Volunteer fire house in the city.

baileyjeff

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I’m still kinda surprised that 70/53 don’t have second due areas since the bridge no longer rises.
 
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Here is my non-FDNY member take on this. FDNY is very standardized. Firefighters are assigned riding positions. Assignments are standardized. A firefighter in the Bronx could be detailed to a ladder in Staten Island for one shift (Irons Man) and he could preform the job and know what's expected of him (obviously not as good as the guy who works with the company everyday, but he'd get by). The same goes for battalion chiefs. They all have a battalion firefighter/aide with them. You could take a Manhattan battalion chief and send him down to the Rockaways for a shift and he would have an idea of what is coming to a structure (3E/2L) and be able to run an operation (obviously not as good as the guy who works their full-time in the 47, but he'd get by. If he's smart, he'd depend on his aide to fill in the blanks).

Now take a Quint and put it on City Island with 5 firefighters and 1 officer. The whole process of having a nozzle man, back-up man, control man, irons man, OVM, and who hooks up to the hydrant and who raises the stick would be crazy? Each and every situation is different. The officer would have to assign jobs and they've have to double-up such as "I'm roof and OVM" if we have any fires. The control man becomes the back-up man after getting the hose stretched. It would be a fiasco compared to the very regimented (and I believe the best system) and standards the FDNY follows. Yes, every call is different but they can make adjustments without recreating the wheel.

Now, take a shift where 1 guy is on vacation and 1 guy is out sick and you bring in 2 guys from a standard engine or ladder company. They'd be like, what are you talking about? They'd have to have a day in the fire academy dedicated to quint operations. Could it be done? Yes. Would it be pretty? No. Should it be done? NO WAY!
 

soda-acid

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When the money gets tight sooner or later all cost saving plans will be on the table. Quints might be one of those, probably starting in the same companies that were CFC's in the '70s.
 

nfd2004

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Gentlemen, please allow me to comment from an "outsiders perspective".

I NEVER thought that I would see the day that some FDNY companies and FDNY firehouses would close right during the peak of the FDNY War Years. I remember one civilian who lived in an area that was seeing a large number of fires pleading on the local news, "they can't do this, not here". But "THEY DID". It was the first time in my life that I saw any fire company get closed. There are guys here who were on the job then that certainly remember it. As I remember about 300 firefighters were laid off.

My father was on the job then too, in Bridgeport, Ct and when he saw it on the local NYC news, he told me; "even during the Great Depression fire houses and fire companies NEVER Closed". He also told me; "if it could happen in NYC, it could certainly happen here (Bridgeport, Ct) or anywhere" And it DID. Over the next several years they closed Bridgeport's Engine 2 (the busiest Engine Co in the city), Engine 4, Engine 8, Engine 9, Engine 11, Engine 14, Ladder 3, and plans to open up a new Ladder Company in a developing area of the north end was scrapped.

Of further concern was talk of laying off 20 firefighters and my brother had just gotten on the job.

I had also recently gotten on the job in Norwich, Ct. I thought; "If they could close very busy companies in places like New York City or Bridgeport, they could certainly close companies here in Norwich, Ct". I had just bought a nice home too. I thought maybe I made a mistake leaving the Post Office after working there for five years. In time they also closed companies here too, but a few years after NYC and Bridgeport. Engine 6 and Rescue 1 was closed. But nobody got laid off.

It also happened in some of the busiest cities across America.

Most of us here are aware that the number of building fires across the country are DOWN. Certainly from the large number of fires back in the 1970s and 1980s. That is GOOD NEWS of course.
Thankfully, we also know that in many places the number of runs for companies are UP due to medical responses.

But when money becomes an issue for many cities, the first place they look to cut is from the Fire Department. Why is that ?

Well many people see the police out there doing their job. They also see teachers, public works, sanitation employees producing and working for the benefit of the taxpayers.
But as they ride by the firehouse they see fire trucks parked inside. Those firefighters are NOT out there fighting building fires every day. The public doesn't realize that there could be training going on inside or fire truck maint., and daily inspections of equipment to make sure everything works in a moments notice.

In addition, these days Quints have been put to use in other cities, including some of our larger city and county departments.
Earlier in this thread I had mentioned about Milford, Ct, a small city with an ISO Class 1 rating (the best a city could get). I saw Milford change from Two ladder trucks to One. They did that by making Two Engine Companies into Quints. Those Quints run as regular Engine Companies and each has their own first due response area. BUT in addition to that, they ARE used as a second Ladder Company when needed.

