Thread: Quint Concept
01-04-2007, 11:52 PM #1
This may be beating a dead horse on this forum, but here is my question. What do you think of a department implementing a full fledged quint program.
First some demographics:
My department serves a population of roughly 60,000 and 70,000 when school is in with and iso classification of 3/9. We have eight stations with nine and ten in the works, 8 engines, 3 ladders, 1 rescue and 1 shift commander. 106 personnel , 97 of which are rank and file ( 94 in our union ). The city has done some serious annexing over the past decade and a half, a lot of that needs serious water works ( some subdivisions have no hydrants ), narrow roads and homes that range from 4500 to 15,000 square feet built every imaginative place.
Second, how this came about:
The city wanted a survey done on the fire protection for our city. The guy from UT ( orange and proud of it ) came out and done a survey and said our problems would be best suited by us going to the quint concept. We were under the impression that this was going out of style, and that smaller, quicker apparatus was the way to go. I don't know?? We are just a bunch of dumb hillbillies.
Third, what do you think?
I am asking for your comments both from union and non-union sides. We have a whole new E-Board for our union and I am the new Vice-President and am wondering how to approach this from the union standpoint.
Any stats you have or places to go to find any would be great.
On another note any help for a new Local VP would be greatly appreciated, comments, recommendations all is welcome.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
01-05-2007, 05:38 AM #2"Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.
01-05-2007, 08:03 AM #3
The ammunition you need for your arguments against the "TQC" (Total Quint Concept) can be found in your post
Your demographics have the reason against having quints in the following line:
The city has done some serious annexing over the past decade and a half, a lot of that needs serious water works ( some subdivisions have no hydrants ), narrow roads and homes that range from 4500 to 15,000 square feet built every imaginative place.
The amount of water you carry on a Quint is limited.. 300 to 500 gallons, if youi are lucky.
The size of a quint makes it unsuitable for narrow roads.
We have McMansions like the one you describe.. nice, long narrow driveways that can barely fit a standard sized pumper, let alone a quint( at least they areas have an excellent hydrant system). Imagine having to stretch a supply line from the street, then having to wye it off with hgh rise packs just to mount an initial attack*.
Now let's talk cost. A friend's FD recently speced out a quint... 100 foot aerial, 500 gallons of H20, a 1250GPM pump, twin screw rear axle ( required due to Fed regulations and vehicle weight)...estimated cost for the rig is $1.2 million. I don't know hopw many "quints" the "Consultant" (who, by the way, does not have to live in the community ands will not have to deal with anything pertaining to his recommendations), said you have to get, but the cost of buying one or two quints pays for a lot of water mains and hydrants for your non hyrdanted areas.
Staffing levels: I am sure some "brainiac mutt" at City Hall will come up with the idea that since you have a "wondertruck" that can do the job of two ("well, the appratus salesman told us that that was true, he wouldn't lie, would he?"), then we don't need as many firefighters to protect our fair city, do we?
*Okay. now scroll up and reread the section about having to handlay a supply line up a narrow driveway. then wye it off for initial fire attack.. now picture it with reduced manpower.
My 3 cents worth (I have to get it in before the 13th of January, as my promotion will increase the cost to at least a nickel )...
Stay away from the TQC!
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-06-2007 at 12:17 AM. Reason: error in abbreviation corrected."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
01-05-2007, 09:52 AM #4
I believe St Louis is doing a total quint project. I haven't heard anything about it in a while. Maybe you can contact some of their people for an idea of how it is working, pros & cons.
As far as the union not getting involved. I think that is a bad idea. There are many concerns that the union needs to address. Staffing issues- will this lead to cuts? They may say no, but look out for atrician ( I know I must have spelt that wrong ). What about response times? If it takes longer, the people will start to complain, the FD is supposed to know how a change will affect this and the FD will look foolish not the council. There are a few other things here, but I don't have the time to get too in depth. But take some serious time before you send out a decision.
Congrats Capt Gonz on the promotion.
01-05-2007, 11:28 AM #5
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
As far as I know, St. Louis is still doing the quint concept. It must work (for them at least) as they have an ISO 1 classification. I do know they have quite the mix, 50', 75', 100' quints. Best bet would be to try to find info directly from them on how they make it work.
