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  1. #1
    axeman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up QUNITS, love em or hate em?

    Let me be more clear. My dept. is planning to start running a QUINT in lieu of an engine and truck station. We are building a 4th station and when it opens we will not gain manpower, we will lose an engine and gain a quint instead of hiring additional firefihgters and purchasing another engine. What do you think??????

    [This message has been edited by axeman (edited May 20, 2000).]


  2. #2
    BurrHFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question


    Before you judge the Quint.Do some research on the subject.I think you will have to have some good justification for the Chief to change his mind on the Qunit.

    I have done alot of research on the Qunit.
    The quint is the way to go. you can run it as a Engine plus have the benifit of a aerial ladder. this is my opinion.

    opinion very on this subject?

    Burr



  3. #3
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We trust our company officers to perform the roles needed at any given fire. We provide them with a whole fleet of quints to increase the options available to them. After 40 years of quint use in the FD I canít see why a conventional truck would be less effective if it packed water, hose and a pump.

    Having a pump on board insures better faster ladder pipes, generally 2 to 3 times the flow of a conventional aerial. First in ladders can attack fire as needed. No need to leave the ladder at the station during structure protection at wildland events. No need to commit an and engine and crew to support the aerial, so more guys can actually fight fires and save lives.

    Often, you hear folks say how do we know what role to serve, ladder or pumper. The big cities I quints are doing just fine with roles. Trust the officer, train the officer. If they canít figure it out, replace the officer. Not much different than having an engine perform truck functions when the ladder is delayed or out of service or district.

    If you canít trust your people, the issue will never be your apparatus.

    Ours do everything we want them to do and continue to amaze us.

  4. #4
    FyredUp
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    axeman,

    I think quints can be a very useful piece of equipment in the right circumstance.

    The problem comes in when you drop a quint into a traditional engine / truck FD. It becomes an odd duckling that never really seems to fit right anywhere. Also, many times a quint is placed in those situations as a way to cut staffing.

    I believe that places like Richmond and St. Louis have proven that quints can and do work if well thought out and part of a total concept of operation. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Planning and defining how the unit will be utilized are every bit as important as how the rig will be specced out.

    Stay involved to insure that this unit does fit your operations and that it will do as it is intended.

    Good luck,

    Don

    [This message has been edited by FyredUp (edited May 17, 2000).]

  5. #5
    FyredUp
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    axeman,

    I think quints can be a very useful piece of equipment in the right circumstance.

    The problem comes in when you drop a quint into a traditional engine / truck FD. It becomes an odd duckling that never really seems to fit right anywhere. Also, many times a quint is placed in those situations as a way to cut staffing.

    I believe that places like Richmond and St. Louis have proven that quints can and do work if well thought out and part of a total concept of operation. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Planning and defining how the unit will be utilized are every bit as important as how the rig will be specced out.

    Stay involved to insure that this unit does fit your operations and that it will do as it is intended.

    Good luck,

    Don

    [This message has been edited by FyredUp (edited May 17, 2000).]

