A quint, or quintuple combination pumper, is a fire service apparatus that serves the dual purpose of an engine and a ladder truck. The name quint is derived from the Latin prefix quinque-, meaning five, and refers to the five functions that a quint provides: pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders.
History and usage
The first quint was patented in 1912 by Metz Aerials, a German-based fire and rescue apparatus manufacturer. Soon after the revolutionary invention, North America-based manufacturers, such as American LaFrance (1935 or earlier) and Seagrave (1940 or earlier), began to produce quints.
While quints have been used to a limited extent since their invention, they became more popular in the 1990s, especially with smaller departments that were not able to properly staff both an engine and a ladder on many calls. Many fire departments in the United States needed budget cuts in the 1990s, which led to the use of quints. Although quints are more expensive than either apparatus separately, and do require more staffing to carry out all their operations, the fact that they are a combination of ladder and an engine allows some departments to carry out operations more efficiently. Still, many departments find them to be unsuitable for various reasons. The decision to use a quint depends on many factors, including fire department location, size, volunteer/combination/career status, and budget.
The National Fire Protection Association has outlined the requirements for a piece of apparatus to function as a quint. The specifications come from the NFPA standard 1901,
The Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus. Quint requirements are detailed in Chapter 9 of the standard, and are summarized below.
- A pump with a minimum capacity of 1000 gpm (~4000 L/min).
- A tank with a minimum capacity of 300 gallons (1100 L).
- A minimum of 40 cubic feet (1.1 cubic meters) of enclosed compartmentation.
- A minimum of 30 cubic feet (.8 cubic meters) of storage area for 2.5 inch (65 mm) or larger fire hose.
- Two areas, each with a minimum of 3.5 cubic feet (.1 cubic meters) for 1.5 inch (38 mm) or preconnected fire hose lines.
- A minimum of 85 feet (26 meters) of ground ladders, including at least:
- One extension ladder
- One roof ladder
- One attic ladder
- A minimum of 15 feet (4.5 meters) of soft suction hose or 20 feet (6 meters) of hard suction hose for drafting.
Fire hose and nozzles
- A minimum of 800 feet (240 meters) of 2.5 inch (65 mm) or larger fire hose.
- A minimum of 400 feet (120 meters) of 1.5 inch (38 mm), 1.75 inch (45 mm), or 2 inch (52 mm) hose.
- One combination spray nozzle, 200 gpm (750 L/min) minimum.
- Two combination spray nozzles, 95 gpm (360 L/min) minimum.
- One playpipe nozzle with shutoff and 1 inch (25 mm), 1.125 inch (29 mm), and 1.24 inch (32 mm) tips.
- One 6 pound flathead axe
- One 6 pound pickhead axe
- One 6 foot (2 meter) pike pole or plaster hook
- One 8 foot (2.4 meter) or longer pike pole or plaster hook
- Two portable hand lights
- One dry chemical fire extinguisher with a minimum 80-B:C rating
- One 2.5 gallon (9.5 L) or larger water extinguisher
- One pump intake connection with supply-hose compatible threads
- One SCBA for every seating position (minimum four)
- One spare SCBA cylinder for every SCBA carried
- One first aid kit
- Four spanner wrenches
- Two hydrant wrenches
- Two double female adapters
- Two double male adapters
- One rubber mallet
- Four salvage covers, each a minimum size of 12 feet x 14 feet (3.7 m x 4.3 m)
- Four ladder belts
- One 150 foot (45 meter) light-use safety rope
- One 150 foot (45 meter) general-use safety rope
- Two wheel chocks
There are many fire apparatus companies who currently manufacture quints. Below is a list of many of those companies.