1. #1
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    Default Feedback on Quint Operations

    I would like to get some feedback / opinions on initial company operations with a Quint. Some background: We operate a 75' Quint, 1500 gpm pump, 900' 5" with 300 gallons water as our first out unit. We run a pumper second out, and our mutual aid companies all run pumpers first out.

    I would like to know how other companies with similar vehicles handle initial operations at a "normal" structure fire. Assuming you have a crew of four, driver, officer and 2 firefighters with SCBA, what are your most immediate priorities if you are first in. Specifically:

    1. Who would be responsible for setting up the ariel, setting jack plates, jacking the truck, etc?

    2. Do you have your attack crew help with setting up the truck?

    3. Who would operate the ladder if you are also pumping (we do not have ladder controls at the pump panel)?

    4. What changes if you have more or less than 4 people on the truck?

    And any other input you have. Also note that we do not normally lay line with this vehicle, we typically have the first engine in do that. We also do not normally have another ladder truck on the alarms, normal response is 3 or 4 engines and our Quint plus aux. units.

    We are trying to set up seating assignments for this truck and want to do some more research on it.

    Thanks for any input.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    Boy this is going to be a good one. I'm not a lover of quints but to give you the short answers, here it is.

    "Also note that we do not normally lay line with this vehicle, we typically have the first engine in do that. We also do not normally have another ladder truck on the alarms, normal response is 3 or 4 engines and our Quint plus aux. units".

    Sounds like it's used as a Truck and if you have Engines laying lines, it is a Truck. Take the front!


    1. "Who would be responsible for setting up the ariel, setting jack plates, jacking the truck, etc"?

    The driver is responsible for setup. The rest of the crew should be beginning to do their jobs (Rescue, Vent Ops, Forcible Entry etc.)

    2. "Do you have your attack crew help with setting up the truck"?

    No, they're the attack crew not the Truck crew.

    3. "Who would operate the ladder if you are also pumping (we do not have ladder controls at the pump panel)"?

    You can't do both. Safety requires you separately man a pump panel and you separately man the aerial controls.

    4. "What changes if you have more or less than 4 people on the truck"?

    Try and make do with what you have. Just remember that there is nothing sweeter to an attack crew than a good truck crew.

    I don't know your situation and staffing and these are only the opinions of an individual that has taught many volunteer departments but has never belonged to one. I'm a firm believer in dedicated Engine crews and dedicated Truck crews if at all possible.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 10-03-2003 at 08:56 PM.

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    Its time for the fire service to realize that "STAFFING" sets the rules on what mode a company will run and how effective they will be.
    CAREER OR VOLUNTEER DOESENT MATTER!!! A 4 person quint wont be effective at both engine and truck, just like a two person truck, just doesnt cut it!!!
    A good "Truck Co." makes a better "Engine Co.", but even a diehard truck guy has to admit that "as the first line goes, so does the fire"
    We have to position a hoseline quickly to protect the egress path and confine the fire. If there is any delay in the first due mutual aid engine, then you have to position the hoseline, and with only staffing of 4, then you must commit solely as an engine company. With only 300 gallons, you better secure your own water supply. That leaves 1 person at the hydrant, 2 on the line. Hopefully the quint can lay supply hose ok, some are difficult with turn table.
    Position your quint with truck work in mind. You can stretch hose, not your aerial device. Then let the first in mutual aid engine assume truck duties using tools off of your truck. Hopefully mutual aid training is not a problem. The 2nd due engine stretches the backup line (follows the attack line).
    1.Who sets up the aerial? First due engine from mutual aid. This means mutual aid training. Any experienced engine will tell you the first 10 minutes is chaos followed by boredom. No time for him/her.
    2.Attack crew set up aerial? Who's attacking?
    3.Who would operate aerial while your pumping? Not you!! your ensuring continuous water supply, and KEEPING ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE PEOPLE YOU SAFELY BROUGHT WITH YOU!!
    4.What changes with more people? Now there is a good question with the key word. PEOPLE (trained). Im out of space, cont. next post.

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    Default Thanks for the feedback

    This is an ongoing discussion we are having on riding assignments, thanks for the input.