  6. #6
    STATION2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    Axeman you have a interesting situation. I take it you have 1 Truck Co. by your post. In previous posts and disagreements on this site, I have been very against quints with 2 exceptions. 1.) for small dept.'s and 2.) for large dept.'s if they do it department wide. Your situation appears to go with #1. As LHS said, by putting a quint in its place you increase its versatility. You obviously have a Truck Co. now that is not capable of generating its own water supply. I mean it can't lay a line and pump for its own use. With a smaller dept. you have limited resources available. You need to maximize capabilities. To replace your aerial with a quint can give you some added options on the fireground. No need to have an Engine Co. lay you the line and pump it to you. Allows the Truck Co. to keep a small fire small if they arrive first by having handlines, a booster tank and a hosebed with them. If its big when you roll in or gets big, the quint can be self-sufficient. This frees up the Engine Co. crew for another assignment: to position their rig for exposure protection, make more attack lines available elsewhere on the fireground, etc. The flexibility is nice to have. All of these reasons can mean the difference between holding it to the box or having to pull the 2-11 assignment or more. Our job is an imperfect science at best. Have as many tools in your toolbox as possible. LHS said that you need to train the officers on the quint to make the decisions that need to be made. He's right (I can't believe I actually agree with him on 2 issues in one post). My only reservation is if your chief has other motivations. I mean closing an Engine Co. and Truck Co. and combining them. Thats wrong. Building in versatility into a Truck Co. is one thing (Adding tools if you will). Trying to put to much in one rig is another. LHS and I have gone round and round on this and I hope it doesn't happen again, but just let me say........Don't try to get TOO MUCH versatility in ONE rig. I don't believe you can get ALL Engine Co. and ALL Truck Co. tools and equipment on one rig. Then you need to staff it with a 6 man crew, minimum, to do both types of work simulatiosly. I believe there is a fine line between the two. As long as the chief doesn't want to shut down companies, combine them or reduce manpower, you should be O.K. Just make sure to keep reminding him that you don't want to take away from the Truck Co.'s primary responsibilites on the fireground. Tell him (If he goes thru with this) that the hose and pump on the quint are just extra capablities that are onscene IF NEEDED. Keep spotting it as a Truck Co. and doing truck work. THE ONLY WAY THIS WILL WORK IS IF YOU HAVE SOG/SOP'S AND THEY DON'T CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE QUINT. Otherwise you'll have the "do we spot as an engine or truck" fiasco occur an neither one will be done completely. If the chief has any other motive than increased flexibility, without changing how you do things now, then fight it tooth and nail. Truck work can not be forsaken for trends, fads and "they got one" attitudes. One large warning though. An administrator can say one thing and do another. Politics can rise above everything and next budget year you close companies and combine them. If you let the quint get its foot in the door, you could have problems in the future. Be safe.

    Larry

  7. #7
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    ///I don't believe you can get ALL Engine Co. and ALL Truck Co. tools and equipment on one rig.

    Iíve got your engine and truck list)dang $86,000 worth on the truck alone), from Capt Ken. We actually carry more stuff than your city FD on an aerial and an engine on all our quints and quads.

    Beverly Hills staffs quints with 6.

  8. #8
    Crash18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Can a quint carry all the ground ladders that a normal truck does? In one of the townships I used to run with one company had a quint and it didn't carry any ladders except for the stick on top. The company I ran with was the truck company and we were still dew on most of the other companies boxes. However they would cancel us all the time. The problem we saw with this was that they were going to a possible fire and canceling the ground ladder support that is needed on any fireground. I think that having a pump with a ladder for support is nice but lets not forget the main pupose of a truck company, through ladders and ventilate. Every so often perform a search. Can those responsibilities be accomplished by three men? Thats to say that a six man quint is half truck and half engine. I think it would be hard since it takes at least two people to through a 35 foot ground ladder. Most trucks are designed to carry the same amount of people as an engine. There is a reason for this it takes that many men to safely perform truck work. It also takes that many men to safely perform engine work. So if you place a quint in place of a truck and engine company you are taking away from safety. Safety is the bottom line!
    Just my thoughts Josh.

    [This message has been edited by Crash18 (edited May 28, 2000).]

  9. #9
    Crash18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Can a quint carry all the ground ladders that a normal truck does? In one of the townships I used to run with one company had a quint and it didn't carry any ladders except for the stick on top. The company I ran with was the truck company and we were still dew on most of the other companies boxes. However they would cancel us all the time. The problem we saw with this was that were going to a possible fire and canceling the ground ladder support that is needed on any fireground. I think that having a pump with a ladder for support is nice but lets not forget the main pupose of a truck company through ladders and ventilate. Every so often perform a search. Can those responsibilities be accomplished by three men? Thats to say that a six man quint is half truck and half engine. I think it would be hard since it takes at least two people to through a 35 foot ground ladder. Most trucks are designed to carry the same amount of people as an engine. There is a reason for this it takes that many men to safely perform truck work. It also takes that many men to safely perform engine work. So if you place a quint in place of a truck and engine company you are taking away from safety. Safety is the bottom line!
    Just my thoughts Josh.