I'm NOT saying I'm in favor of putting Quints into service to replace both an Engine Company and a Ladder Company. But "I am saying that it has been done and city's have reason to consider it these days with money being short in some places".

Let me also add this as another thought. Recently here in Norwich, Ct the city hired the McGrath Fire Consulting firm to make recommendations to changes in the Fire Service here. One of the things in the 200 page report was that they recommended eliminating Engine 3, (officer/2 firefighters) and replace that company with a "SUV type", Medical Response Vehicle because of the increase number of medical responses, while the number of building fires are down. Engine 3 is housed at the same firehouse with "Squad A, a Rescue/Pumper", plus a Ladder Co. That consulting group felt the firehouse does NOT need Two Engine Companies.

One of the things I say when it comes to the fire department is "NEVER SAY NEVER". I NEVER thought they would close busy fire companies in NYC and lay off firefighters during their busiest time in history.

I have also learned that "HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF".

I am certainly NO EXPERT when it comes to fire departments. I'm simply a guy on the outside looking in, with a big interest in the fire service my entire lifetime. That's a pretty long time since I was a young kid and I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it.
But during my time, I have seen many, many changes throughout the fire service of today. I'm sure changes will continue on.

I Thank you for taking the time to read; "Willy's Words of Wisdom" and his thoughts on todays fire service.
 
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mack

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A quint in City Island? Do you mean when they strapped a ground ladder over the hose bed to fool the local citizenry? Not sure the FDNY ever had any quints in front line service.
FDNY did not have Quints, but they had Quads.

FDNY had WLF "Quads" in service as the apparatus for some engines and some truck companies in the 1950s. The unit was either an engine company or a truck company. A single engine without a truck in its quarters could use ladders for a rescue before a ladder company arrived. A truck company with a quad could stretch a line at large brush fires and dump fires. But they were still engines or trucks.
002.jpg

Quad 1.jpg

Some single engine companies not close to a nearby 1st due truck company were assigned quads (e.g. - E 152 in SI). Some outlying ladder companies were assigned quads (e.g. L 76 and L 82 in SI that had a lot of brush fires) were assigned quads.

You could have a fire on SI that had quads operating as both an engine and a truck. You could also have a job with both truck companies (L 76 and L 82) as quads if L 84 was not available. Frequently, Engine 152 and Engine 161 were 1st and 2nd due engine companies at a box with Quads.

Quads were not popular. They were neither engine or truck, they were very long and more difficult to maneuver. There were relocation concerns. Truck company tool storage was very limited. Detailed and covering members into the unit were unfamiliar with the unique apparatus. Cross-training was a challenge. Truck companies with quads had no aerial for a structure fire with multiple stories. SI engines companies preferred a second piece that could be used for long stretches in the days when hydrants were scarce and water pressure problems existed.

E 152 Quad.jpg

L 76  1951 WLF Quad.jpg


L-82-ap3.jpg



Quad apparatus were converted (I believe there were 2) in 1965 to be hose tenders for the new Super Pumper system.

1965 Relay Hose wagon 1951 wlf quad.jpg
 
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mack

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FDNY did not have Quints but it has had combined engine-truck companies for long periods of time.

FDNY had "combined engine companies". Combination engine companies were organized in the early days of the department, primarily in outlaying areas. Existing engine and truck companies were reorganized, or new companies were organized as "Combination Engine Companies". They had both a pumper (or steamer) and a ladder apparatus. This practice continues as FDNY expanded into Brooklyn and the Bronx. Combined Engine Companies operated in NYC well into the 1950s (e.g. Combination Engine 96 - 1951).

Brooklyn Combined Engine Company 144"s (became 244) used this City Service H&L apparatus along with its assigned pumper.

E 244 H&L.jpg


Isolated City Island (later Welfare Island and then Roosevelt Island) was assigned Combined Engine 49 in 1882 before being disbanded when a bridge to Queens was built in 1958.

E 49 ap 3  1928 hose wagon - Copy.jpg



Combined Fire Companies - 1970s. To save money during a budget shortage, FDNY combined some engine and truck companies located in the same firehouses in outlaying areas. A captain supervised both an engine section and a truck section - to save the city money. Only 1 officer was assigned per shift, so the firehouse had 4 captains instead of 2 captains and 6 lieutenants assigned.

