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By Cynthia Haggitt
A fire station has many departments in its firehouse. According to the National Fire Association, “The departments are also known as units which consist of trucks and engines. The Engine unit is responsible for securing water at the fire scene, putting initial handlines in position, protecting exposures, operating master streams, and extinguishing the fire.
The truck unit’s job as a whole is to help in operations in regards to: entry, laddering, utility control, ventilation, search and rescue.
There are some departments, like Jerseyville’s Fire Department, that outfits their firefighters with apparatus and equipment that can accomplish most of these tasks with one firetruck and it is called a 75’E-One Quest Quint.
According to Jeresyville’s Director of Public Safety Fire Chief, EMA and Code Enforcment Officer Keith Norman, “As its name implies, it features five main tools to carry out firefighting functions:
– Pump ( It pumps out 1000 gallons per min)
– Water tank( It holds 500 gallons of water)
– Fire hose ( It is 5”, 2 ½” & 1 ½” in length)
– Aerial device( Can reach 75)’
– Ground ladders (Has 100’ + of reach)”
Norton mentions that the department has never had a ladder truck before. With the Quint truck, the department will have access to a resource that most of the time the department had to call out to Carrollton or Brighton.
“So if we have the need for an Arial water supply or rescue, we had to make the call. They had to pull them out. They had to go to their fire hall to pick up the apparatus and then had to drive it here.
Now we have the ability to house right here in town.”
Norton said, “So it has a pump, a water supply, fire hose, aerial device, ladder and ground matters. That’s the five things that make up a Quin, which is nice, because a lot of ladder trucks are just ladders. You actually have to pump water through them. It’s a dry pipe and you take an engine with the pump and hoses and all of that, and you pump the water through the ladder to deliver it. And obviously engines don’t have aerial devices, but they have pumps.”
The quint does have a single set of Jacks, Norton said.
“The Setup is very easy with the ladder apparatus and how high you are technically, will obviously depend on the geometry involved because of the angle, how far we are. And the ladder itself is 65ft. So the way the manufacturers talk about it is the height of the ladder and the reach of the ladder. And the reach would be important, because with that truck set up and that ladder straight out this way, I can reach 65ft.”
Norton said the truck is very versatile for the department. The main benefit of a quint fire apparatus is flexibility. The quint offers a multifaceted tool that can respond to the fire ground and initiate critical support to match the requirements of the emergency.
“With a quint fire truck, you have the capability of a ladder truck and pumper engine. As such, the vehicle can lead the initial fire attack while carrying much of the equipment needed by the department, such as an aerial device, water, hose, ground ladders and more,” Norton said.
They acquired the 5’E-One Quest Quint through Brindley Mountain. The fire apparatus and the truck came from Fairbury, Nebraska.
“When we got the truck we found it needed some minor repairs that Brindley Mountain paid for, actually just like basic repairs to the ladder. Also the truck had some issues too,” Norton said.
“This is one of those hidden costs that fire apparatus have to be recertified everywhere. We hired a company to come in and with Aerials, they actually have a different company, the same company that certifies the truck but doesn’t certify the ladder. So we purchased it with current certifications. However, part of the sales process was we wanted them to reinspect everything, and they found a couple of minor issues with the ladder that they’re fixing.”
Norton said some of the issues were lights being out and there was a short in the intercom from the turntable to the tip of the ladder, but Brindley Mountain paid for all of that.
“The truck got fixed by Banner Fire Equipment in Roxanna, and they’re an E One dealer, and they’ve dealt with Brindley Mountain before. So, the Jerseyville taxpayers were off the hook from having to contribute to this repair because the E One certified dealer called the service manager down in Louisiana, Mississippi,” Norton finished saying. “The great thing is we knew of the relationship through our local company that certifies our pumps and does all of that every year”
“We actually got money from the county board and they agreed to kick in a little bit of money over the next three years to help cover the cost for the repairs and truck,” Norton said
Norton also mentioned that the Jerseyville Fire Department is a volunteer fire department and Norton took three of his firefighters with him in February to Nebraska. He said there is only one person who is paid at the station and the guys who went with him all volunteered their time and took off work by going out in a day to look at the truck. The interesting point about this situation was that it was 16 degrees and that it was 30 degrees warmer 24 hours before that.
“The temperature had set an all time low in Fairburn, Nebraska, and I’ve got three guys that are crawling around on the concrete under the truck, up in the area looking around and we probably spent three, three and a half hours crawling around on the truck when we went out,” Norton said. “The next time we left Jerseyville, I had three guys who were two of the same firemen, and they went with me to go pick it up. We drove ourselves and then brought the truck back to Banner. We saved the taxpayers in Jerseyville, probably tens of thousands of dollars, rather than have the truck shipped to us.”
Norton said the Quint is inservice and available for the public. He would like to thank the Jerseyville City Council and Jersey County for their help in acquiring the funds to be able to purchase the Quint. He is very thankful to the JEM Fire Protection District Board and the Medora Fire District(SCBA). Also he would like to thank the JFD members who went in February to help inspect the truck and for the men who went with him in June of 2021 to pick it up,
He said the department has alot of guys that drive trucks for a living. The department is all volunteer so they have farmers, contractors, doctors and nurses.
“So we’ve got a very diverse department and all our members are on the aerial (quint) training. They are looking to get comfortable with the truck and learning how to be safe with using the ladder,” Norton said. “When the time comes to use the Quint, our volunteer firemen will be ready.”