  10. #10
    Engine 224
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Crash 18 you are missing the point. A quint can be used as a truck OR an engine. It's the flexibility NOT the capability that counts. Same as with pumper tankers and rescue pumpers - multipurpose units can be used for multiple functions AS THE NEED DICTATES. Nobody ever suggested a rescue pumper can fight a fire and do an extracation at the same time or a pumper tanker can shuttle water and supply attack lines simultaneously. Same with quints. Multifunction capability is a compromise - if you have the money and the manpower buy one of each. Two pieces of apparatus with two crews can always do more than one. It's dollars and what makes sense!


    Yes - quints do carry ground ladders. NFPA 1901 calls for a minimum of 85 feet of ground ladders (vice 115 feet on an aerial). Most quint manufacturers can meet the 115 figure if the purchaser specifies it.

    [This message has been edited by Engine 224 (edited May 29, 2000).]

  11. #11
    ac52
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    So, thinking about buying a quint?
    As Chief of another dept. a few years back we were replacing a 1972 Mack Aerialscope. The 'experts' within pushed hard for a quint."We need a pump." You don't understand the concept" they said.
    So I did a little homework. We protect a Township of 60,000 people in a suburban/urban area with 11 engines, 3 ladders and 2 heavy rescues from 6 stations covering 18 sq. miles. Going back and reviewing reports for the preceding 10 yrs, I found that our ladder co. was first arriving on 5 workers. Each time an engine was close behind.
    So I began asking the following questions to myself,other chiefs and the 'experts'
    1. If the ladder co. arrives first, isn't their job the same no matter 'when' they arrive?
    2. In my 20 years of firefighting I've never positioned an engine the same place I've positioned the ladder. Sooo, where do I park this quint??
    3. If the ladder crew is doing engine work, who is doing the ladder work???
    4. Although NFPA has reduced the required amount of ground ladders to be carried, we still needed 180' to 200' for our first due.
    But you can't have it on a quint and still keep it small.
    5. the cost of adding a pump and tank was at least $35,000. Can I use that somewhere else?
    6. Our street are tight and they're not getting any bigger. How big did you say that quint was??!!
    7. How do we run this? First out? last?
    8. AND THE BIG ONE. Are we,as a volunteer dept., disciplined enough to stick to strong sop's/sog's now and the future??

    In my opinion, the quint has its place in the fire service. But, it is no a cure all for everyone. Research it, do your homework, ask questions, and stop and think about this purchase that you have to live with for a long time.

    Herb

  12. #12
    STATION2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    LHS, you say Beverly Hills staffs a quint with 6 people. I believe that to be perfect and also a rarity. How many quints do they have? Are you speaking of their LTI quint? Give me 3 more urban departments that staff a Quint Co. with 6 regularly. What about Syracuse? No. St. Louis? Nope. Richmond, Va.? Not. As I said a rarity. As far as what our Truck Co.'s and Engine Co.'s carry, try this on for size. Take one of our CR100's as it sits and add everything on one of our pumpers to it. IT CAN'T BE DONE. Even IF it could be done, it would be on their like a moving van. The big reason why your rigs work for you: You have a Telesquirt type device instead of an aerial ladder. Translation: Smaller "device" up top means less weight with less space taken up. You have more room and weight allowance for other equipment. We have a true 100' aerial ladder with a fly section wider than your bed section. If we put a 65' squirt on it then we could get more Engine Co. equipment on it. Maybe. To do that would be at the expense of Truck Co. functions unless every fire was ground level. I guess we just right them off if they are on, say, the #4 or #5 floor. Question: What if you have people hanging out of the fifth floor windows as you arrive onscene. You realize that the building offset is atleast 25' to 30' from the street on the side you need to be on. A 65' "device" isn't gonna cut it now is it? Answer: NO. Question: How about when you arrive, spot the rig, deploy the jacks and raise the aerial towards the civilian to be rescued. As one of your crew members goes up to rescue the little old lady, 3 children appear with her as well as her large husband. Now what do you do? Your thinking in the back of your mind..."Whats the tip load and distributed load maximums on this thing?" Answer: Not what it could be. Why is that? Because you wanted more compartment space for below grade vernal equinox southern hemisphere atmospheric rescue equipment, or a bigger booster tank, or that 15th pre-connected handline because 14 just wasn't enough, or the cliff rescue rope line thrower, or the snow plow attachments, or the TIC on either side of the rig because the one up front and to the rear just wouldn't do it when you utilize the perpendicular chassis thrusters, or the other equipment you had to carry. So you bought something that isn't an aerial but plays one on T.V. Be safe.

