and you need at least a 32' ladder to get to my roof on a couple of sides. We can easily justify a quint for our area as we have a lot of 500K+ 2 story houses with 7/12 pitch roofs. Coupled with the fact that lightning strikes are not uncommon around here, a 750K truck can very well be justified in a lot of areas like ours.

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    500K+ 2 story houses are cheap compared to most that I deal with here on the oceanfront. We find that most of them have finished attics as well, so vertical venting (unless it's an attic fire) isn't really that big a benefit.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    If your fire department can't come up with reasons to justify purchasing a quint on their own, odds are they don't really have any reason to need one.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    500K+ 2 story houses are cheap compared to most that I deal with here on the oceanfront. We find that most of them have finished attics as well, so vertical venting (unless it's an attic fire) isn't really that big a benefit.
    We have a lot here that have a friggin' lumber yard for an attic, but aren't usable space. (I can't understand having all the cubic feet of space and not being able to use it) They LOOK like they have a third floor a lot of times, but it's just a trussed attic a lot of times. So if there's any fire up there you have to hit it quick or you lose the whole house. BTW, they used to be more than 500K houses....

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    It's nice to have a ladder truck elevated master stream with 1000 gpm spraying down on a roof or protecting the building next door, plus venting the attic area or loft !
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 03-19-2012 at 08:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hallgren View Post
    I said that I was told 24' was the longest that fits on the 3 engines we have now, not that others might not have capabilities for longer.
    If it has room for a 24' ladder now, it has room for a 35' ladder. Specifically, a 35' pumper extension ladder which is the same length stowed as the 24' ladder you have now; it just has three sections instead of two.

    It's entirely possible (and fairly likely) that you don't need a quint at all. You might need an aerial, you might need a pumper with a ladder, you might just need to trade in your 24' ground ladders for 35' ground ladders, but you don't necessarily need a quint.

    The idea is to evaluate your department's needs then determine the best fleet composition to meet them; not to decide that you want a quint and then figure out how to justify it with the taxpayers.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    If money is an issue, there are plenty of stock 75' aerials available for $500K or less. Maybe saving some money and getting the same length aerial would help sell the idea.

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    The department may be set up for a aerial ladder with a piped water way.

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    Anybody besides me wondering why a civilian has so much interest in justifying a quint for the fire department? It may be totally legit, but it just has a strange aroma to it to me.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    Yeah - we both must be paranoid - cant help but wonder if this is a "fishing" expidition for the opposition.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Anybody besides me wondering why a civilian has so much interest in justifying a quint for the fire department? It may be totally legit, but it just has a strange aroma to it to me.
    He maybe friends with the fire chief or firefighters and just wants to try to help the guys get support from the local citizens when they go to town hall to ask for the money to purchase the apparatus!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    He maybe friends with the fire chief or firefighters and just wants to try to help the guys get support from the local citizens when they go to town hall to ask for the money to purchase the apparatus!
    To me the person to talk to is the Fire Chief and find out why he thinks a quint is the answer. Then support hos rationale. Not go on a fishing expedition online to justify a piece of equipment. As someone said earlier, if the fire departent can't come up with enough home grown reasons to justify a quint, maybe they really don;t need one.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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