I'm not a big fan of the concept, myself. My career department started to go to the concept with our old chief. Now we have a new mindset and 3 of 5 stations with 75' quints. In the right circumstances and with the right mindset, I'm sure it could work (as it apparently works in St. Louis).
To me, the cost is the biggest issue. If you're looking at a station with three apparatus (two engines and a truck), I can see the benefit of consolodating into two quints, as ISO will count each truck as a full engine company and half a truck company, so you still get the same ISO for two trucks instead of three. If you're limited on manpower for some reason, it might be a way to increase your man/truck ratio.
Equipped and specced right, they make a versitile truck. Our engines are commercial cab four door chassis with top-mount pumps, so we can get our quints (custom cabs) in about anywhere the engines can go. Once you get into a 100' stick, you're talking tandems, and like Gonzo said, you're going to have fit issues on a lot of roads. But at the same time, you don't need 100' unless you have a building that tall in it's district.
01-05-2007, 11:28 AM #6
Lots of Quints
keysim331, you might want to contact one of your brother FF's in Rochester, NY. They mostly have quints, but backed up by a midi-engine, so they are still rolling a quint and midi out of most houses. Not much savings in equipment dollars.
Otherwise I totally agree with CaptainGonzo. Tell the politicians, or beat it in to them, that the money can be better spent on water mains. If you have a 1500 GPM pump in a non-hydrant area, how much water can you really supply to it? You don't list any tankers for your department, so how do you get water to the scene in your rural area? Tell the politicians that by improving the infrastructure they can start getting that 9 ISO rating down, but have some numbers to back up why decreasing their voters insurance rates will make them look good at the next election.
I am from a village with old, narrow streets and our neighbors quint can not make some of the turns, so we go with a shorter wheel base on all of our trucks. Don't let the politicians have all the say about what trucks they order for you. It doesn't do any one any good if you have some monster truck that every time it turns a corner it damages the truck and any parked cars near by. Been there, seen that happen and it gets very expensive for the municipality.
Above all else, do not let them cut your staffing! Once they start down that road, every one looses.
Good luck"Your spill is our thrill."
01-05-2007, 11:43 AM #7
Posted by Catch 22
Once you get into a 100' stick, you're talking tandems, and like Gonzo said, you're going to have fit issues on a lot of roads. But at the same time, you don't need 100' unless you have a building that tall in it's district."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
01-05-2007, 12:37 PM #8
[QUOTE=The city has done some serious annexing over the past decade and a half, a lot of that needs serious water works ( some subdivisions have no hydrants ), narrow roads and homes that range from 4500 to 15,000 square feet built every imaginative place.
Second, how this came about:
The city wanted a survey done on the fire protection for our city. The guy from UT ( orange and proud of it ) came out and done a survey and said our problems would be best suited by us going to the quint concept. [/QUOTE]
Maybe they should survey the option of getting a tanker or 2. If you have areas with no hydrants in some areas. Can you lay a line from a hydrant ,to any areas where you don't have any? The quint would be nice until you run out of water. Good Luck !!
I see the forums are messed up again.
01-05-2007, 03:30 PM #9
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
01-05-2007, 05:32 PM #10
What is wrong with the way you run now? You state you have 8 engines and 3 ladders and 1 rescue. 8 stations 9 & 10 in the works..I'm sure you're response time is good. And if water is an issue why not buy a couple of tanker's. It's really not your say but if the City is asking for your Locals input and I hope they are. But in most cases they don't. I'm not saying the quint concept wont work but just simple apparatus placement will make a big change in the way you operate.
As for becoming a VP..Good for you to many Brother and Sisters like to sit back and do nothing and when somthing goes wrong they are all over you with a grievance..As for an executive member you need to remember your their to represent the local and not yourself. You move when they ask you too. Yes you get an opinion but the majority rules and to many executive's forget who voted them in.
01-05-2007, 05:50 PM #11
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
I worked for St. Louis FD for a short time. I now work for the Columbia (MO) FD.
St. Louis has thirty 75' quints, 4 Trucks (with pumps, tanks, and hose), 2 Squads, etc. Two of the trucks are 125' straght sticks, 2 are 100' platforms. Enignes and trucks are staffed with 4, Squads with 6 guys.
The SOP's are built around the quint concept.
