Quint (fire apparatus)

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Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Quint 57, stationed in suburban Boca Raton, Florida. This unit was manufactured by Ferrara Fire Apparatus. This is an example of a typical US quint setup.
Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Quint 29, stationed in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. This unit was manufactured by Ferrara Fire Apparatus.

A quintuple combination pumper or quint 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.[1]

History and usage[edit]

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.[2]

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.

NFPA specifications[edit]

Another view of Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Quint 57. Note the full-sized pump panel and preconnected hose line as would be found on an engine.

The US 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.

Fire hose and nozzles[edit]

Miscellaneous equipment[edit]


There are many apparatus companies who currently manufacture quints.


  1. ^ "Glossary". Fire Service Info. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Avsec, Robert (10 May 2012). "The Quint: a unique and still misunderstood fire truck". Fire Rescue. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 

External links[edit]