St. Louis and Richmond both went to TQC. Anyone care to post from these depts?
St. Louis and Richmond both went to TQC. Anyone care to post from these depts?
Hi folks, this is my first post, so be gentle.
Most of the posts here seem to lean towards quints as dedicated truck companies that can pump if they have to. That seems to work for a lot of departments. Other people have mentioned, however, that quints in an urban department can give city hall an opportunity for staffing cuts. My department went through that in the 80's, when 20 engines and 10 ladders became 8 engines and 9 quints. Single engine houses were left alone, but any house that was engine/truck got combined. Staffing went from over 700 members to about 500.
That being said, a quint is just like anything else we get. Is it the best option? Probably not, but we make it work because it's what we've got to work with. On the plus side, our system gives us 9 aerials and 26 1000 gpm or greater pumps in a medium-sized city, and we never run short manpower for longer than it takes to get an overtime in from home.
Our quints often fulfill both engine and truck functions at the same time, depending on how the quint is due, and who else is running on the assignment. It may be a truck, or it may be both, but only in very rare situations would it function only as an engine. We can do this because a quint has a 6-person crew, and brings with it a hose tender. (In terms of hose laying ability, our quints are about on par with a hippo.) Most people I've heard on this subject talk about quints alone with 4 or 5 people on. I think it would be a lot harder to try to get both engine and truck functions begun without the extra people.
Like I said, we make quints work for us, but other places do it differently (or not at all) and make it work just as well.
Salman, I don't know if I can get our SOG for you, but I would be glad to answer any questions you have with my limited experience.
If I am correct didn't St. Louis close a bunch of firehouses and lay off a bunch of guys when they went "all quint".
St. Louis Population 1950: 856,000
St. Louis Population 1999: 330,000
St Louis, as a city, has much more significant factors going on then whether they run quints or not.
Our department purchased a 75' quint in 2001. It was the idea then to have an apparatus that could better respond to alarms during the day with limited staff. This truck was ment to replace a 1974 55' Snorkle and a 1980 Pumper.
Our deprtment needs a truck for the taller buildings in our borough. We have a few buildings that are 4 stories. We also have two glass plants and some powdermetal industires to protect. But we mainly need a pumper. The truck is set up with 875' of 5" and even 21' of hard suction. We have a small haydrant area and serve mainly an area we would supply with tankers and drafting. The quint seems to work out quite well as an engine. The hose bed is on one side of the truck, so it isnt too bad packing hose. Packing hose sucks anyhow.
All in all, if you have a small need for a truck. Buy a quint. Pumpers are going for 350K+.....so why not get a quint for 450-500K if you can swing it. Where we are in rural PA, i cant see having a true truck for only a couple calls a year. Buy something that will serve the dept and district the most. And the quint we have does us well.
SOP's for our FD include staffing our quints with 6 personnel. Captain, Driver and 4 FF's. Runs great WHEN you have seasoned personnel. The whole problem exists when you split the crews into truck and engine and then who is in charge of the engine crew. So run down here is , Captain and FF1 do interior truck work and the Captain oversees all inside ops. FF's 2 and 3 are the engine crew. Stretch a line, fire attack . They are usually in proximity to the Captain but not always. FF 4 is the outside guy. Sets ladders, etc. He is the other operator also when the Quint is pumping and the aerial is being used also. Driver of the quint pumps.
So it works real well when you have the staffing, but we are definitely one of the few departments who run them with 6.
Also we changed how we look at apparatus. For alarms now, the CAD picks units based on capability not engine or ladder. So on a box alarm, you would normally get 3 engines, 2 ladders, rescue and BC and safety chief. It would see that same assignment for a quint as 3 pumps, 2 ladders,etc. So you would only have 2 engines, 1 ladder and a quint there.
So if there is an area of town with 2 quints nearby you could have 2 quints and an engine onscene.
Our engines run with 4 and ladders run with 3. Just how we operate. So far it has worked out great although I am not sure we are getting anymore. Our latest addition to the fleet is an essence a ladder truck with pumping capability so it is staffed just like a ladder truck. Lets call it a wet ladder or a WADDER for short :)
Glad to see that there are a couple of places riding with six. Even with that, you still have two undermanned companies.
Truckmonkey, that doesn't sound too different from the way we do it. Here we have a six person company also, but two ride on the midi (hose tender). If we are first due, the officer and the tip seat stretch a line, force entry, and begin a search. The ladder seat and the midi shotgun begin the truck work, either outside laddering and venting, or inside searching, depending on the situation. Quint driver operates the pump, and the midi driver lays out to the hydrant, makes water, comes back to the scene, gears up and starts filling in wherever the gaps are. If we are second due, the officer and tip will take the backup line off the first due, and the midi will make sure that the first due is all set for water (they almost always are), and ladder, shotgun and both drivers are all for truck work. If we are third due, we're a six-person truck.
Different battalions adjust for individual needs. Where I work almost all our fires see an engine in front of us, and another close behind, so barring an abnormal dispatch flow, we will often go straight to six-person truck work even when we are second due, because the other engine is there in short order (we are fortunate enough to have consistent 4-5 minute response times) and we let them deal with the hose work.