A still alarm building fire gets 3 Engs, 1 Truck, BC
A first alarm for a building fire gets 5 Engs, 1 truck, 1 Squad, 2 BCs, Deputy Chief.
The first engine does "Engine work" Fire attack, establish their own water supply.
Second engine does "Truck work" The crew splits, 2 inside, 2 outside. Forcible entry, Search (without a hose), a 24' ladder to the front, 35' ladder to the back, ventilation, Etc.
Third engine is "backup water". They lay a line from the scene to another plug. The crew pulls another hoseline if needed.
Fourth Engine can be a toss up. Usually what the incident demands. Sometimes to the roof, sometimes another line, sometimes dealing with exposure issues.
The Fifth engine is always RIT.
The Truck does truck work. Usually they cut a hole in the roof. If the truck arrives first they are fire attack and operate as an engine.
The STLFD definetely made the quint concept work.
My current department has been switching over the quint concept over the past few years. All new apparatus (except squads) have something that goes in the air. When STLFD buys apparatus they buy 30 Engines at a time. We buy a truck or two a year.
We operate out of 8 houses with 2 more on the way. 8 Engines, 2 trucks (with pumps and water), 2 Squads, etc. We are usually staffed with 3 man companies so our SOPs are nothing like STL.
I could go on and on about this because I have been immersed in the quint concept with 2 different departments. I understand it and I like it. Its not perfect. One thing is for sure, you'll never have a lack of aerial streams when the "Big One" strikes.
Let me know if you have any other questions. This can be a messy subject.
01-09-2007, 09:48 AM #12
As my gran pappy used to say - "I got no dog in this fight" (Translation - I have no opinion either way - what works for one Department may not work for another & just because some cities opted to use quints as a staffing reduction tool doesn't mean all cities will - it's all in the plan's design & implementation - so long as you are aware that it can happen.)
That being said - In addition to St. Louis (and slightly closer to home) - check out the City of Richmond VA, the went TQC some time in the Mid to Late 90's.
Here's their PR "spin" on the TQC - try contacting some of their rank & file through the union and see what they think of it now.
Especially in light of the 2004 4 Alarm fire that destroyed 6 blocks.
(And no I'm not blaming the losses on a switch to Quints - just citing that as a major fire that heavily taxed firefighting resources as a learning experience - looking back would they have rather had other apparatus besides all Quints or did having so many aerial streams available actually help the situation)
Last edited by N2DFire; 01-09-2007 at 09:50 AM.Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
01-10-2007, 02:27 AM #13
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
It's important to remember that not all quint concepts are created equal. The St. Louis quint concept and the Rochester quint concept have the following things in common:
1) We both have quints.
I don't know anything about St. Louis other than what has been posted in this thread, but it seems to be the case that all companies are equipped and trained for both engine (water supply and fire attack) and truck (vent, ladder, search) operations. The companies are then assigned to one or the other depending on how they are due on the assignment. (Somebody tell me if I'm wrong, by the way...)
In Rochester, the quint/midi company is expected to do both types of operation, at the same time. The same company that is inside with the attack line is also on the roof, at the pump panel, placing a ground ladder and down the street at the hydrant. Accountability roll calls for a quint officer are not easy.
Every quint/midi company in the city is located at what used to be an engine/truck house, so what used to be the work of two officers and six firefighters is now the work of one officer and five firefighters.
I know that other places have had different experiences, but for Rochester, the implementation of the quint/midi concept was for the purposes of staffing cuts. Budget reductions were demanded, and this was a way to reduce costs (manpower) without closing any actual firehouses. Over the space of about ten years, Rochester went from over seven hundred members on the line to about five hundred.
Does it work? Sure. The fires go out and people rarely get hurt. Is it better than engine/truck? Maybe, I don't know, I've never tried it It's just like anything else - you make it work, because that's your job.
Keysim, is it right for your department? I don't know that either, but I would continue to research it very carefully. Don't get one because it's fashionable, or because a city councilman heard the term somewhere and he thinks it will save 3/4 of a cent per 1000 assessed.
I agree with the other posters who said that water infrastructure would probably be an investment that pays off.
I'll answer any questions that I can, either here or through private message.
Good luck!The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.
01-11-2007, 10:14 PM #14
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
$1.2 million for a 100' quint? What compartment are they keeping the gold bars in?