    Also, here is a photo I took at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial this weekend. I am going to email this to Jim Crawford, I have taken some RIT training from him and worked with him on the US&R team. If you would like a much larger and better quality image of this and a couple of others that I took email me at patf1engineer@yahoo.com. Stay safe.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    PITT8TRUCK,

    Some good points made. The problem with the original post is the lack of information on staffing of the responding apparatus, the response times involved and the district type. If you have a first arriving engine and the quint. How long before the 3rd arriving company is on scene, this would also apply to the 4th and 5th responding apparatus. If they have 3-4 Engines responding with a quint as stated, I would imagine they could begin fire attack ops and truck ops simultaneously, especially if the 3rd in is not far behind them. I gave a short answer relying on the facts that were given and considering a 4 or 3 person crew. Your statement on staffing is dead on. It can make or break the entire operation. A quick attack is essential as you stated and a well trained crew for truck work is also essential (cross training all individuals). After spending 20 of my 31 years on an engine, I know the worth of a good engine crew and a quick attack and confinement but I also know the worth of an excellent truck crew that makes it easier for my crew to do their thing. I guess I get blinded sometimes because of what I'm used to (even though I taught many VFD's in the essentials and ops) I always had to teach to match the departments assets and response times. As I stated in the post, I don't know their exact situation but as posted it seemed to me that the quint would operate as a truck. I'd like to see PATF1engineer post his exact situation in regards to staffing and response times of all incoming companies. I'd also like to know what the district consists of. I've seen some departments with good response numbers, times and others with poorer numbers and times with varying type districts. It would make it easier to give the input that was requested. Actually I should have asked the above in my first post. All together a good post 8truck.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 10-06-2003 at 07:27 PM.

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    FireLt1951
    I think we are on the same page, its just hard to give your views when your making assumptions on the departments response. Depending on how this particular department responds, either of our suggestions could work. It's nice to see someone concerned about how a quint apparatus should operate, and not just saying they have one.
    PATF1
    I think seating assignments are great. The only thing is not to be narrow minded, sometimes you have to be flexible.
    First In 6 Person Quint.
    Driver/Operator- Drive, Position, Pump Operations
    Officer- Supervise attack line, radio/light/TIC
    #1FF- Nozzle attack line
    #2FF- Back Up Person on attack line, tool (preferably halligan)
    #3FF- Inside or Outside Truck Ops. as situation dictates, horizontal vent of fire room first before entering.
    #4FF- Inside or Outside Truck Ops. as situation dictates, ladder for egress before entering, 20ft. straight ladder and you can vent/ladder at same time. **Mutual Aid** run your quint as a truck, 6 person=3on Inside Truck, 3on Outside Truck, 5 Person = 3on IT, 2on OT, 4 person
    =2 on IT, 2 on OT Good Luck, stay safe.

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    Default More information, Part 1

    Sorry I have not been able to post any real responses, been tied up over the weekend. Here is some more information on our situation.

    We operate over an area of about 12 square miles with a mix of residential, commercial and fairly rural area. The residential is pretty much your basic single family house, one or two story. Commercial is your basic mom and pop type shops in a couple of small plazas, 2 fairly large schools, a few light industrial types of occupancies and similar. Most of our structure responses involve single family homes. In addition to our Quint, we operate a 1500 gpm pumper (second out on structure calls) and a medium rescue. Our area is on the edge of our municipality. There are a number of portions of our jurisdiction that we actually would be second or third unit in because our mutual aid companies are physically closer (different township, however).

    Our typical structure response consists of a full station call for us and 3 mutual aid engines plus an air unit. For the sake of arguement, I think it is safe to assume that units will arrive as follows:

    1st - Our Quint plus a mutual aid pumper within a minute of each other
    2nd in - Second mutual aid pumper, 2 to 3 minutes later
    3rd in - Third mutual aid pumper and our pumper, say 5 to 7 minutes after arrival of first in companies.

    Staffing is a different story. It is our policy to not move the Quint without 2 operators, one for the pump, one for the ladder. This isn't really a problem since we train nearly all of our people, including people who do not drive, to operate the ladder. Minimum crew on daylight is usually 3. Nights and weekends we typically get 5 or 6. Usually move the engine with 2 on daylight, 4 or 5 other times. Mutual aid companies are similar, figure 3 or 4 daylight, 5 or 6 other times.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    Default More info part 2

    We are trying to define seating assignments for the Quint, but seem to be getting hung up on the whole Quint concept. The beef I have with Quints is that people try to do too much with them. I feel you need to make a judgement early on what your first major assignment is going to be, engine company or a truck company, and operate that way. If we always had a full crew, you could possibly do both. The problem is, what if you don't.

    We have discussed the need to always set up the Quint for an aerial operation prior to doing anything else except search and rescue. This would include having either the officer or firefighters assist is throwing jack plates and setting outriggers prior to performing other operations. Again, with 6 guys you could have 2 do this while your 1st in crew and officer perform whatever primary function they are assigned (fire attack, force entry, etc.). With 3 or 4, you are now delaying that operation to set up the truck for an operation you may or may not need.

