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Thread: Ladder with pump or without?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    You donnot get my point,look how many department have one apparatus go down,having the ability to cover that rig during the down time should be included in future apparatus planning.
    I don't see moving a primary truck (aerial) into the pumper role as an efficient use of resources. If this is one of many aerials, then maybe this could work, but as a departments primary piece I think it is more problematic then it's worth. This is why ISO won't give a quint full credit for both. I personally like simplicity an assignments and training for truckman and engine guys is different, blurring those roles once in a while can lead to confusion and people not being in the right places, not something I choose to hamper a fireground with. Our FD has a second due engine that is used to cover a first due piece being out, and a mutual aid aerial is assigned to all boxes when our tower is out of service. But again, your own department situation may be ripe for a quint, but for my money I think they weaken the ability of a department overall by furthering the "jack of all trades, master of none" concept, with regard to actual equipment capability, firefighter training and fireground assignments.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-25-2013 at 10:49 AM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words


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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I don't see moving a primary truck (aerial) into the pumper role as an efficient use of resources. If this is one of many aerials, then maybe this could work, but as a departments primary piece I think it is more problematic then it's worth. This is why ISO won't give a quint full credit for both. I personally like simplicity an assignments and training for truckman and engine guys is different, blurring those roles once in a while can lead to confusion and people not being in the right places, not something I choose to hamper a fireground with. Our FD has a second due engine that is used to cover a first due piece being out, and a mutual aid aerial is assigned to all boxes when our tower is out of service. But again, your own department situation may be ripe for a quint, but for my money I think they weaken the ability of a department overall by furthering the "jack of all trades, master of none" concept, with regard to actual equipment capability, firefighter training and fireground assignments.
    The problem is you are seeing this ONLY from how your FD operates their apparatus. Whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, there are many variations to how equipment is staffed. My former career FD cross trains EVERYONE, including the paramedics, to be both engine and truck firefighters. You may be detailed to work either an engine or a truck on any given day due to staffing shortages. Add to that many volunteer FDs train their people to do whatever job needs filling. They may be a engine guy, a truckie, driving the tender, working the heavy rescue, or running the brush truck. They have to be versatile because of the uncertainty of who will arrive for the call.

    Is there a benefit to more specialized training for truckies to do truck work, and engine company guys to do extinguishment? Of course, but when you don't have the option of guaranteeing the same people on the same rig all the time cross training is the only viable solution. I spent the first roughly 1/3 of my career mostly serving on an engine, and the last 2/3 on a quint. Initially the quint ran as an engine with an aerial device and truck equipment, the last couple of years it was reclassified as a truck and ran as such in most cases. You may call this somewhat egotistical but I figured we were the jacks of all trades. This call we are doing truck work, the next we may have the first line in.
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    Oh I see it many different ways, but what readily apparent is that many people don't like to see the reality. My department trains everyone as well, in fact our crews rotate through apparatus assignments monthly. SO I'm not so blind as to only see it my way, as the way we operate clearly doesn't allow personnel to be the best at any one discipline. We also run fire and EMS which again waters down skills. We have great personnel who do strong work, but you'd have to be blind not to see that one discipline robs time from the other. But alas, this is the hand we're dealt with with low shift staffing.

    To me the bigger issue is the fireground assignments. If your on a single role piece you should know your assignment at the beginning of your tour or when you climb on board. If you roll up and suddenly need to put the aerial in use, the crew that was responsible for the primary line is likely delayed. If your roll in assigned to search and the officer finds he needs an exposure line immediately, the search is delayed. I believe the company should be allowed to focus on their assignment from the time the page drops, changing the primary duties in the middle of a chaotic scene is not a best practice in my mind. Add to this a piece that rarely is designed as a great engine to work from and is typically a shorter aerial and you're two steps behind just so city hall can save a few bucks while you try and do more with less.

    I don't find your idea that your crews were Jacks of all Trades, egotistical, but wonder if you could call them Masters of any of them? Did training not require you to split your time between engine and truck ops? Can we not agree that spending 100% of the time on one function will have better results for that function than 50/50 for two?
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-25-2013 at 05:04 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words
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    The famous words are " Leave Room For The Truck " with a quint you won't here these words !