01-11-2007, 10:19 PM #15
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
I don't know what ours cost, but I'm certain that it's less than that, and ours are 110' with 1500 gpm...The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.
01-14-2007, 02:23 PM #16
ben3131 is right on the money how we operate. I have seen, although, 2nd in pumper take a line in during a search. Fire conditions will dictate that. But, normally...yes....searches w/out a line...but isnt that how we are tought anyway? 1st in company usually has water on the fire by then anyway.
In the St Louis Fire Department the TQC works well. But, we have an unlimted supply of resources....manpower, water supply, equipment, etc.
As you all probably know..St Louis is a very old city. We have extemely narrow streets in some areas with buildings 3-4 feet apart from each other. It's difficult for the Hook&Ladders sometimes, but the engines (75 footers) for the most part do not have a problem w/a skilled dreiver at the wheel.
They are starting to assemble a committee to spec new rigs. I have heard nothing about changing from the TQC. So.....it will be interesting to see what the 3rd generation of quints will be like here.
If you have all the proper resources...it is possible to make the quint concept work. Water supply is an issue no matter what kind of rigs you have.
On my old dept...we had done some major annexing too. we had acquired a HUGE retail corridor w/limited water. They have a 75' and a 105' quint. We had practiced tanker ops w/elevated streams. You can make it work.
I'm not saying the TQC is the way to go for you, I personnally like the traditional engine/truck concept, but the TQC works for us. Training and sticking to your SOPs is key here.
Id be glad to give you more infor/answer questions....
01-14-2007, 02:24 PM #17
ben3131................StL FD a short time?? Now in Columbia??? Does your last name start with "T"???
Were the initials of your class name J.P.H. ???
01-15-2007, 03:49 PM #18
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Yeah, I think we were in the same miserable 13 week class. How are things there? Anybody else from our class quit or go to another dept?
I would have loved to stayed longer but the retirement and opportunites I have up here were too tempting.
01-15-2007, 08:43 PM #19
Things are great here! Oh..there is BS here......but isnt that everywhere?
You gotta understand compared to where I came from...I'm in paradise! Actually, I'm treated pretty well here by everybody.
I'm not at the busiest house when it comes to fire (the 7's), but we've had some awsome training. We are part of the Regional Task Force. Rope, trench, collapse rescue, and all the toys to go with it.
They've put on 2 classes after ours..the same ball of fire tought both of them. 4 classes in a row...the deal was he was gonna get to goto a squad. Guess what? They left him on the Hook&Ladder!
The short bald guy from A platoon who got the 32's quit. Everyone else is still here.
There are some things in the works here. Things are looking really good for everyone. I can't imagine what retirement benefits you got there...they are pretty damn good here. NP pay could be better, but that will change too.
Are you in a firehouse in Columbia? If so where at? Ill tell the fellas you said hey!
Stay in touch....
BTW got a pic for ya
01-16-2007, 01:18 PM #20
It depends on what you or the department is trying to do.
Cut back on manpower or just to get the apparatus to the scene.
Most departments that have Quint's Co's, run with 4 members. Very few run with more. If you have three engines and a truck going on a call now with 4 members each, for a total of 16, then you will need 4 quints to respond to get the same number of members. Most cities send three, that is 12 members. Do the math.
Again it is all in what the department and the city or county is trying to do. More with less, I am guessing.Stay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
01-17-2007, 09:38 AM #21
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
01-27-2007, 11:14 PM #22
- Join Date
- May 2006
Just Say NO!!
I am from a City in Michigan that has similar demographics as your city. We have 72,000 residents, with a heavy industrial base. Our administration embraced the idea of "the quint concept" in 1996. The justification for spending the extra money on these apparatus was to perform more functions five functions with one apparatus. The only problem with this was forgetting to mention that the quint doesn't extinguish fires, firefighters do. We have quints in service but our staffing is generally 3. We still only perform one tactic at a time, usually fire attack, the same as functioning with a pumper.
Your staffing levels appear to be good, but the other firefighters that I talk to claim the "quint concept" will only reduce your manpower. I would have to admit I am a little envious though, we only have 27 firefighters with a minimum daily staffing of 5.
02-08-2007, 05:34 PM #23
I would like to put in my opinon about quints as well......
