2nd line follows the path of the first line to back up the initial entry crew and protect their means of egress making sure any fire they have knocked down does not flare back up or wrap around them. If that crew is ok, and is getting a good knock on the fire then depending on conditions keep protecting the interior stairwell or advance to the floor above to protect the search crew and confine any extension. These follow up actions will depend on size and location of the fire as well as occupancy type and construction. But again, my short answer is, always back up the first line until proven they are safe (relatively) and the 2nd line is of more critical use elsewhere.
It depends on many other factors that aren't listed her from the beginning.
What size building?
What's the occupancy?
Need for immediate civilian rescue?
Protection of search crews?
Number of floors involved and size of fire?
Is the 2nd line an attack line or is the intent to protect the 1st attack line?
More size up info. is needed prior to arbitrarily assigning where the 2nd line should go.
Typically, a back up line is just that a line to back up or support the first line. In a sense one could think of the back up line as 911 for the first line. The back up line is there to protect the initial line.
If you need another line stretched into the firefighting operation then stretch a second line.
It really isn't minutia or semantics. Stretch the appropriate line for the appropriate job. The back up line should be stretched following the initial line and stopping just inside the front door. This way the firefighters are out of the way yet are prepared to go. Being inside the door they can get a lay of the land and be that much more prepared.
This is a difficult question to answer because there are many variables that will impact on where the second line will be stretched to. At a one room fire on the first floor of a 2 story frame private dwelling that is venting out a side window and extending to the house next door, you may need to have the second line hit that fire or even enter that exposed building if fire has entered that structure. For a fire in one room on the 12th floor of a fireproof apartment house, the second line, if needed will most often follow the path of the first line and back them up. For a fire in a bedroom on the 4th floor of a 5 story brick and joist apartment building, the second line is often needed on the floor above where fire is discovered extending in the walls or via a pipe chase opening. These are just three of the MANY situations that we may be faced with when stretching hoselines into buildings to fight a fire. Be careful not to fall into the standard "back-up the first line" routine when faced with this decision. Every fire is a unique and different challenge than any you have faced before. Hoselines are our infantry and they must be deployed where and when needed.
Anytime I've been the company to stretch a 2nd line we've backed up first in attack crew or in defensive mode, we've protected exposures. I've heard several reasons and here they are.
- Back up the 1st line in company.
- Protect interior exposure i.e. main body of fire in the second floor to check the attic for suspected extension.
- Protect exterior exposures.
- Failure of 1st line i.e broken nozzle, compromised 1st hose line or 1st hoseline didn't reach far enough.
- In a hi-rise fire for a 2nd stand pipe operation.
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