What should roll first? Why?
--THIS IS A REPOST FROM IACOJ... JUST TRYING TO GET SOME MORE REPLIES -- I WILL CLARIFY DETAILS AS NEEDED--
We're having one heck of a debate concerning which truck should be first out the door.
For simplicity's sake, let's say we have at our only station:
- 95' Aerial Platform, 2000gpm/300gal, truck tools
- Engine/Squad 2000gpm/750gal CAF, engine tools, rescue tools
- Engine 1500gpm/1000gal engine tools
(now we actually run the 1500gpm out of it's own station a short distance down the road... i just don't want to cloud the issue with it's location at this time)
For the longest time, we'd run an engine first out, followed by the old straight ladder, and so on. When we got our new tower, we had a problem with engines blocking access to buildings and the tower would not be able to make a set. And so the tower became the first-out piece. Currently there is a push to have "an engine" respond first out.
Personally, I want our CAF truck first out. All-too-often it ends up sitting on a hydrant, which isn't it's best use IMHO. However, I also understand the importance of early vertical ventilation when appropriate. I maintain that our tactical objectives:
with ventilation and salvage taking place somewhere in there
...can be accomplished best if the engine company is first out. Our tower is not the ideal piece of apparatus for pulling handlines (very small amount of water)... and the tower crew ended up pulling handlines, while the engine crew ended up operating the platform! Luckily we have many ff's who are cross-trained on apparatus!
I feel there are other ways to alleviate backdraft conditions in addition to vertical ventilation, including pulling windows and gable vents. Our CAF engine also has a vent saw, rotary saw, and straight chainsaw. And with lightweight construction these days, I question the decision to routinely put people on the roof (a judgement call, I realize).
And I think operator training will alleviate the situations we've had in the past when engines block access for the tower. There are also many areas in our town where the big tower simply won't go (we knew this when we bought the truck... we just have some areas where anything bigger than a pickup truck is too big). So we worry about getting the tower half-way into somewhere, only to realize "uh oh." But this is only for a portion of our response area.
I'm just curious, on average, what would you roll first if you had the trucks that we had? Let's say you had 6 well-rounded ff's show up... should they all pile into one? Split the crews between 2 and roll both?
Thoughts and explanations GREATLY appreciated.