Ralph the one problem we also run into with responding to the scene is the guys getting dressed on scene an the safety factor of that with traffic an everything. This was brought to our attention by OSHA after one of the departments by us lost a guy on a car fire when he got hit by a rubber necker.
ours are 2 doors (rural mountain volunteer dept) overlength and turning radius is extremely important to us and 4 doors are too big (our engines run about 28 ft in overall length). they hold 3 people and some members respond in directly in POV to the scene but mostly we run multiple apparatus to get the required manpower on scene
I tried over 15 years ago to get our volunteer fire department to stop buying just pumpers and just tankers. We have five fire stations with a pumper and a tanker, but from time to time the pumper would go out of service for repairs and they would send another tanker to fill in. The were all two door cabs and small pumps. My idea was to by four door cabs with 1250 pumps and 2000 to 2500 gallon tanks on them, but they didn't see the advantage to any of this.
The advantages are, Up to five or six FF in one truck, suited up and ready to go when they arrive on scene
Full size pumps on every truck capable of multipul handlines.
Large amount of water at the very start of fire attack, increases the chance of quicker knock down of the fire and more aggressive fire attack with more safety to the first in crew.
Increasing our tank sizes on every pumper to 2000 gallons, ment on every dispatch for fires, we increased our water capability from 4000 gallons to 8000 gallons with the normal dispatch of two stations. This also decreased our wait times between pumper and tankers arriving, because of the great distance between stations.
The first two pumper tankers on scene could also set up relaying operatins without waiting for anothe pumper and the next in station would go right to water hauling.
And finally it took our fleet of five pumpers and five tankers and turned it into a fleet of TEN pumper tankers and reduced the need to disparch all five stations for every fire!
The main argument from the chiefs was that not all the stations got enough FF's to the station in time to go on the trucks and they regularly responded with one or two FF's. But they were narrow minded! HTimes change, FF's come and go and I regularly see four and five FF's on every truck now. So buy four doors, you don't want to limit your self for the next 20 to thirty years with a truck that isn't capable of accepting the changes.
P.S. Our department is now buying four door pumper tankers!
Look on ebay, or GovDeals.com, there are all kinds of seating arrangments! I have even seen cabs with eight airpac seats in the rear plus the driver and captain for a total of ten FF's. Need FF's with smaller shoulders for those ones though......lol
I drive a one ton brush truck for a private contractor. Up until this year region 6 has only required 2 people on a type 6 engine. The truck that I drive is a regular cab , 2 doors. It has been sufficient as far as the truck itself goes. Though we would have liked to have more room for gear and what not, it was not completely necessary. This season however the rules have changed. Region 6 now requires 3 people on a type 6 engine. Which totally makes sense. Because 3 people are much more effective at getting the job done. I am able to direct my crew to whatever needs to be done and can focus on situational awareness, without leaving any one to work alone. Because of budgets, we are now running 3 people in a regular cab truck, 2 doors. We make do, but it is very hard to do comfortably. Especially on long hauls to fires in another state. So it is really just a matter of comfort and convenience.
We run a 4 door,6 man engine and a two door ,3 man tanker.The engine has 4 SCBA seats and will turn on a dime.Overall length is around 30 feet with a custom cab and 1000 gal. tank.Tanker is an older 2 door commercial chassis.It's on the replacement list(hpoefully soon)and we will probably replace it with another commercial chassis due to budget restraints.Our rescue unit is a 4x4 Suburban with 2 SCBA seats in the back and it responds to everything so we can carry extra manpower in it.It has been a great addition for us.