As I said before, it's not a perfect system, but it allows us to get a lot of tasks started at once, until the reinforcements get there and back us up.
Thats really funny because as you say that I could make one guess where you are fom even without your screen name. We went off your model partially I think when we went to the quints. RFD, right? We had guys even go to your department and ask questions I think. We were set to use a two man squad and do the same thing. Bought the squads and everything. And then it got ugly because they were going to have a Fire Specialist be in charge of the Squad. Well they only wanted to pay higher class when they went on a run and all that. Originally they wanted to put a LT and FF on the squad, but it would have cost too much. So we ended up selling the squads before they were ever put in service. The union definitely had some say.
So back to the point. I think it would have worked had we put a Lt on the squads.
Yeah, lots of people come to look, not many put it into practice. Or they modify it to suit their purposes. I don't hold a copyright or get royalties, so people can do whatever they want with the idea, doesn't bother me any. :)
I remember a Lt. that came to talk to my academy class saying, "It's the best system in the world - that's why no one else uses it...."
Every so often there's a little murmur about if we deserve extra pay for being in charge of an apparatus, but it never seems to get any traction. I'm on the midi today and the next three nights, and really the only "command decision" that I will have to make is, "This is more than we can handle, start the quint." The officer is still in charge of the company, no matter how they are divided, just like if he was inside and I was on the roof, he's still in charge of, and responsible for, us poor dopes on the midi. What sucks for the officer is being held accountable for an apparatus MVA that he or she wasn't within two miles of.
I heard that once, long before my time, when the Q/M system was first put into place, if the midi responded alone, the officer would come over and they would run three on the midi and leave three on the quint, but that didn't work very well. (Doesn't Miami do something similar to this with their Engine/Rescue houses?)
Sure, in a perfect world you'd like a junior Lt. on the midi and a senior Lt. or a Capt. on the quint, but with 9 quints and 4 groups, who is going to pay for it? Sure would make the promotion list move, though... :)
So Truckmonkey, did you guys wind up just using the quints as trucks, or do you work it another way?
upstate, we ended up using our quints as both engine and ladder. One of my previous posts explains how we run them and the typical assignments.
I was assigned to a quint and would have had no problem running the squad with 2 FF's for medical calls and such. When we were researching the whole thing, they had written SOP's and everything for using the squads. They would pretty much just respond on medicals. If it was an MVA or Cardiac arrest the quint and squad would go. Here is an article by the local watchdog newspaper about all of it. And the picture is similar to what our squads would have looked like.
It also explains that they were going to use two squads at two single company stations and get rid of the engines. Not a good idea to run a unit like this as the only apparatus at a station. So that pretty much helped get the idea shot down.
Originally Posted by truckmonkey42
A majority of midi runs are medicals as well. In addition to medical, they respond to outside trash fires with no exposure, wires down, and lock outs. The quint is dispatched with the midi on MVAs, arrests, shootings, stabbings, and some assaults. The midi is free to call the quint on anything, and sometimes the officer will decide to have the quint respond if any details in the alarm make him feel like it's a good idea.
Your squads are a lot smaller than our midis. It would be nice to have something that maneuverable. Over the years, the midis have grown to be pretty much the size of engines....
Actually, I think AFD is on to something here. The basic idea is good, of putting a smaller rig in with the quint to run EMS and other basic calls like trash fires, car fires and such. I would love to see my department do that. Weve batted the idea around of putting a small EMS vehicle (F250 with topper) in with the quint, but a mini would be much better.
Our quint runs everything. All types of fires, service calls, EMS calls. Its not quite 4 years old and is pushing 40k miles and an average of 8 runs a day. We basicly ran our last quint into the ground (120k miles when we sold it). Putting a mini pumper in with it would really ease the load on the big rig.
What I dont agree with is replacing a full sized and staffed engine company with a 2 man mini. Thats nuts.
But minis, in the right situation, are handy as hell. Before we bought our sqaud (rescue) we ran a mini out of our EMS station. It was nice to be able to handle basic runs without tying up an engine. And with our system of ALS engines, thats a good thing.
I don't believe it is the mind set of the crews, but whatever the mind set of the heads of the department. These are the people who set the SOPs for the department and issue the orders. We have this problem in my department, the officers of the department can not get away from the idea that our quint is an engine with a "big water stick" (75' stick).Quote:
Originally Posted by RoryEl
I do believe there can be benefits of operating a quint. A department near us was denied bugeting for manning a truck company (they already operate two engines 24/7), so they went the another route and purchased a quint to replace an engine. The quint will operate as an engine company, but will be equipted to handle both truck and engine operations.
St. Louis Population 1950: 856,000
St. Louis Population 1999: 330,000
This reflects the bedroom population, Boston went through the same thing in the early eighties, as did many metro areas. People however still commute to work in big cities keeping call volume the same as business grows. I live in a city with a bedroom population of 25,000 been that way 10+ years give or take, however add 6,000 for a college and a 50,000 person daily increase. Our call volume is approx 3600 Ems/Fire with an average of 50+/- increase a year.