The companies were called "Combined Fire Companies" and always responded with both sections. There were no advantages - except saving a few salaries. There were many disadvantages. Supervision and control were significantly decreased operationally and administratively. Unnecessary resources were assigned to minor incidents because the engine section or the truck section could not respond independently. Relocations were a problem. Assignments on multiple alarms were a problem. Training was a problem. Details were more difficult.


CFC 121.jpg

CFC 121 fronts.jpg


CFC 131.jpg

CFC 131 front.jpg


CFC 151.jpg

CFC 151 Truck.jpg
 
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Bulldog

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In addition, these days Quints have been put to use in other cities, including some of our larger city and county departments.
Earlier in this thread I had mentioned about Milford, Ct, a small city with an ISO Class 1 rating (the best a city could get). I saw Milford change from Two ladder trucks to One. They did that by making Two Engine Companies into Quints. Those Quints run as regular Engine Companies and each has their own first due response area. BUT in addition to that, they ARE used as a second Ladder Company when needed.

I'm NOT saying I'm in favor of putting Quints into service to replace both an Engine Company and a Ladder Company. But "I am saying that it has been done and city's have reason to consider it these days with money being short in some places".

Let me also add this as another thought. Recently here in Norwich, Ct the city hired the McGrath Fire Consulting firm to make recommendations to changes in the Fire Service here. One of the things in the 200 page report was that they recommended eliminating Engine 3, (officer/2 firefighters) and replace that company with a "SUV type", Medical Response Vehicle because of the increase number of medical responses, while the number of building fires are down. Engine 3 is housed at the same firehouse with "Squad A, a Rescue/Pumper", plus a Ladder Co. That consulting group felt the firehouse does NOT need Two Engine Companies.
While I agree that some cities have started using Quints others have gone away from them. St. Louis at one time was all quints but recently they have started going away from them back to traditional engine and truck companies. They found out that Quints didn't work. Quints may be all right for smaller departments but for larger departments they are not that great!

As far as implementing an SUV type vehicle for medical responses at least in my opinion that makes great sense. Why take a huge engine or truck company to medical response? They are hard to maneuver in heavy traffic, are expensive to purchase and maintain and by responding to a medical call with them they are not available for a fire call. Instead, take a couple of members of the company's members and have them respond with the SUV. That would leave the remaining members with the engine or truck company to respond to a fire or other type of call. Maybe for FDNY it wouldn't save much because vehicle replacement is written into their union contract instead of being based on the vehicle's condition but for many departments it would allow them to keep frontline apparatus in service longer because it wouldn't get beat up responding to medical calls.
 

mack

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When the money gets tight sooner or later all cost saving plans will be on the table. Quints might be one of those, probably starting in the same companies that were CFC's in the '70s.
Quints would have found their way into FDNY if they were feasible in NYC. They would not be good options for CFCs of the 1970s which at least had both engine and ladder apparatus. Would a Quint at Engine 151 be able to replace both Engine 151 and Ladder 76 - no. Although a nice concept for many departments, there are some problems that make Quints not a viable option in most big cities.

Some obvious disadvantages - From Fire Engineering (https://www.fireengineering.com/firefighting/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-a-quint/#gref):