    My personal position is that if you need the aerial, set it up, if you don't then don't. I made the comment at a training session the other night that we operated for 45 years without an aerial and did truck company operations pretty well.

    Most of the time, I think we are better off going into a truck operation in the first few minutes of an incident and letting the first in engine do traditional engine company work. I also think that we may need to train some of our mutual aid companies on the operation and set up of our ladder.

    What I think we need to try to accomplish with seating assignments is getting people to be proactive without have 4 of them fighting over who is going to be nozzleman.

    Thanks for your input.

    P.S. I will send over those pics today
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    I originally posted this under the Volunteer Forum. Your exactly right with your thinking of defining a mission. Ours seats 8 and unless we had a full boat or the odd situation that we were by ourselves for a long while, I wouldn't attempt to try to do both jobs.

    We have almost the same situation as you. Mutual aid or another engine from our station always arrive at or about the same time. We have been running a quint first out for about 8 years now. The key is to pick the prime use (truck obviously) and utilize 2 sets of riding assignments for both your quint AND engines. We have set assignments for 6 we like to have a 5 man minimum crew, but 4 will work. For example if we arrive and will operate as the truck (98% of the time):
    Driver - Outside team, initial RIT, operate main as required, work with OV and Roof man
    Officer - Inside team, lead search
    Seat 1 - Inside team, forcible entry and search
    Seat 2 - Outside vent - initial RIT, horizontal ventilation and ladders
    Seat 3 - Can - Inside team, hook and 2 1/2 gallon extinguisher
    Seat 4 - Roof - Outside team, hook, saw, ladders as necessary

    If we have to operate as an engine, we announce that on arrival and the next engine is assigned truck work (the second engine still gets the water supply. The assignments switch to:
    Driver - Lays in, pump operator
    Officer - Nozzle team
    Seat 1 - Nozzleman
    Seat 2 - Back up
    Seat 3 - Door
    Seat 4 - Hydrant (the driver usually lays in, we only leave a hydrant man if we have 6, a qualified probie or the fire obviously requires an immediate supply line)

    As I said, we have been doing this since about 95, refining the duties as we went. We just replaced our original quint with one that is much more suited to doing both jobs. Good Luck!

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    We switched from a ladder to a quint about 2 years ago and still are having a tough time adjusting. I have to agree with a statment made earlier, YOU MUST CROSS TRAIN ALL HANDS, not just the quint crew! Like you our quint is 1st due and I can't tell you how many times we pulled up on scene and the quint crew pulls the line and nothing else happens because the engine crews are not cross trained as truck crews (there are some who are, but its hit and miss based on who makes the crews).

    Upon arrival on scene the officer on the quint (or command) needs to decide if the truck will be set as a pumper or a ladder. While it is true you can extend a hose and not the ladder, we don't carry any extra hose on this truck, no room, just the 3 preconnects, so placement is critical. Command must then assign a pumper crew to set and operate the ladder if the quint crew is doing attack. If the pumper crew does not know what its doing nothing gets done. YOU MUST CROSS TRAIN ALL HANDS!

    So moral of the story? YOU MUST CROSS TRAIN ALL HANDS and forget about trying to do all with one crew. Unless if you roll with 6 FFr's and 2 officers on the truck you cannot do it all and will need help. If you are not a high enough ranking officer to make this call (to train all hands) you need to pressure those who are into doing so, otherwise your best bet it to go back to dedicated ladder functions and forget the truck has a pump (the worse thing we ever did to that truck was put a pump on it). Once all hands are cross trained you must practice the quick jump with all crews, pull up, advance lines, 1st pumper crew jumps on the stick and/or begins other truck functions.

    Good luck!
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    Default Thanks to everyone

    for your input. I think it has reinforced what my major line of thinking was. For our set of circumstances, I think the only times we should be going into a pure engine company operation with this truck would be on a small fire inside a residence (say a piece of furniture or something similar) or if there was a major delay in the first in engine where we would need to hit a plug and go into fire suppression. In most any other circumstance, we would need to act as a pure truck company.

    Stay safe.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    Default Re: Thanks to everyone

    Originally posted by PATF1engineer
    for your input. I think it has reinforced what my major line of thinking was. For our set of circumstances, I think the only times we should be going into a pure engine company operation with this truck would be on a small fire inside a residence (say a piece of furniture or something similar) or if there was a major delay in the first in engine where we would need to hit a plug and go into fire suppression. In most any other circumstance, we would need to act as a pure truck company.

    Stay safe.