Cities look at quints as a way to subsidize the workforce, good from a management perspective, not so good from a labor perspective. It comes down to priorities. In my opinion a 75' stick is useless especially with long yards or wide sidewalk/walkways your vertical reach is limited.
A Truck is a Truck
A Pump is a Pump
A Quint is a shark fisherman from Jaws
I think you're a bit off on your thinking. The reason Sventics (sp?) went with the quint option for St. Louis was due to a massive shortfall in revenue. St. Louis I believe has the distinction of being the city in the developed world that has seen the greatest population decrease. Rochester, NY, which has been mentioned here for their quint/midi concept also has seen a substantial drop in population from I think a high in the low to mid 300,000's to about 220-230,000 today. Also, modern motorized apparatus has something to do with. Station location a hundred years ago or so wasn't based on engines with 500 HP Detroits and Allison autos.
Someone mentioned Richmond. Anyone with an interest in quints (pro or con) should make the comparison betweem Rochester, NY and Richmond, VA. Cities about the same size and that have seen very similar demographic shifts. My pick hands down is Rochester's quint/midi concept. Rochester has 26 pumping apparatus on the street (1000 gpm for the midi, 1250s for the engines and 1500s for quints) and for those big pump fans, they could run 2000s on the quints and engines and probably 1500s on midis. They had 20 engines, now they have 26 pieces with pumping capacity. They also have I believe 8 - 110' E-One ladders and tower. So they went from 10 to 9 ladders and they are all 100 footers. I calculated the total cost of RFDs apparatus in the $8-9 million range. Richmond on the other hand gets 16 - 75 quints I beleive and then 4 - 100 footers if my memory is correct. Even in its hey-day, Richmond never had or needed 20 ladders, what is point of runing 20 aerials and 16 of them are only 75 footers. Total cost for the Richmond system is about $11 million or so. Total staffing is about the same.
I may be, I wont pretend to know how a major metro citys demographics work, its a little over my head. I feel that when the quints were first introduced the belief was that it would alleveate finacial burden by dropping man power not just the fleet maintenance/CIP aspect. It is my opinion from experience with my department that it becomes very hard to keep proficent in both engine and truck company ops. I feel that dedicated Engine/Truck crews allow for tactical proficencey at incidents. Not to mention the trouble of fitting engine and truck equipment onto the apparatus itself.
Our department wether it be lack of training or ignorance has had problems using the quint at scenes i.e. Having the operator run both the stick and the pump, failing to call for a ladder after commiting the quint to Engine ops ect... Real CF's sometimes. Is there any articles or books that discuss tactical uses of quints or advice from anybody, It wuld be nice to forward to Training. Still not sold on the Idea, but try to keep an open mind
I agree with you Irons, I am no fan of quints and I think their perceived value is much greater than their actual value in FD operations. That being said, I think they probably have their place in a small percentage of FDs. For cities struggling to meet public safety demands in the face of declining populations and revenues, I favor the Rochester NY quint/midi concept becuase I think it makes the best use of that level of resources. Single engine houses keep their std. engines and two piece houses run the quint and the midi with staffing of 6. Generally you are keeping all of your stations open, keeping essentially all of your ladders in service (with 100 footers) and you actually gain some overall pumping capacity. No question you're losing staff at the two piece houses. The only other real option to make use of standard engine/truck deployment is the loss of both engine and truck companies and some station closings. Rochester would likely be in the 14 engine/7 truck range vs. 8 engines and 9 two piece quint/midi companies. So effectively they would down probably a couples engines and a couple trucks and probably a couple stations. Some might argue that's the lesser of two evils.
Firefighters assigned to quints are....
New title for the Quintee over at the "other" site? ;)Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
Nah...he's had that for a while ;)Quote:
Originally Posted by Res343cue
I love the "Bi-Trucksual" quote!...I see a patch in the works...haha... :)
Our Deparment has one, designated a ladder, but techinically a quint. It's an E-One HP75, and we love it. It's always on the first alarm, and we utilize it to its fullest, functioning as an engine, ladder, or both if warranted. And we also do lay supply line with it as well.
Kfactor - you've got all your facts pretty well spot on. (You may know more about my department than I do... :) )
In the interest of full disclosure, the only correction that I would make is that the tower is only 95 feet. We used to have two of them, but one got replaced by a 100' stick with a waterway.
As someone who works on a quint almost all of the time, I see that we are even more of a `jack of all trades, master of none' than normal. An engine company can probably move hose better than we can, and a truck can get a place searched and vented more efficiently than us, but when we are alone onscene we can get the ball rolling on both, so it works out okay. No one should ever be deluded, however, into thinking that a quint in an urban career setting is not a manpower reducing measure. It is. We have a good and effective department, but we have about 200 fewer line positions than we did thirty years ago. Going to quints is probably not something you want to happen to your department, but if staffing cuts are GOING to happen, quints may be better than some alternatives (engines w/3, trucks w/ 2, etc...)
....Bi-trucksual... nice ;)