    Larry

    [This message has been edited by STATION2 (edited May 29, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Crash18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Engine224

    I haven't missed the point at all the whole reason for buying a rig is functionability. With that comes capability. Yes a quint can act like a truck or perform the job of an engine. That is what makes it a flexiable piece of apparatus. However when it is bought to be put on the front line that flexiability gets thrown out the window. When on scene it can only perform one function.
    Your comments about rescue-engines and pumper-tankers have no weight to them. If a rescue-pumper is at a fire it is going to pump water. If a pumper-tanker is at a fire pumping then it is pumping if it's shuttling then it is shuttling. Its not possible for them to provide both services at the same time. A quint however can provide the services of a truck and an engine at the same time (partially). That is what they are designed to do. However with shrinking manpower on apparatus that we do have in service across the country they can't perform to there design specifications. Until the manpower is there to run what a company already has to its max why get a piece of apparatus that can perform the function of two (possibly) if there is no one to do the work that is required to make the apparatus functional(ie. pulling lines, throwing ladders and the such).

    Josh

  14. #14
    SBrooks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    hehehehe

    BTW, i visited my hometown of richmond the other week...i havent been to a station since they got the quints. I stopped by co. 11 - which was one of the busiest in the state when i lived there, and talked to the guys. I got the impression that they really didn't like the quint idea. I looked over their quint as well...crosslays were lower than many engines i've seen, but they did have that infernal hose chute, with only one option: 4" line. Due to medic locals, I didn't get a chance to ask them what they did if they needed to hand jack a supply line a couple hundred feet.

    As far as equipment was concerned, they had a decent complement of truck equipment, except for ground ladders: 35, 24, 2 16' i believe. And as i mentioned they had limited flexibility with their supply lines (and attack lines for that matter).

    I noticed as they left the station on one call, that the tandem axle quint had to run over a curb to make one turn near their station.

    A thought about quint ground ladders....(and why quints probably work better when EVERYONE has one)...two extension ladders isn't much for a truck, but if every piece of apparatus there has them?...

  15. #15
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    First and formost - a quint should never be used as an excuse for reduced staffing.

    Secondly - our 105' quint carries all engine and ladder company equipment as required with the exception being a reduced stock of ground ladders by our choice. (We could have put the whole required complement on board, and not changed the size of the rig, tank or pump, but our review of our city shows that we don't need some of what's "required." We carry a 35', 24' 14' 10' attic, 10' folding for use as a straight or step ladder.)

    And - 1750 pump, 1200' LDH, 750 tank, seating for 7 (6 packed out), all the forcible entry tools, 7 preconnects, fans, saws, jaws, class A foam, 3 master streams, and the list goes on...

    And the rig is not too big to get around our too crowded little city streets.

    So, if you're not going to lose anything equipment wise (more departments than us carry all the required equipment for both and as I said, a quint should not be an excuse to reduce staffing), what sense does it make to go with a traditional truck company and not a quint?

    Tradition?

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited May 30, 2000).]

  16. #16
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    ...Can a quint carry all the ground ladders that a normal truck does?

    We carry 166 feet and have racks to carry up to 266 feet of ladders on all our quints.

    ....1. If the ladder co. arrives first, isn't their job the same no matter 'when' they arrive?

    Sure.

    ...2. In my 20 years of firefighting I've never positioned an engine the same place I've positioned the ladder. Sooo, where do I park this quint??