    What constitutes a major delay in the first engine? Before you got the quint, did your engine pull up first with the mindset that we should be the truck company? Why should that approach change just because you have a big ladder on top of your truck that you won't use at many of your calls? Unless that first engine is pulling in immediately behind you, I think you need to be putting water on the fire instead of only doing truck ops. A lot of residential fires can be knocked down quickly with one line and without extensive truck operations in progress.

    If you are arriving second, then I see a strong basis for operating as a truck company.

    I agree that having seperate engine and truck crews to operate similtaneaously would be the best situation. But given the somewhat dynamic and unpredictable response/staffing that often exists in this type of setting is it realistic to expect to operate that way at the start of operations?

    Ideally, everyone should be able to perform basic engine and truck functions and your regular mutual aid companies would be familiar with each others operations and equipement.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
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    Default Quints

    What I think is funny is that many departments are going to the quints, and there, at one time, was talk about the "Total Quint Concepts" that St. Louis and surrounding towns have adopted. Supposedly there is even a company that teaches cities how to operate using these methods. If TQC is so good, why aren't there websites proclaiming how wonderful they are? If TQC is so good, why doesn't anybody from St. Louis post? Just sounds like a way to cut jobs, if you ask me...just my 2 cents worth.

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    My basis for a major delay would probably be 3 to 5 minutes, which almost never happens in our area. We only have 900' of hose on that truck in a split bed (600 & 300, they can be connected however), so it isn't very effective in laying lines. If I am pulling an attack line from my quint and pumping from my tank (300 gallons), the first engine is coming straight into the scene without hitting a plug and giving me their tank water. This is so my interior crew has water to back out if needed. Before we had our quint, we had a mutual aid truck responding, we ran as a 2 piece engine company. Our truck is now the only truck on a residential response, 2 on commercial. If I am forced into a situation where my crew needs to make an attack, they better be able to put that fire out in about a minute cause after that I am leaning on the airhorns 3 times and pulling them out.

    I have to agree with the comment about quints used as an excuse to cut down on alarms. That is just too tempting to some political hack to use as an excuse to cut down on the number of companies. "Why do you need 3 engines and a truck when you can do 2 jobs with one? You can operate with 2 engines and a quint." Bullsh*t. However, I personally do like the idea of aerial ladders having pumps so they can pump their own master streams, whether you choose to operate as a quint or not.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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    Default Re: Quints

    Originally posted by phyrngn
    What I think is funny is that many departments are going to the quints, and there, at one time, was talk about the "Total Quint Concepts" that St. Louis and surrounding towns have adopted. Supposedly there is even a company that teaches cities how to operate using these methods. If TQC is so good, why aren't there websites proclaiming how wonderful they are? If TQC is so good, why doesn't anybody from St. Louis post? Just sounds like a way to cut jobs, if you ask me...just my 2 cents worth.

    I think you either missed the point of the initial question or are trying to spark a debate on something that's already been discussed on another thread.

    Quints are a great firefighting tool. How you choose (or are forced) to use them is where the problems or benefits lie. Just because no one from St. Louis is posting on TQC or there is no website for it doesn't say anything to me about it being good or bad.

    Many departments operate quints. Some use them strickly as truck companies. Some use them as engine companies with a little something extra. Some try to do both. It doesn't have to work for your department in order for it to be a good idea for mine.
    Mark
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    Default QUINTS GOOD OR BAD

    28 YEARS OF FIRE FIGHTING LAST 11 IN TRUCK CO. LAST 6 OF THOSE AS CAPTAIN. 4 YEARS AGO WE GOT RID OF TILLER LADDER 1OO FT. AND CHIEF WAS TALKED INTO A QUINT. WE USE IT FOR LADDER OPS ONLY NEVER AS ENG. OPS. MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT IS THE LOSS OF STORAGE PLACE FOR SO MANY ITEMS AND GROUND LADDERS. A 35 FT. THREE SECTION IS NO FUN WITH ONLY 3 PEOPLE TO SET IT. I GUESS IT CAN WORK FOR SOME COMPANIES BUT FOR OURS WE JUST LOST VALUABLE SHELF SPACE.

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    I have to agree with you Capt., the pump and tank eat up a ton of room. We got double whammied, we replaced a ladder truck, an engine, and a heavy rescue with a quint and a rescue-pumper, so all that gear that was on the ladder and rescue had to be put onto the two new trucks along with a full compliment of engine stuff for both rigs. Most of our salvage gear ended up on the station floor and we have to send a truck to pick up the wet vacs ever time we need them. Its amazing for a truck as large as our quint there is half the compartment space of the older ladder truck.

