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We are currently revamping our departments High Rise SOG. Long story short during training of stretching hose in an uncompromised stairwell we were reinforcing looping your nozzle section up the stairwell above the fire floor. During this we have come across an officer who states that "we never stretch an uncharged hose line above the fire floor." Of course I am not an officer and I happened to be doing the training the date this statement was made, lucky me. I am pretty up on my knowledge and took in the comment and tried to refer him to Chief McGrail's books and articles primarily the 'stairwell stretch', but was un successful. He insisted that no matter what the situation, even in an uncompromised stairwell, we never stretch and uncharged hose line above the fire floor. I agree with the officer in certain situations his statement is true, but not in this one. I was looking for other opinions/views and if anyone has anything to back up the officers claim. Thanks.

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I think you need to press him on why he is against it. Safety is achieved in many ways if the door remains closed during the procedue no harm will occur. If you charge the line from below and have to drag a charged 2 1/2 line up a flight of stairs before you ever get near the fire are you putting a strain on the firefighters? How safe is that?
Good Luck
Ray McCormack said:
I think you need to press him on why he is against it. BR>

Thanks for some more insight and a little bit of support. I'm working on finding out his reasoning. I'm having to do it through the officer in charge of the training, because the officer that made the comment was very defensive when I talked to him off line. I am a junior guy so I am trying to approach this a professional as possible. I will let you and everyone know what I find out.
Jeremy, I'm not officer yet either but I'm always looking for other opinions than the "box" I work in. (Looking outside can provide other prospectives which is fantastic) Anyhow, my belief is that an uncompromised stairwell is ideal for stretching to the next landing first.

If the concern is that after forcing the door the fire will overtake the crew operating, conditions wouldn't warrant this type of attack. Doors from stairwells wouldn't normally have to be forced and conditions should be assessed before the door is completely opened and chocked.

Of course all situations offer different options and tactics, but uncompromised stairwells give space to prepare for a thought out preplanned attack.

Use gravity if possible, the wieght of hose (1 3/4 or 2 1/2) is substanstial and you'd need a couple guys to feed it to you.

Todd
KTF and be safe
It is unfortunate that an officer in this day and age can only fight fire on what the book says. We promote people to company officer ranks for the purpose of making tough decisions based on situations, not pages in a book. If the book was the only way.....then there would be no need to even have officers and this job would be taught to everyone in High School. I have been fortunate enough to have worked for the best company officers. You don't know them, but I'll never forget them. They were able to think on their feet, and make decisions based on signs and conditions, not on chapter 2.
WORD! I don't want to be the crew leader that's telling the boss what the conditons are and hear "let me check my notes"!

Kevin Nowicki said:
It is unfortunate that an officer in this day and age can only fight fire on what the book says. We promote people to company officer ranks for the purpose of making tough decisions based on situations, not pages in a book. If the book was the only way.....then there would be no need to even have officers and this job would be taught to everyone in High School. I have been fortunate enough to have worked for the best company officers. You don't know them, but I'll never forget them. They were able to think on their feet, and make decisions based on signs and conditions, not on chapter 2.
We train to anticipate tenable conditions for SCBA use. That is.... what would be considered untenable for the average civilian would be tenable for fire crews already on air. Why the difference? tenable should only mean one thing right? Not necessarily here where you WILL have porducts of combustion in the stairwell to some degree on any working fire that would preculde anyone spending more than one or two minutes in the "setup area". This environment will be largely determined by a few variables but to the greatest extent by how close the involved floor is to the top of the stair shaft. The closer to the top, the faster the stacking effect in the stairwell. Many buildings in our district have at least one straiwell with no roof access and / or built in ventilation, (so no guarantees on early venting). This along with an estimate on burn time can be added to your tactial high rise plan, (providing you create a specific tactical page to your pre-plan). Therefore, it could be said that any fire at or above a certain floor height vs. overall stairwell height, could be a candidate for stairwell hose lay concerns. When acending, we routinely drill for SCBA facepiece donning one floor below the fire floor, knowing full well it may be sooner than that. A real argument for going back to the 45min. bottle.