DISADVANTAGES

  • Difficult to maneuver (Instead of engine). The apparatus is large, is heavy, and can be difficult to maneuver in traffic. It is more difficult to turn the quint into narrow streets than a pumper. There has been a marked increase in the number of vehicle-involved accidents compared with the times when more traditional apparatus were used.
  • Increased maintenance and fuel costs (Instead of engine). Many separate systems-the water pump, motor and drivetrain, aerial ladder hydraulic system, and electric generator, for example-are placed close together. Mechanics often have to remove these items to access the component in need of repair. This is time consuming and, consequently, costly.
Also, the quints have shown a reduced brake service life and increased tire wear. All 10 tires on Quint 6 needed to be replaced after just 10,000 miles.
  • Increased response time (Instead of engine). Reduced maneuverability has increased response time. Firefighters have found that they have to dismount at short intersections and back up the apparatus, which significantly increases response time.
Also, because the average quint weighs more than a pumper, it is more likely to encounter bridge weight restrictions in the response district, which results in a longer response time.
  • Increase in unprotected areas during emergencies. The reduction in staffing means that more companies are needed on the first alarm (to have sufficient personnel at the scene). This results in more areas being left unprotected.
  • Perfect positioning needed. The 75-foot ladder has come up short when perfect positioning at the fire scene is not possible.
  • All-at-once purchase poses risks. Purchasing an entire fleet at one time is risky because one specification error or miscalculation can result in the entire fleet’s becoming problematic for the next 15 to 20 years.
  • Insufficient personnel for engine and truck functions. It is impossible with a staff of only four firefighters to effectively do both engine company functions and truck company work with the same crew.
  • Fire station renovations may be needed. Old fire stations may have to be renovated to accommodate the quint. The quint’s weight may necessitate changes in the floor support design, and the station’s door size may have to be modified to accommodate the quint’s height.
  • Ineffective ladder company function. Many departments that use quints report that ladder company functions are not being performed effectively. Therefore, for normal ladder company functions to be performed in a timely manner, strict operating procedures must be enforced.
  • Insufficient space for ground ladders (AND TOOLS). The quint, since it is to perform as an engine and a truck, does not have enough space to carry the equivalent footage of ground ladders as senior tractor-drawn ladders.
  • Smaller booster tank. The quint’s booster tank size might be much smaller than a conventional triple combination pumper.
I would add member training both engine/ladder skills, details into unit with unique apparatus, tool carrying limitations - both ways, relocation issues - is unit an engine or truck or both or neither, response assignment flexibility - if the incident commander needs an engine or a truck - can a Quint be assigned, longevity of apparatus with combined engine and ladder features, clutter and positioning at major alarms with larger rigs, assignment of Quints on EMS runs. If the first due engine goes to work as a ladder company on arrival, the alarm assignment and capabilities at location are immediately changed and confused.
 

Bulldog

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  • Perfect positioning needed. The 75-foot ladder has come up short when perfect positioning at the fire scene is not possible.
I certainly agree with most of these disadvantages you posted but Quints are also available with a 100' ladder on them.

There are also obviously some advantages to them. One of the biggest being if they are 1st due they are going to be located in front of the structure in most cases so if they go to work as a ladder company their apparatus will be ideally located. Sometimes ladder companies have a hard time getting into a good location when a 1st due engine company is directly in front of the building. Obviously there are also some other advantages are also many departments wouldn't be using them. I do agree with you however that they are not a great choice for larger departments in most cases.
 

AYoung

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I certainly agree with most of these disadvantages you posted but Quints are also available with a 100' ladder on them.

There are also obviously some advantages to them. One of the biggest being if they are 1st due they are going to be located in front of the structure in most cases so if they go to work as a ladder company their apparatus will be ideally located. Sometimes ladder companies have a hard time getting into a good location when a 1st due engine company is directly in front of the building. Obviously there are also some other advantages are also many departments wouldn't be using them. I do agree with you however that they are not a great choice for larger departments in most cases.
I work for a small suburb dept outside of Cleveland OH. We run a 100’ mid mount quint as a truck. It does not act like an engine anywhere, it’s more of an “oh crap, we need a line and we’re in this truck not an engine” type of deal. We’re running with 5 guys on duty at a time, so it’s strictly a manpower thing for us.
 

GeoC

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FDNY did not have Quints but it has had combined engine-truck companies for long periods of time.

FDNY had "combined engine companies". Combination engine companies were organized in the early days of the department, primarily in outlaying areas. Existing engine and truck companies were reorganized, or new companies were organized as "Combination Engine Companies". They had both a pumper (or steamer) and a ladder apparatus. This practice continues as FDNY expanded into Brooklyn and the Bronx. Combined Engine Companies operated in NYC well into the 1950s (e.g. Combination Engine 96 - 1951).

Brooklyn Combined Engine Company 144"s (became 244) used this City Service H&L apparatus along with its assigned pumper.

View attachment 14423
In the picture above , where was Combo 131. The picture shows TL-131 operating in Brooklyn, they were never a Combo house. Interesting to see those black boxes that carried the masks, had to be early 70’s.

Isolated City Island (later Welfare Island and then Roosevelt Island) was assigned Combined Engine 49 in 1882 before being disbanded when a bridge to Queens was built in 1958.

View attachment 14424



Combined Fire Companies - 1970s. To save money during a budget shortage, FDNY combined some engine and truck companies located in the same firehouses in outlaying areas. A captain supervised both an engine section and a truck section - to save the city money. Only 1 officer was assigned per shift, so the firehouse had 4 captains instead of 2 captains and 6 lieutenants assigned.