    Now I do like having the pump, to feed the pipe, but it is not a propper attack engine and never will be (not enough hose or water on board).
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    Thumbs up Quints

    Im not a big fan of quints. I am the driver/operator of a 105' quint with 300 gal. of water and a 4 person crew. Four people are not enough to effectively run a quint because your man power gets stretched very thin. If we attack a fire, water supply is very crucial for us and also if we use the aerial and the pump at the same time two people are taken away right then. I beleive in engines and trucks. On the other hand if we are first due we are treated as an engine, second due we are a truck with exeption of a few complexes that have limited space and if we have a working fire on arrival the engine lets us in first but we work as a truck. We try to leave water supply to another engine if possible. I hope this helps a little bit.
    JASONSFD LADDER 5
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    Default Re: Quints

    Originally posted by jasonsfd
    Im not a big fan of quints. I am the driver/operator of a 105' quint with 300 gal. of water and a 4 person crew. Four people are not enough to effectively run a quint because your man power gets stretched very thin. If we attack a fire, water supply is very crucial for us and also if we use the aerial and the pump at the same time two people are taken away right then.

    Why does it seem that so many people think that if you operate a quint that you have to perform both engine AND truck work all the time and with ONLY the people that rode in on that truck?

    I believe that the main idea behind the quint is to have the ability to operate as an engine or truck, not necessarily do both at the same time unless maybe if you are always staffing it with 8-12 people.

    Can a Rescue Engine operate as both a Rescue company and an Engine company at every extrication with only 4 guys and cover all necessary assingments in a timely manner? NO. So how do we overcome that, the additional units that are on the call augment the Rescue Engine's manpower or cover the Engine duties outright.

    So why is it such a problem to operate as an engine at a fire and let the next engine or quint do the truck work OR operate as the truck and let another engine or quint operate as the engine?

    Dedicated engine and truck companies are a great idea, but many of us don't have that luxury. The quint is one tool that helps us overcome that.
    Mark
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    Default Re: Re: Quints

    Originally posted by mstclair190

    Why does it seem that so many people think that if you operate a quint that you have to perform both engine AND truck...

    So why is it such a problem to operate as an engine at a fire and let the next engine or quint do the truck work...
    Because (IMHO and I am generalizing a little) the guys with the white hats keep telling us to do so and refuse to force the engine companies to train as truck companies.

    Until you get senior officers that understand the quint concept (which means they will force everyone to cross train and will submit themselves to a new way of doing things) we are stuck dealing with officers who either think engine/ladder assignments, or worse, they think "gee, with a quint here I can send the other trucks home."

    This is further compounded by the fact that so many bean counters love the quint idea, eliminate a truck and cut the staffing in half.
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    Default

    My department uses strictly quints we have found them to be "force multipliers" due to the ability to perform almost any fireground or rescue operation off of them. Drivers are trainined to the standard of being able to place both handlines for interior attack and ladder for exposure protection in minimal time. We train to standard not to time so I can't give you a specific time but it usually under four minutes that handlines supported by a hydrant and the ladder is in operation.
    Several advantages we have found include.
    1.Laddering above grade is quicker and safer than ground ladders. We put apparatus on corners so two quints can operate ladders if needed (A secondary egress)
    2. The driver (1 person) can wet down exterior exposures or cover exterior exposures leaving manpower for interior operations.
    3. At night, the lights on the tip can act as a light tower for illumination of the fire ground.
    4. Safety Officers can get a birds eye view of roof conditions prior to or firefighting operations. On some marginal roofs we will post someone on the ladder just to watch roof conditions.
    5. With the use of portable monitors, a three man quint can provide 2-3000 gpms in exterior streams.
    These are just a few examples. I personnaly enjoy the fact that on any fire I may be called upon to perform any tactical operation. Quint crews must train with their equipment and carry a larger "tool box" than traditional engine or truck companies but I like that.

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    McD, I'm glad to see your FD has gone the extra mile to insure everyone can do all the jobs, but there are two issues which you bring up..

    Originally posted by McDuff
    The driver (1 person) can wet down exterior exposures or cover exterior exposures leaving manpower for interior operations.
    Then who is running the pump? Are you leaving the pump unattended with a crew inside?
    a three man quint...
    With only a three man team you cannot comply with 2-in 2-out, so interior attack is off limits until the 2nd truck shows up anyway.

    In both issues its a question of staffing. A 3 man company is not propper for a ladder or pumper, nevermind a quint. There are simply too many jobs to do for 3 people to perform them both quickly and safely. A 5 person quint company might be able to get some real work done, and a 6 would be closest to ideal (IMHO).
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