Budget cuts are forcing the Portland Fire Bureau to find ways to operate more efficiently. The city is leasing two rigs that are called Quints. They combine the capabilities of a fire truck and a fire engine. The crews can fight a fire and perform rescues. It's efficient, because instead of sending eight personnel a Quint carries four firefighters.
The Portland Firefighters Association has been critical of the new trucks, because of concerns there won't be enough personnel to perform the duties on a call. Fire Chief Erin Janssens says that won't be a problem.
The Quints are being located at stations with lower call volumes.
The Quint is an aerial apparatus (105' aerial) and comes complete with ground ladders, hydraulic extrication equipment, and saws, but is also outfitted with a pump and limited amount of hose for a quick fire attack and limited water supply. PF&R's first Quint recently went into service at Station 2 in Parkrose.
Another adjustment to PF&R's response approach is the addition of Rapid Response Vehicles for medical calls. Surging medical calls in areas such as East Portland and downtown have meant shifting some firefighter positions from Kenton and Parkrose to medically-focused rapid response vehicles for help in other areas. The RRVs will help improve response times and response reliability of fire & rescue apparatus needed on more complicated or critical emergency calls.