08/22/14 274 W, 2 I - + 10 - 11 Greenville Places Pumper/Ambulance in Service

Here's a seeming first for the Carolinas, a combination pumper/ambulance that's been placed in service in Greenville. The unusual rig is a 2014 Spartan MetroStar/Bruan Patriot pumper/paramedic ambulance. FireNews.net has posted this story, which includes factory photos and details from this Daily Reflector story.

The truck is both an engine with a 500 GPM pump, 200 gallons of water, fifteen gallons of foam, and a compressed air foam system (CAFS), and a Type I medium-duty ambulance. It's assigned to Station 4 and was dedicated on Wednesday. Head over to the FireNews.net Facebook page for a lively discussion of the rig.

City Council minutes from February 11, 2013 (PDF), provide a bit of background about the truck, the purchase of which was approved on that date:

"On April 9, 2012, City Council approved the purchase of an ambulance to be stationed at Fire/Rescue Station 4. Ambulance service was initiated at Fire/Rescue Station 4 on October 6, 2012. Fire/Rescue Station 4 currently has three personnel assigned to it who staff a quint fire truck and an ambulance. Personnel select the most appropriate vehicle, fire truck, or ambulance, for emergencies occurring in their response area based on the nature of the call. The quint responds for fires and fire alarm activations. The ambulance responds to rescue incidents. This staffing method requires that employees move their personal protective clothing between vehicles when responding to calls for service. The purchase of the combination engine/ambulance will reduce this movement between vehicles as it will be able to handle 99% of the incidents to which Station 4 personnel respond."

Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector photo

Braun photo

Nice looking rig…not sure of the cost but do you really want to tie up an “engine” at the hospital?? Seems like a great fiscal decision but I question the practicality of it.
Hux - 08/23/14 - 00:01

If this unit fulfills the ISO requirements for an engine and keeps the insurance rates down for the residents in its first due area, that is the only job I can see it doing well. When I read the line “it will be able to handle 99% of the incidents to which Station 4 personnel respond” the first thought that comes to mind is the 1% it cannot handle is an actual structure fire. Isn’t that the time you most need an Engine to be there quickly?
David - 08/23/14 - 11:57

But David, do you design a department for the 99% or the 1% outcomes? I can’t decide if there’s some brilliance behind this approach or not. Think of the volume of EMS calls compared to fire and to working fires. Should suppression resources be further tailored to augment EMS capabilities? And yet… the working fires are when a department’s heavy lifting is needed. Without those abilities, you risk calamities. And conflagrations are what created the fire departments in the first place!
Legeros - 08/23/14 - 12:05

The comment “as it will be able to handle 99% of the incidents to which Station 4 personnel respond.” reminds me of the mini-pumper craze of the 70s and 80s- they could handle 95%+ of all incidents. And they could. Usually.

Given the listed capabilities, it reminds me of an oversized mini-pumper. Some of them had 475-500 gpm pumps, with a 200-250 gallon tank, maybe a foam system…

From the EMS side of things, it’s a big truck. And the big ambulances provide a less-than-desirable-ride for any sick or injured person who has ever been transported on one. Just ask them. Never have seen too many EMS personnel that liked the big trucks, either. Just ride on one.
Revenge of the Mini Pumper - 08/23/14 - 13:14

@ Mike, good point but I think instead of specing apparatus in line with the call types, you should instead base it towards your mission. Sometimes that is a mixture of both fire and EMS, but like you mentioned you have to ensure fire protection as a priority if you are a fire department.
Joesph - 08/23/14 - 14:37

Bob - 08/27/14 - 00:17

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