Memphis Firefighters Weary of Acquisition of Quint Trucks

A dispute is growing over a realignment plan that officials say will improve efficiency but that firefighters at the Memphis Fire Department (TN) fear will threaten safety.

The issue involves the acquisition of two “quint” fire trucks, which get their name by combining five functions into one. Both a ladder truck and a pumper, they have fire hoses, aerial devices and a water tank.

On July 1, the MFD plans to decommission four ladder trucks and move four others while adding the two quints.

The quints are designed to replace two pieces of equipment each. By decommissioning the trucks and adding the quints, the city will build up its reserve fleet, which Fire Director Alvin Benson concedes is below standard.

As part of a three-year strategy to reduce staff through attrition, MFD decommissioned two ladder trucks last year. The plan will accelerate this year.

Firefighters are concerned with the bulkiness of the quint, which have a single rear axle that restricts maneuverability.

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