Evaluating the Efficacy of a Four-Person Staffed Quint Versus a Three-Person Staffed Engine Plus One-Person Staffed Ladder Truck [open pdf - 233KB]
"In today's economic climate, departments are struggling to find ways to provide efficient and effective service with existing or diminishing resources. The problem was Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) did not know which staffing model was more effective, a one-person staffed truck plus a three-person staffed engine or a four-person staffed quint, which resulted in an efficient apparatus staffing configuration. The purpose was to identify which of these staffing models provided the most effective and efficient service delivery. Using evaluative research, the author answered the following questions: (a) What are the advantages of staffed quints when compared to separate engine and truck companies; (b) What are the disadvantages of staffed quints when compared to separate engine and truck companies; (c) Does a four-person staffed quint provide more efficient service delivery as compared to a three-person staffed engine and one-person staffed truck; (d) How does the quint staffing model affect fireground operations; and (e) What is the effect of quint staffing on emergency response times? In addition to personal observations, the author utilized both external and internal (within HBF) questionnaires to answer the research questions. Evaluation of the research revealed that a four-person staffed quint offers a more effective way to utilize personnel at structural fires and other emergencies. Recommendations included staffing a four-person quint instead of a one-person truck and three-person engine, revising the HBF Structure Fire Response Guideline to give the first arriving truck officer flexibility and discretion to initiate either engine or truck work, placement of more experienced officers on the quint, and refocusing the training program to emphasize truck spotting and early tactical prioritization of either engine or truck work when the quint is first due."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/