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Oh I see it many different ways, but what readily apparent is that many people don't like to see the reality. My department trains everyone as well, in fact our crews rotate through apparatus assignments monthly. SO I'm not so blind as to only see it my way, as the way we operate clearly doesn't allow personnel to be the best at any one discipline. We also run fire and EMS which again waters down skills. We have great personnel who do strong work, but you'd have to be blind not to see that one discipline robs time from the other. But alas, this is the hand we're dealt with with low shift staffing.

    To me the bigger issue is the fireground assignments. If your on a single role piece you should know your assignment at the beginning of your tour or when you climb on board. If you roll up and suddenly need to put the aerial in use, the crew that was responsible for the primary line is likely delayed. If your roll in assigned to search and the officer finds he needs an exposure line immediately, the search is delayed. I believe the company should be allowed to focus on their assignment from the time the page drops, changing the primary duties in the middle of a chaotic scene is not a best practice in my mind. Add to this a piece that rarely is designed as a great engine to work from and is typically a shorter aerial and you're two steps behind just so city hall can save a few bucks while you try and do more with less.

    I don't find your idea that your crews were Jacks of all Trades, egotistical, but wonder if you could call them Masters of any of them? Did training not require you to split your time between engine and truck ops? Can we not agree that spending 100% of the time on one function will have better results for that function than 50/50 for two?
    You proved my point, you ARE seeing this through the eyes of FDs that are big enough to have seperate companies with little or no crossing over. Departments with limited staffing are all to well used to not knowing if from day to day whether they are a truckie or a hose jockey. Whether it may or may not make a difference in proficiency and skill level it is however reality and what we MUST live with and adapt to. My career FD ran a straight stick ladder truck in addition to the quint and again, while they had normally assigned staff there was no guarantee on low staffing days that a med or an engine wouldn't be riding the truck.

    There may be volunteer FDs out there that have people specifically assigned to specific rigs and they don't cross over. I have never seen one out here and I have been in a good chunk of volunteer/POC FDs in 37 years. Again cross over in the volly world is the nature of the beast.

    I don't know if I agree on 50/50 verus 100% training on only one discipline. I think it is shortsighted in many FDs not to have people capable of doing both job with speed and efficiency. Why? Because we are stuck with the hand city admin's hand us and in order to keep us safe we need people that can do whatever it takes to get the job done. And frankly, I don't expect the evil hand of budget and staff cuts to end anytime soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    ...
    To me the bigger issue is the fireground assignments. If your on a single role piece you should know your assignment at the beginning of your tour or when you climb on board....
    Happens all the time here. Our assignment as "truck" or "engine" is made on each call....as we leave the station. That's when our "tour" begins. And we know our tasks based on whether we are engine 1, engine 2, truck 1, truck 2, etc. It's actually very efficient for us.

    We run one Quint and 3 engines. And with the exception of the 105' aerial....they are pretty much the same in equipment carried. And the actual uses of the aerial have been extremely limited.
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    Kabutler515,

    Due to your question we already know that you have a stick so you already have experience with a ladder. Based upon your reply I would assume that it is a pure truck. With that in mind you need to speak with your members and determine if ever having a pump and some water would have made a difference on any calls since you've had an aerial. You also stated you had good mutual aid. Not sure how long you have been in the fire service but I know during the time that I have many things have changed. If you are looking at a 20 year service life what can change during that time? Will mutual aid always be as strong? Will your own staffing be the same as it is now or will it decrease? Will you always be able to field as many apparatus as you do now?

    By no means is this the best reason to make the investment but the public thinks every fire truck has a pump and water. What happens if you show up as a straight truck and have to wait for an engine to show up with water while people watch and question? Not a good scenario, especially since everyone has access to the world wide web and can show everyone "How you screwed up and stood around instead of doing anything". Granted most ladders with pumps only have 300 gallons of water but that can put out a dumpster or car fire. If properly applied it can buy some time until the engine gets there on a structure fire depending upon the call.

    Our ladders have pumps and 300 gallons of water. Technically they qualify as quints because of the water, pump, hose, ladder and generator but we view them as ladders. There are 2 or 3 preconnects , a total of 4 side discharges and the main waterway.

    When we do get a large fire it is real asset that the ladder can hook a hydrant, lay in, fly the aerial and flow big water in a hurry without relying on another apparatus to hook the hydrant, lay in and establish the relay. The ladder can also supply a monitor or hand line depending upon the available water. We've also had the ladder be the first apparatus on the scene and begin to start operations before the engine arrived.