Now to the point of the hose lay itself, If you have any expierence with what's now called the "Cleveland Load" this specific load can be adapted for high rise use WITHOUT the need for the very pretty & labor intensive hose stretching as photographed in Chief McGrails highly regarded book. The load can be assembled, then d/c into two seperate hosepacks, one per crew member ( we have 2- 75' 2" sections). Then BELOW the fire floor or if stairwell layout or conditions permit on the fire floor stairwell landing can be reassembled and charged IN PLACE for advancement on the fire floor.
Just a different perspective.
scott schultz said:


If you have any expierence with what's now called the "Cleveland Load" this specific load can be adapted for high rise use .
Just a different perspective.

It's funny you talk about the Cleveland Load beacause it is something we are looking at and trying out as a possible option for our high rise needs. The way we have brought the load together is 100' cleveland load style and 50' packed Denver style. This allows the the Cleveland Load to be dropped at anypoint in the stairwell based on conditions and layout. Then the 50' section can be used to connect to the standpipe and to the 100' Cleveland load, almost used as a 'jumper' section to an extent. Still giving you 150' feet.
I beleive we are talking about apples and oranges in this case. That may be true about stretching above in some other types of buildings ie. private dwellings or wood frames, but in fireproof buildings that is not the case. We always preach that you should never enter the fire area without a charged hose line, in a private single family dwelling that would mean the front door of the house. In a multiple dwelling that would mean the door to the apartment, we never bring the line in to the fire area, uncharged, no matter how minor the fire, things may change very rapidly, and we need to assure that we have a positive water flow.

With respect to your situation, we need to consider two things, A- do we have control of the apartment door and B- if not do we have control of the door in the public hallway. In the case of A, where we have control of the apartment door, it is acceptable to actually stretch the line (2 1/2 inch hose, with smooth bore nozzle) to the front door uncharged. If we do not have control of apartment door and the products of combustion are entering the public hallway, we then need to charge the line behind the closed door of the public hallway. When we stretch, we use the standpipe outlet on the floor below, it does not necessarily need to be in the same stairwell where you are stretching from. Have the members flake out the line on the floor below, the nozzle firefighter should take his fold and flake it out in the stairwell and up to the floor above. If the door is closed there are no problems, the door should be rated for at least 2 hours. The building itself is fireproof, by flaking the line above, gravity will assist you when you advance the line. The officer should have the line charged in the stairwell behind the closed door. We are treating the hallway as part of the fire area. Another thing to consider is to keep any excess hose out of the hallway, the line should go straight to the fire apartment from the hallway door. If things go bad, the members should be able to follow the line out directly to the door to the stairwell.
Attachments:
Ray
What happened with John King in the 80s. I heard he was caught on the mid landing. I don't see an issue if you have the manpower, when the hallway is charged to flake the hoseline and check the stream on the floor below, and start the attack at the hallway door. I know it is manpower intensive, But if there is an EWD situation, I think it is safer than staging a guy on the midlanding to hold the hose while it is charged. They had the door controled in Brooklyn and it still blew them off the floor. I am just curious. This idea came from a co worker of yours.

Ray McCormack said:
I think you need to press him on why he is against it. Safety is achieved in many ways if the door remains closed during the procedue no harm will occur. If you charge the line from below and have to drag a charged 2 1/2 line up a flight of stairs before you ever get near the fire are you putting a strain on the firefighters? How safe is that?
Good Luck
The issue of stretching a line above the fire floor or below is one of opinion. Depending on who you like to read, writers have differing opinions. Norman and Dunn like the floor below based on their experiences. The last IFSTA I read still stated to stretch on the strairwell above.
In my opinion I would flake the hose on the strairwell below the the fire floor. Remember safety is key. How do you protect a FF flaking a dry hose on a stairwell above the fire floor? What if the door becomes "compromised"? The fireground and fire condition can change so fast and unexpected. Second, these fires can require long stretches, Once the the door is opened to attack the fire, the strairwell is now "compromised". If hose is still on the stairs above the the fire or landing it could burn, also don't forget, if the crew must back out, it is easier to do this if the hose was flaked on the strairwell below the fire. In the end your Dept must do what it feels is in it's best interests. I do suggest an SOP be in place so there is no confusion on how to stretch the first due line at a highrise. And like Mr. LaBlanc said, to quote a fire GOD, there are very few nevers in this job.

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