    Where it is needed. With the average home less than 60 feet long in relation to street frontage It is rarely an issue where the quint parks if it is first.

    ...3. If the ladder crew is doing engine work, who is doing the ladder work???

    In our case the same 10 man crew does both.

    ..4. Although NFPA has reduced the required amount of ground ladders to be carried, we still needed 180' to 200' for our first due.
    But you can't have it on a quint and still keep it small.

    Our quints aren't any bigger than any ladder truck and we can in fact carry way over 180 or 200 feet of ladders.

    ...5. the cost of adding a pump and tank was at least $35,000. Can I use that somewhere else?

    You'll have to buy a pumper, can you get one for $35,000 to run the ladder pipe?

    ...6. Our street are tight and they're not getting any bigger. How big did you say that quint was??!!

    Same size as your ladders.

    7. How do we run this? First out? last?

    Depends how you decide to use them.

    8. AND THE BIG ONE. Are we,as a volunteer dept., disciplined enough to stick to strong sop's/sog's now and the future??

    Go total quint and do it the same every call, or run by the seat of yuor pants, the choice is yours.

    ...Take one of our CR100's as it sits and add everything on one of our pumpers to it. IT CAN'T BE DONE.

    Can't? Go to Granbury Texas. 100' ladder, same ground ladders, 750 tank, more big hose, more attack lines, more master streams, more foam, more seats, etc, etc, etc. Or Incline Village, Emmeryville, dozens in So CA, etc.

    Gee, I bet it would have been nice to use an imager once and a while. The act you've never used 14 pre-connects isn't our fault, we know exactly why we bought what we bought, it wasn't flushed out in a committee. Oh congradulations on adopting our accountability system, I hear you'll be using it within 2 weeks. Obviously we don't have a clue what we are doing, so why are you copying us? Our tip mounted wireless imager and TV makes any operator better plus command knows exactly what is going on, isn't that a good thing?

    ...tip load?

    800lbs and yours is 500 lbs.

    Plus we bought ours for our area, don't compare town to town. We have sprinkled every single highrise in our state, you can't say that, so the example given isn't reality.

    ...How about when you arrive, spot the rig, deploy the jacks and raise the aerial towards the civilian

    We are at least 60 to 90 seconds faster in that evolution than your rigs. We won't need to wait for an engine to make attack. We don't need an engine for ladder pipe ops. That all spells faster, quicker.

    Plus we have much better spacing of our devices than you do, not super long response times or waits for a ladder to finally get there to support the engine liek you have. The ISO guy said you are at least 11 ladders short. That means over 220 square miles of your area is getting aid outside of 2 1/2 miles from a ladder.

    ...When on scene it can only perform one function

    Isn't that a staffing issue??? Don't many volunteers respond to the scene? They do on the left coast. We use them.

    ...A quint however can provide the services of a truck and an engine at the same time (partially).

    Not really, once again a staffing issue. We do it well over 100%. Now are we comparing a 1, 2, 3 or 4 man ladder company?

    ... they had limited flexibility with their supply lines (and attack lines for that matter). and ground ladders

    They spec'd their own rigs. As do all departments. Spec right and it is not an issue.

    .....with only one option: 4" line

    That is better than what they used to run. Staffing per call, 20 ladders, 2 extrication sets, 20 plus defibs, the amount of attack and supply line, SCBAs, age of apparatus, and other quality loose equipment is all a heck of a lot more than they used to run.

    It is amazing you don't point that out about your home town. They used to run total crap.

    ...two extension ladders isn't much for a truck, but if every piece of apparatus there has them?...

    If NFPA is the voice of the fire service, then what happened to the days of 163 and 244 feet of ladders? It is our fault not speaking up isn't it?

    ...Secondly - our 105' quint carries all engine and ladder company equipment as required with the exception being a reduced stock of ground ladders by our choice.

    Actually, you carry more than NFPA states.

    ...So, if you're not going to lose anything equipment wise (as I said, a quint should not be an excuse to reduce staffing), what sense does it make not to go with a quints instead of a traditional truck company?

