Thread: Gotta have a Q

  1. #1
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    Talking Gotta have a Q

    Hello, We are currently in the process of specs on a new custom pumper. This truck is coming with a 24" extended bumper. Sounds like a good place for a Q. I am wondering what electrical will it take to run a Q. This truck currently has one 100amp siren and dual air horns. Will the lights and siren affect weather or not we can run a Q. This truck comes with a three bank of 12v batt. with 210 min of reserve capacity. The truck has a 270 amp altenator. We have no desire to put a electrical Q siren on this truck. It will be a Real Q or no Q.

    It ain't a firetruck unless it has a Q.

    Thanks

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    Mechanical Qs take somewhere around 100-120 amps, the higher number just the initial surge, but 100 to keep it going I believe.

    If you go all LED you may have a shot with that small of an alternator, but it depends on the size of the truck, number & type of lights, and what else will be draining those batteries. With rotators, forget it. We have twin 540 alternators on our newest 3 and the interior cab lights still dim when stepping on it. Even with 6 batteries. I've seen the drain so bad on some trucks that the radios shut off.

    Your builder will know best, but I think the setup might be pushing it. Twin 270s maybe.

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    Dont forget the rotorays.

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    I am not trying to be critical but the electronic you mentioned in your post would be a 100 watt not 100amp. Watt is power Amp is current.

    Your original question on the Q2B would be answered with a question:

    1) Are you going to stand on the Q the whole response?
    2) What type area are you covering?

    We have a 1976 engine with a Q2 on it. They did not have the monster alternators and the like then and it works. You can kill the batteries and dim the lights but it sure does not have twin 270 amp alternators or more.

    We have a Code 3 electronic on our 1999 with two 100 watt speakers, it can do dual tones, (sounds like two sirens at once) the Grover Emergency horns and a Q2B on the front. It can be painfull to be infront of because of the noise. People still don't hear it.....

    Short is that you can get a Q and it will work. We do leaving the station, major intersections and use the electronic for the normal down the street noise maker.

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    Maybe I'm just getting old and getting tired of my ears getting blown out by my driver on the Q. I really think that it is not needed anymore with advances in electronic sirens and LED's. I know...nothing penetrates like a Q..but with cars so sound proofed, music on, and on a cell phone...nothing is going to get their attention. Good defensive driving and experience gets you there safely, not a Q. Too many times I believe that it if the driver of a car hears all these noises "yelp, air horn, Q" they freak out and don't know what to do. With all these signaling devices it shows urgency and panic, which causes confusion to a driver. Also with all these devices going how much communication problems do you get in the cab even if you are fortunate enough to have headsets??? I look at it this way...how many police cars and EMS units have Q's??? They make alot more responses than fire apparatus and somehow they get there...have you ever not got there without a Q??

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    Buckdog, I both agree and disagree with you on your post. I do think the cars today are very sound proof. The drivers of these sound proof cars are in their own little world and even when they look right at you think they still have the right of way.

    As for doing away with a Q, that is where we differ. The Q is the only thing that makes the general public know the difference between the police cruiser and the 40,000# engine that is now requesting they wake up and get the out of the way.

    I would say the Q screaming for every call, all the way there is not correct. At intersections and blind corners the Q can be effective and useful.

    There is a time for the finish hammer and then there is the time for the post maul. We have come to the point where people do not respond appropriately to the type call reported. A report for a CO alarm with people reportedly not showing signs and evacuated from the building is different than multiple calls for a structure with people reportedly trapped! Two different styles of response needed. The second with a Q stating I am a Fire truck get out of my @#$%ing way!!!!!!!! NOW!

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    I can see your point..but...as you kinda state..if it's a multiple call fire its OK to get "sirencide" and drive abit crazier?? If you can't get there from a collision you don't do any good. If your driver gets all amped up by the sirens he is more at risk to trust his Q and not his instincts. You gain time in getting out of the station quicker not driving more aggresively. Also did you state that you respond "hot" to basic CO alarms?? Heck we don't even respond hot to fire alarm drops without conditions. It all goes back to the risk vs. benefit. Stats show almost 100% of these runs are false...is it worth the risk running hot?...Like I said I'm getting old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckdog
    I can see your point..but...as you kinda state..if it's a multiple call fire its OK to get "sirencide" and drive abit crazier?? If you can't get there from a collision you don't do any good. If your driver gets all amped up by the sirens he is more at risk to trust his Q and not his instincts. You gain time in getting out of the station quicker not driving more aggresively. Also did you state that you respond "hot" to basic CO alarms?? Heck we don't even respond hot to fire alarm drops without conditions. It all goes back to the risk vs. benefit. Stats show almost 100% of these runs are false...is it worth the risk running hot?...Like I said I'm getting old.
    What I was saying is that their are different ways of responding based on the best available information from dispatch. CO alarm was an example, of use the warning devices to get out of the driveway in a reasonable amount of time. (We are located on a street where normal personal vehicles can take 2-3 minutes to get out on the street due to traffic.) And procede with reasonable speed etc. No life safety issues, like you said can't do much good if you never make it there. We went about 25-30mph the other night for a CO alarm on a 8-9 mile run because the roads sucked. Much different than a confirmed structure with entraped people. Then it is hot and "push it" a little. Again, not crazy, but at that point you are not leaf peeper's on a Sunday drive. (foliage in VT)

    My other point, which I forgot, is that we (general emergency services) are crying wolf with our responses. How many times do you have frequent flyers get a code 3 response for "something". I just think that the public can be "trained" to know that when the fire truck goes by with the Q2B screaming there is a real problem, get out of the way. Usually the paper or TV will have a story about the fire that burned down Mrs. Smith's Beauty Salon the next day. They remember seeing the response and hopefully say I need to get out of the way next time. If they hear the screaming Q and no news story then they say it is the crazy FD again making noise......

    Yes, I know the feeling of getting older.... it comes with dealing with people who act like kids sometimes....


    To get back on topic.... BUY THE Q2B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by ChiefDog; 01-11-2006 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Forgot something....

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    Yeah, get the Q. Let the builder make the right size alternator to feed it.

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    Thanks for the good posts. I agree to some degree with you all. We are in somewhat of a rural area with the degree of traffic depending on the time and day. Not saying that there wont be some who touch the Q off at every car, because there will be, there is everywhere. I am just trying to figure out what it will take to run it without shutting everything down. I am a firm beliver in the fact that if they won't pull over for your siren their not going to pull over for your Q. To me there is just nothing in the world that says fire truck more than the songs of a Q and air horns cutting through the air. Maybe personal or selfish, but a Q makes the truck

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    Quote Originally Posted by quint1officer
    Yeah, get the Q. Let the builder make the right size alternator to feed it.
    Exactly. Tell them what you want and its up to them to make it work.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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