    As most have stated you need to determine what will work best for your department. Due to staffing I can understand why some departments run a pure truck and why some people see quints as staff killers. I also understand that there are pro's and con's of going with or without a pump. Off the top of my mind I can only think of one quint I've seen that had enough compartment and hose bed space to even have a chance at properly filling both roles but it only had a 70' ladder. Based upon my experiences putting pump on the truck only makes sense.

    Just remember, you have to spec a truck that will be an asset to your department over its entire service life. It's often better to "overbuild" it in anticipation of what will come during its service life than just trying to meet your current needs.

    Good luck. Let us know what you guys go with.

    Walt
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    The one thing also to think about is a ladder with a pump can save your butt if you get a disaster have to respond to multiple incidents to to go to. We don't live in a ideal world,what happens if your one and only aid department has a huge fire and you sent your only engine and then MURPHY strikes,and you get a second alarm in your own district,how do you plan to deal with that situation? This was a question we got ask in officers school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    You proved my point, you ARE seeing this through the eyes of FDs that are big enough to have separate companies with little or no crossing over.
    Which point, first I was only seeing it through my own dept view, now it's through the view of a larger FD? I see it through my own two eyes and process what I see, hear, read and learn with my own brain. My personal conclusion is that short of certain circumstances quints are not the panacea they are made out to be. I don't think they can't be used well or have a role, but I think, again, from my view, they're overused to the denigration of the overall service provided. If a fire needs an engine and a ladder it needs two companies, not one struggling to split the tasks. Please note that I've never thought or said those assigned to particular companies are incapable of doing the tasks of another company, I've yet to see a FD send their rookies to truck company academy or engine academy, I think we're all providing a basic level then letting personnel develop their skills within their role. I think you'd be stretching the analogy to think a ladder guy in San Fransisco, DC, FDNY or Chicago couldn't stretch a line or make a push on the knob.

    As I routinely have told many firefighters both career and volunteer, the biggest strength a career FD has over a volunteer is not the academy or training (it is doable by vol, FD's too) it's the constant teamwork with the same crew, the same expectations, the same tasks, etc. This is the same thing that a single role company provides. I realize this isn't reality for a lot of volunteer FD's but I also see FD's where the only thing between reality and progress is "the way we've always done it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    The one thing also to think about is a ladder with a pump can save your butt if you get a disaster have to respond to multiple incidents to to go to. We don't live in a ideal world,what happens if your one and only aid department has a huge fire and you sent your only engine and then MURPHY strikes,and you get a second alarm in your own district,how do you plan to deal with that situation? This was a question we got ask in officers school.
    What if the M/A FD had asked you for your ladder before your fire came in? What if you have two fire and they have one? You can what if things to death. FD's must be based in reality and not over spend tax dollars planning for things that might happen once in a great while, vs. those that are more likely. Build and buy the truck that fits the role you need it to. If you need to look to the internet to find ways to justify the quint you want to replace your engine, you might be stretching the need and harm you FD's standing with the community in the long run. But, only those in your FD and area can accurately read the litany of variable that affect this decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Which point, first I was only seeing it through my own dept view, now it's through the view of a larger FD? I see it through my own two eyes and process what I see, hear, read and learn with my own brain. My personal conclusion is that short of certain circumstances quints are not the panacea they are made out to be. I don't think they can't be used well or have a role, but I think, again, from my view, they're overused to the denigration of the overall service provided. If a fire needs an engine and a ladder it needs two companies, not one struggling to split the tasks. Please note that I've never thought or said those assigned to particular companies are incapable of doing the tasks of another company, I've yet to see a FD send their rookies to truck company academy or engine academy, I think we're all providing a basic level then letting personnel develop their skills within their role. I think you'd be stretching the analogy to think a ladder guy in San Fransisco, DC, FDNY or Chicago couldn't stretch a line or make a push on the knob.

