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Thread: Ladder with pump or without?

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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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    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.
    An aerial whose other mission is to be the supply engine? While a quint may have a tank, the designation means nothing, it's he functional use. You could have a typical "quint" without the tank and in my eyes be even further from useful, as you'd prove it could never be first in, why not just save the money and buy a straight truck? Is this apparatus replacing another? If so, what was it and how was it used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    An aerial whose other mission is to be the supply engine? While a quint may have a tank, the designation means nothing, it's he functional use. You could have a typical "quint" without the tank and in my eyes be even further from useful, as you'd prove it could never be first in, why not just save the money and buy a straight truck? Is this apparatus replacing another? If so, what was it and how was it used?
    Actually, technically you can NOT have a quint without the tank. A quint requires, pump, tank, hose, ground ladders, and an aerial device. All five components make up a quint, so technically without a tank you would have a morphodite quad. A quad normally has pump, tank, hose, and ground ladders.

    I know of a couple of quints in this area that carry hard suction for portatank ops at rural fires.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-28-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    While a quint may have a tank, the designation means nothing, it's he functional use. You could have a typical "quint" without the tank and in my eyes be even further from useful, as you'd prove it could never be first in, why not just save the money and buy a straight truck?
    I'm not sure if I'm picking up what you're putting down, but without a tank, you don't have a quint.

    Quint:
    1. >75 aerial with a pre-piped waterway
    2. 1000GPM pump or greater
    3 >300 gallons of water.
    4. >85 feet of ground ladders
    5. 30CF of supply line storage and 7CF of attack line storage

    There are a lot of departments that are willing to sacrifice a given amount of storage space and put a pump on a ladder truck simply to eliminate the need for the pumper. They never intended for it to be a quint, don't run it as a quint, but can still use the pump to supply the aerial waterway.

    The selection of a pump (and/or tank) is such a subjective issue, it has to be examined department-by-department. Obviously, many department's struggle with the "what if the ladder shows up first with no pump or water?" Well, perform a rescue where practical and absolutely necessary (VEIS), confine the fire, but the 2.5 gallon cans on it, don't break windows until a hoseline is in place. Yes, it will seem like eternity waiting for the engine to arrive, but think about it - relative to the number of calls we go on, versus the amount of those that are fire related, versus the amount that are working fires, how often is that really going to happen? As someone who runs only dry ladder trucks (all RM ladder towers) in his department, I can give you the answer: RARELY, if ever.

    Our reason for running dry aerials? Our towers also run as heavy rescues (like Denver), so we need a lot of compartment space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I'm not sure if I'm picking up what you're putting down, but without a tank, you don't have a quint.

    Quint:
    1. >75 aerial with a pre-piped waterway
    2. 1000GPM pump or greater
    3 >300 gallons of water.
    4. >85 feet of ground ladders
    5. 30CF of supply line storage and 7CF of attack line storage

    There are a lot of departments that are willing to sacrifice a given amount of storage space and put a pump on a ladder truck simply to eliminate the need for the pumper. They never intended for it to be a quint, don't run it as a quint, but can still use the pump to supply the aerial waterway.

    The selection of a pump (and/or tank) is such a subjective issue, it has to be examined department-by-department. Obviously, many department's struggle with the "what if the ladder shows up first with no pump or water?" Well, perform a rescue where practical and absolutely necessary (VEIS), confine the fire, but the 2.5 gallon cans on it, don't break windows until a hoseline is in place. Yes, it will seem like eternity waiting for the engine to arrive, but think about it - relative to the number of calls we go on, versus the amount of those that are fire related, versus the amount that are working fires, how often is that really going to happen? As someone who runs only dry ladder trucks (all RM ladder towers) in his department, I can give you the answer: RARELY, if ever.

    Our reason for running dry aerials? Our towers also run as heavy rescues (like Denver), so we need a lot of compartment space.
    You got my point. I am talking about a 750 or 1000 GPM 160 PSI, can be use to boost pressure or a quick attack from a water source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    You got my point. I am talking about a 750 or 1000 GPM 160 PSI, can be use to boost pressure or a quick attack from a water source.
    "quick attack " from a water source ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    An aerial whose other mission is to be the supply engine? While a quint may have a tank, the designation means nothing, it's the functional use. You could have a typical "quint" without the tank and in my eyes be even further from useful, as you'd prove it could never be first in, why not just save the money and buy a straight truck? Is this apparatus replacing another? If so, what was it and how was it used?
    I guess I didn't make myself clear enough with the preceding sentence and quotes (air quotes would have been unmistakable)? Call it what you want, but if you basically build a truck like most of the common "quints" are built today but without the tank, you'll have a "quad?" or what ever you want to call it that's even less useful. Now remove the hose altogether and be a pure aerial with a pressure boosting pump, and you'll be a truck that doesn't need an aerial tucked up it's caboose at the "big one".