The companies were called "Combined Fire Companies" and always responded with both sections. There were no advantages - except saving a few salaries. There were many disadvantages. Supervision and control were significantly decreased operationally and administratively. Unnecessary resources were assigned to minor incidents because the engine section or the truck section could not respond independently. Relocations were a problem. Assignments on multiple alarms were a problem. Training was a problem. Details were more difficult.


View attachment 14416

View attachment 14417


View attachment 14414

View attachment 14415


View attachment 14418

View attachment 14419
 

GeoC

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Messages
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Sorry about above reply I was asking where was Combo 131. In picture it shows TL 131 operating in Brooklyn. Funny to see those black boxes on the street, used to carry Masks. Picture had to be early 70’s. TL 131 was never a Combo.
 

memorymaster

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Combo 131, if I correctly recall, was Engine 151/Ladder 76 located in the most southern area of New York, Tottenville, Staten Island.
 

fdhistorian

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I’m still kinda surprised that 70/53 don’t have second due areas since the bridge no longer rises.
70/53 have to travel over two miles before they even reach another company's first due area. Adjacent company second dues are all closer.
 

fdhistorian

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Let me also add this as another thought. "recommended eliminating Engine 3, (officer/2 firefighters) and replace that company with a "SUV type", Medical Response Vehicle because of the increase number of medical responses, while the number of building fires are down. Engine 3 is housed at the same firehouse with "Squad A, a Rescue/Pumper", plus a Ladder Co.

There is no direct statistical relationship between the number of building fires and the number of engine companies. Building fires are neither caused by nor prevented by engines. Fewer fires, needing fewer engines, is as true as, more engines will result in more fires. More engines may be necessary only when more than one fire occurs at the same time.

Conclusions based on unrelated independent conditions can result in changes whose effectiveness cannot be measured. Ever wonder why city officials seldom say, “The consultants’ findings were not what we expected?”
 
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fdhistorian

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FDNY had "combined engine companies". Combination engine companies were organized in the early days of the department, primarily in outlaying areas. Existing engine and truck companies were reorganized, or new companies were organized as "Combination Engine Companies". They had both a pumper (or steamer) and a ladder apparatus. This practice continues as FDNY expanded into Brooklyn and the Bronx. Combined Engine Companies operated in NYC well into the 1950s (e.g. Combination Engine 96 - 1951).
The original combination fire companies were three piece companies – steamer, hose wagon, and ladder truck. They were implemented as the initial career fire protection in developing residential neighborhoods previously served by volunteer companies. As the fire challenges grew with higher density, multi-story construction and commercial occupancies, the combination companies were replaced by separate engine and ladder companies.

The combination fire companies of the mid 1970’s were similarly placed in largely residential, slower activity areas.

In the late 1960’s, Los Angeles implemented task forces comprised of two (occasionally three) pumpers and a ladder truck. One pumper was paired with the ladder and designated as a Light Force. To this day, all Los Angeles ladder companies run with an accompanying pumper.
 

fdhistorian

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I certainly agree with most of these disadvantages you posted but Quints are also available with a 100' ladder on them.

There are also obviously some advantages to them. One of the biggest being if they are 1st due they are going to be located in front of the structure in most cases so if they go to work as a ladder company their apparatus will be ideally located. Sometimes ladder companies have a hard time getting into a good location when a 1st due engine company is directly in front of the building. Obviously there are also some other advantages are also many departments wouldn't be using them. I do agree with you however that they are not a great choice for larger departments in most cases.
Quints are all function, generic apparatus, with all purpose capabilities, but generally with staffing for one major function at a time. In addition to the many limitations of the apparatus, intensive training is desirable to have a fully adaptable crew for any potential task under short staff conditions.

Saint Louis, Missouri and Richmond, Virginia both tried the ‘Total Quint’ approach. After two apparatus cycles, Saint Louis is moving away from quints, bringing back engines and ladders. After one apparatus cycle, Richmond has done the same.

Where quint apparatus remain in use, they are typically used as engines in lower activity areas. Others are co-located with separate engine companies and are used primarily as ladders.

An apparently more logical apparatus hybrid for today’s fire and EMS demands was the pumper with an ambulance module and the ambulance with a booster tank and pump. Both were field tested in Miami Dade, Florida but the concepts did not catch on elsewhere.
 
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