    As I routinely have told many firefighters both career and volunteer, the biggest strength a career FD has over a volunteer is not the academy or training (it is doable by vol, FD's too) it's the constant teamwork with the same crew, the same expectations, the same tasks, etc. This is the same thing that a single role company provides. I realize this isn't reality for a lot of volunteer FD's but I also see FD's where the only thing between reality and progress is "the way we've always done it".
    I just don't believe the majority of FDs are doing as much specialization between egine and truck firefighters as there used to be in the past. Career FDs are suffering staffing cuts and transfers and fill ins are doing more to end the specialization than a purposeful attack on specialization is. I never said recruits went through a truckie or engine academy, everyone is taught the basics of everything in the academy. The truth is many FDs look at a firefighter as a peg in a hole. You are a firefighter so today you are on the engine, tomorrow you are on the truck and next day you may be on the ambulance. Is that the way the FDNY or Chicago, or Boston, or any other larger FD does it? Probably not. I can tell you with my former career FD we had no specialized engine or truck company training for specific companies. If we did specific training, EVERYONE participated no matter what rig you were assigned to.

    I agree in some cases the quint is a horrible choice, even the FDNY had a couple of quints over the years. I believe some Sutphens and at least one ALF. Obviously it didn't work for them so they are gone. Many volunteer FDs are on their 3rd, 4th, or maybe even 5th generation quint. If it didn't work for them why keep buying them? It would seem the bean counters would have put a stop to it by now.

    The problem is no matter how much you will it to be, the volunteer service staffing is not and never will be the same as the career fire service. The one factor is you never know who will show up, well, unless you have duty companies and that doesn't happen much around here. So you may train 8 guys to be you truckies and what happens if none of those 8 show up? Is the truck shut down for that call? Hence cross training everyone and letting the rigs fill by priority not by who shows up.

    I liked riding on the quint at work, even though it was bitter sweet because it costs us an engine and a truck and 6 promoted positions. I found the variety of assignments interesting and fun. We never had an issue where the quint was responsible for some cataclysmic event ocurring on the fireground, and in reality I just don't see it happening. Would I have preferred to keep the seperate engine and truck and 6 promoted positions? Of course, but neither the city manager nor the fire chief asked for my advice. So like we always do in the fire service we do the best we can with what we have and so far this has worked.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-26-2013 at 10:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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    With the reduction of man power and budgets apparatus that is more multi purpose are the wave of the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    With the reduction of man power and budgets apparatus that is more multi purpose are the wave of the future.
    Regardless of how many functions an apparatus is designed or equipped to handle, it still takes personnel to perform them and that is why I see little value in a Quint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    With the reduction of man power and budgets apparatus that is more multi purpose are the wave of the future.
    Add in that fires burn faster, hotter and reduce the time to structural failure and we have a recipe for more civilian death/injury, more LODDs, and increased fire loss. The apparatus doesn't do the work, humans do, and until we can improve our own design, increasing the workload and decreasing the time needed to do it will be a detrimental practice.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-27-2013 at 09:18 AM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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    What my point being is having apparatus that can cover several rolls is the modern way because of shrinking personal numbers,do more with less resources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    What my point being is having apparatus that can cover several rolls is the modern way because of shrinking personal numbers,do more with less resources.
    The problem that you are failing to see is simply this, you can replace all the aerials with quints and eliminate an engine and a truck, you can replace all the tenders with pumper tankers and eliminate an engine and a tender, you can replace all the rescue trucks with a rescue engine and eliminate an engine and a heavy rescue...but none of those vehicles can do both jobs at once because of staffing or the make up of the rig. Every time a department loses 2 rigs to make a multi-purpose rig they lose people to staff them. Volunteers may put an 8 or 10 man cab on the new rig, but how often will it be full? Career departments just cut staffing through lay offs or attrition. The bitter truth is none of these rigs are staffed properly to do both task simultaneously, or the nature of the task prevents simultaneous use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    ...The bitter truth is none of these rigs are staffed properly to do both task simultaneously...
    True, but that is neither the solution nor the fault of the rig.


    What's better....rolling a truck with 2 guys and an engine with 2 guys....or a quint with 4 guys?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    True, but that is neither the solution nor the fault of the rig.


    What's better....rolling a truck with 2 guys and an engine with 2 guys....or a quint with 4 guys?
    I'm not disagreeing with you and perhaps if you had read any of my other posts you would see I have been a supporter of the quint in specific FDs. My comment that you quoted was in direct rebuttal to what SuperFire123 said.
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    A ladder with a pump is not a quint! A quint must have a tank ! I am talking about a apparatus that is designed to pump water from a static source only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    A ladder with a pump is not a quint! A quint must have a tank ! I am talking about a apparatus that is designed to pump water from a static source only.
    Frankly, I haven't got a clue what the hell you are talking about with this post.
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