I will argue to the day I die that Quints have a valid use IF used right
You can take a engine company that wants to expand its capabilities.... put them in a quint. U have all the engine tools plus more. That is the correct way. Not to reduce manpower but provide more flexibility
You want to save money by combining two elements(a truck and a engine) into one... quint is not the way to go. Not saying it wont work because it has but look at St Louis and such.... those quints are not cheap. And especially if you make them chase the ambo
02-14-2007, 01:59 AM #24
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
If you FD is going to go the Quint Concept. Some things have to be iron out. If you go back and read those who are pro Quint Concept and anti Quint Concept, 90% of the time you see they are really saying the same thing.
1st off Quints will not save you on manpower cost unless the true motive is the switch is to eliminate Companies somewhere. In St Loius they still have 4 H&L Companies, in Richmond they have 2nd Quick Response Vehicle or Engine in house, in Rochester they have Midi assigned with their Quints and total of 1 Officer and 5 Firefighters, and so on and so forth in the various places where they have switch to a Total Quint Concept. The main thing with these location has been training in which each Company knows what they have to do when they get to the fire and also they have learned they have to staff Quints to various degrees. If you look at for example not everyone is happy with their switch and too many are still in single mind concept such as they are running Engines and forget that someone still has to do Truck work.
As has been stated Quints aren't for every department. If you are department that has never had a Truck Company, then maybe adding Quints to the department may be the way to go. Just make sure they are staffed and train what their jobs are to be once they get to the fire. Even expanding Departments getting Quints might be the way to go. Just as long as the bean counters understand that a Quint Company will be able to one job or the other. Not both at the same time. They should have min. staff of one Officer and 3 Firefighters (ideally 5 Firefighter, but not every community is willing to afford this). Water flow through you community is another thing to keep in mind.
If they and when they add the new stations and if your FD decides to convert two of you truck companies into Quints and then place them in-service in order to staff the new stations. Then your union should press home the fact that these Quints may be responding to fires in which they have to work as Engines and hence take away the use of them as Ladder Company, so maybe have two Engine Companies convert to Quints so at fires you can still have 3 Companies at the fire that do Ladders work for you department when needed. Also the placement of the Quints has to be thought out which station they go to. Then the crews will have to be trained. So that they know what they will be responsible for. Also the Command Officers in the Department have to be trained so they don't get into the habit of using them as another Engine Company as has happen in some communities.
Next with these Quints your community has to decide if Quints will respond to everything or if a second vehicle 'in-station' might be the way to go. This is largely to save wear and tear on the Quint for such calls as Medical, Trash Fires, and MVAs. With this they could go one of two ways. Like Rochester the 2nd could be Midi-Engine in which 2 firefighters staff and they respond together on major call and the Midi-Engine goes by itself on some calls. Or use the Richmond mind set where the crew will staff the Quint or the 2nd Vehicle depending on the nature of the call. Now if you go the way of Richmond, then you should probably look into going Quints for all Engine Co and have them using their current Engine as the 2nd Vehicle. This way if you have call back personnel there is vehicle at the station for them to staff.
Like many who pro-Total Quint Concept it is all about staffing and training along with have a dependable water supply for it to work. Without those three it will be doom to fail before it gets started. Also under this Concept keeping some 'pure' Ladder Companies helps out too. This will help out.
This is one of those things where there is no one correct way. There are several variable that one has to take into account and the figure out what will work best for your community.
03-11-2007, 08:24 PM #25
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- chattanooga TN U.S.
Hey key i'm your neighbor here in chattanooga we have been in the quint concept for about 8 years. My Personal opinion is it has helped our dept but hurt it at the same time. Also i'm with local 820 out here. It has helped our dept in that we are now a iso class 2 and the equipment is brand new. it has hurt our dept in the way that you have ladder guys and engine guys that haven't made the transition. it's getting better don't get me wrong but there are guys that ask other people on scene to get them fans and stuff like that when they have it on there equipment. It just takes a matter of training and makeing sure there is a good plan implemented. Like i said its getting better and i'm on the fence with it, i've been on a engine since i've been here about 5 years and there is only like 5 engines left out of 18 stations the rest are quints. So basically you get on a fire and everyone is doing truck work and engine work I think we still have kinks to work out but for the most part its working.
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