PORTLAND Portland s fire department has added two new vehicles, called quints, to its fleet.

The quints are designed to work both as engines and ladder trucks. Each quint has a pump, water tank and hose, as well as ladders and equipment for rescuing people trapped in a building fire.

The quint is a fire truck plus so much more, said Commissioner Dan Saltzman of the City of Portland. It s an advancement in how the Fire Bureau does its work.

Budget cuts forced the Portland Fire Bureau to cut personnel. The quints offered a solution for reduced staff at stations 2 and 8.

With limited resources, this is the most equitable response city-wide that we can provide, said Chief Erin Janssens of the Portland Fire Bureau.

But Alan Ferschweiler, the head of the Portland Firefighters Association, has some concerns.

Ferschweiler said he doesn t think the quint does either job as well as an engine or a ladder truck, and that the cities of Cincinnati, St. Louis and Memphis are getting rid of their quints.

Portland Fire and Rescue also added rapid-response vehicles for medical calls.

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