    It makes lots of sense, that is why the fire service has purchased them since the 30's. Americans vote with their wallets, quints are second to engines in production volume. If they didn't work why would we see all these repeat buyers?

    What sense does it make to arrive at a fire with a vehicle that cannot make initial attack if it arrives first? Can't support its own crew. Has to be supplied by another rig? Can't stand alone and fight? I'd say NONE.


  17. #17
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Station 2

    Isn't it fair to post: You are buying quints in your volunteer fd? That your paid FD ran pumps and water on ladders for almost 20 years? That waiting 5 minutes or more for the first ladder to arrive in 220 square miles of response district as a norm...really makes one question the value of the ladder company?

    [This message has been edited by LHS' (edited May 30, 2000).]

  18. #18
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Sorry, my last post should have said this in the last paragraph for clarity:

    So, if you're not going to lose anything equipment wise (more departments than us carry all the required equipment for both and as I said, a quint should not be an excuse to reduce staffing), what sense does it make to go with a traditional truck company and not a quint?

    Instead of this:

    So, if you're not going to lose anything equipment wise (as I said, a quint should not be an excuse to reduce staffing), what sense does it make not to go with a quints instead of a traditional truck company?



  19. #19
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ax, you did not say what your current manning is on these 2 pieces? I agree this is a way to cut manning. A pump on a quint should be treated as conveinence of not needing another pumper to supply it.Most people should know that everybodies situation is different and do what works for them.In deference to LHS, most quints do not have large tanks which IN my opinion I feel makes them unsafe to use as intial attack units. Most quints only have 200-300 gal booster tanks which I do not feel is enough water to allow an interior attack team an adequate water supply. to do interior fire fighting safely.300 gal will if your lucky fill the line and give you maybe 2 mins.with no backup. I'am sure LHS will have a hissy fit and go off on one of his long diatribes, but as I have tried to tell him before most of us in the career depts in the cities and the northeast don't have the luxery of unlimited manpower 10 man trucks, or extremly large budgets like in Churchill County for 400 calls a year.? do you place a first due quint for engine work or truck work.

  20. #20
    STATION2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Ding, ding, ding.......In the red corner wearing W.S. Darley trunks is LHS..........
    Look back on this forum and read my original comments about the two (2) exceptions I believe in for quints s-l-o-w-l-y . They are for small departments with limited resources and manpower OR for mid to large departments that do it department wide like St. Louis. My volunteer dept. is a small dept. with limited manpower at times.(Exception #1). We are trying to maximize our capabilities by specing a rig that can lay its own line and pump its own water. Our Chief there believes in utilizing it as a Truck Co. that can produce its own water when needed. I agree, like I stated in my earlier post. Truck Co. functions should not suffer. My career dept. had pumps and water on some Truck Co. rigs. The ones that I have ridden and worked on are the 1976 Mack CF/Thibault 100'MM, 1983 Seagrave/3D Metals 100' RM, 1986 Spartan/LTI 108' RM and a lone 1994 Spartan/Smeal 75' RM. They have 250GPM pumps and 300 gallon boosters. They don't qualify as quints even with the new NFPA 300 gallon tank rule for quints. We have only two (2) quints in service in the city. Ladder Co. 4 (Soon to move to Ladder Co. 101) and Ladder Co. 102 have matching 1994 Spartan/Smeal 75' RM rigs with 1500GPM pumps. These were bought under the past administration and are now utilized as Truck Co.'s. I agree with it because of our manning situation. 4 members (Sometimes 3) on a rig does not a quint make. As far as your "60 to 90 seconds quicker deployment" times you mention.......Big deal. Your setting up a 65' squirt with two jacks and were setting up a 100' aerial ladder with four. You put your "super squirt" side by side with our Truck Co. with same size crews and lets see who is in service faster to the roof. If you beat us by more than 60 seconds (Like you say you can as a minimum) and I'll admit your the man. You know how to contact me. Be safe.


    Larry

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