While discussing and comparing the concept of running a Quint (300 gal) out of a station in place of an Engine (750 gal), a senior officer told me "Do you know that 300 gallons extinguish 90% of all structure fires that occur?" Whether or not I believe this is not the issue, yet. Does any one have any FACTS to back up this statement regarding the 300 gallons and 90% of fires? I was told that I could find it on NFPA - but I could not.

The Quint/Engine debate appears to be endless. That is not the topic here?

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Having a quint would always be a great idea so long as you have big water readily available. The first time you ran out of your 300 gallons and someone got hurt or you lost a house how good would that Engine seem then?
There was a article in one of the various fire magazines I go through that had a series of Multi Use quints and other various Engines with ladder combinations.
If you have hydrants and or have the ability to obtain big water, go for the quint. The first 1000 gallons or 750 the Engine would have wouldn't mean much once you hit the hydrant anyway.
"If you have hydrants and or have the ability to obtain big water, go for the quint. The first 1000 gallons or 750 the Engine would have wouldn't mean much once you hit the hydrant anyway."

Mike, I beg to differ with this statement. Suppose the Q arrives on scene, deploys a 1 3/4 inch line w/ straight tip, and begins flowing 180 gpm. With 300 galloons in the tank that's less than two minutes of water. How long does a hydrant connection take? Will there be enough manpower to make it in under two minutes, counting from the time the hose is charged? What if a quick blitz attack with a deck gun at 400 gpm will stop a fire in its tracks?

Obviously, the 750 or 1000 gallon tank will buy a lot more time for the hydrant to get gated, flushed and connected to the inlet. Just as obviously there will be times when 3,000 gallons would not be enough initially.

My question to the officer is also "what about the other 10 percent?"
I agree that most house fires can be knocked down with a small amount of water. But there are many factors that go into the percentage that will, and I am sure each department would have a differnt number.
In my area most of the homes are isolated and if empty, the fire can get a much better hold before anyone sees the smoke and calls 911. In a city, most of the time more people are passing by and a call ealier in the fire development is likely, therefore less water will be needed to knock it down.
the training, equipment and mindset of the department is also key. We want to go in and make an interior attack if it is possible to do so without undue risk. A small amount of water at the seat of the fire does a huge job.
The last one I was on the nozzle, we had room and contents on fire, I used less than 100 gals to knock the fire. There is a department that borders mine that sees smoke comiing from a building and feels that a defensive posture is the way to go. Much more water is used protecting exposures. They have a defensive mind set, due to poor training and equipment.
Also a class A foam will greatly enhance your knock down ability, the 300 gals of water with a class A foam in it becomes the same as 900 gals of plan water. Add a compressed air system to it and the effect can be as great as 50 times the amount of plain water.
So the 300 gal statement is true, the 90% level depends on response time from the time thre fire starts, training, equipment, and mindset as well as the use of class A foam or CAFS
Hey Joe. After reading your take on the situation I definately see your point. I have seen it done before (mostly watching city departments operate) where they hit the hydrant and stretch the line to the scene and since the next arriving Engine would be right behind them the water wouldn't be a problem. When they both got done with connections you would be well in the 2 minute range.
I still feel it would depend on the needs of the district, and the availability of water. Theres a post down lower that says CAFS will give you 50 times the effect of plain water. I will disagree with this philosophy. Cafs is great for a lot of things. In basement fires I feel Class A foam is better. The cooling affect of more water seems to have a better affect on fire knockdown and improving the conditions for the firefighters trying to put the fire out. As with everything, it has it's place.

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