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    Let me throw in another possible complication-POLITICS.

    We are a suburban 5 station department that used to run 2 truck/rescue companies (two pieces of apparatus, cross-manned) and 5 engines. Due to budget cuts, both truck companies were taken out of service. The chief sold a Tower Ladder Quint, a 75' Quint, and a Rescue to buy a used ladder with no pump or tank-so we could carry all the rescue gear on the ladder. One engine was taken out of service, and replaced by the no-pump ladder. It is the only ladder without a pump/tank in the county. It wasn't long before the ladder, running alone, got caught for extended times at fires without an engine company.

    The union tried to fight the budget cuts and argued against stationing a truck without a tank/pump by itself. They pointed out we bought the pump-less ladder from a city that replaced double company houses with single quints. Citizens complained the fire department was showing up at fires and couldn't put the fire out. The other chiefs in the county complained to our city and changed the mutual aid policy to exclude our truck, as they did not want a ladder without pump filling their stations, or tying up an engine for supply at fires.

    Based on all of this, the city administration forced the chief to keep 5 engines in service. The chief wants 4 engines/1 truck, so to make his point that we need the ladder in service, he will not allow us to redistribute any of the ladder company equipment. So, after being very truck company oriented for almost 20 years, we go to fires with no saws, no fans, and no ladders over 28'.

    Our 1990 quint, which was supposed to be moved to reserve after the purchase of the no pump ladder, has spent 9 months in the shop getting almost $100,000 worth of repairs, including a new motor. The plan when it returns is to cross man the ladders-Quint when first due, straight ladder on other calls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    Let me throw in another possible complication-POLITICS.

    We are a suburban 5 station department that used to run 2 truck/rescue companies (two pieces of apparatus, cross-manned) and 5 engines. Due to budget cuts, both truck companies were taken out of service. The chief sold a Tower Ladder Quint, a 75' Quint, and a Rescue to buy a used ladder with no pump or tank-so we could carry all the rescue gear on the ladder. One engine was taken out of service, and replaced by the no-pump ladder. It is the only ladder without a pump/tank in the county. It wasn't long before the ladder, running alone, got caught for extended times at fires without an engine company.

    The union tried to fight the budget cuts and argued against stationing a truck without a tank/pump by itself. They pointed out we bought the pump-less ladder from a city that replaced double company houses with single quints. Citizens complained the fire department was showing up at fires and couldn't put the fire out. The other chiefs in the county complained to our city and changed the mutual aid policy to exclude our truck, as they did not want a ladder without pump filling their stations, or tying up an engine for supply at fires.

    Based on all of this, the city administration forced the chief to keep 5 engines in service. The chief wants 4 engines/1 truck, so to make his point that we need the ladder in service, he will not allow us to redistribute any of the ladder company equipment. So, after being very truck company oriented for almost 20 years, we go to fires with no saws, no fans, and no ladders over 28'.

    Our 1990 quint, which was supposed to be moved to reserve after the purchase of the no pump ladder, has spent 9 months in the shop getting almost $100,000 worth of repairs, including a new motor. The plan when it returns is to cross man the ladders-Quint when first due, straight ladder on other calls.
    This what I am saying in a nut shell. The only reason to have a pump is to provide another tool on the apparatus. It is no different then adding a generator. Having a pump helps if you get a big fire and need more pressure on the fire ground. A ladder with out a monitor seems to be a common thing,even a 500 GPM monitor can useful, the water way can be used to supply hand lines on a higher fire floor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    This what I am saying in a nut shell. The only reason to have a pump is to provide another tool on the apparatus. It is no different then adding a generator. Having a pump helps if you get a big fire and need more pressure on the fire ground. A ladder with out a monitor seems to be a common thing,even a 500 GPM monitor can useful, the water way can be used to supply hand lines on a higher fire floor.
    SuperFire123,

    I have to ask...Are you a firefighter, a junior, a wannabe or what? Because so much of what you posts shows either little or no knowledge of fire apparatus, or standards that apply to them, or in reality, makes no sense at al when talking about tactics.
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    I am retired from a rural VFD member and we looked at things from a limited resource angle.

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    By Firefighter513 in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-26-2001, 11:19 PM

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