We all know that it is easy to fall into a rut when it comes to training and even operating at what is labeled the "routine" call. Especially for those that are in suburban, mostly bedroom communities.
If your like most of the country, you pull past the house to get three sides, stretch a pre-connected hand line and make entry into the front door. Does this sound familiar to anyone? And, more times than not, this works just fine.
However, sometimes the bigger issue becomes where to take the second line? What apparatus does it come from and what size should it be? What about the length?
For most single-family, single story homes, line placement becomes mundane and we get a bit complacent. The second line many times gets pulled from the same rig as the attack line and goes in the same door as the attack line.
Again, I prefer a seconday apparatus for the back up line, but in most house fires the front door is appropriate for the back up line too. Of course, it all depends on what is taking place and many other variables as well.
One of the biggest problems I see quite often is on two story house fires. The first line goes to the fire up stairs and the back up line is at the door. One of the primary concerns is the integrity of those stairs. That second line needs to go to the stairs to protect the egress for the crew operating on the second floor.
The same has to be done if you have an attack team on the first floor and a search team on the second; a line needs to be deployed to the stairs. We must protect that egress point. In addition, note changing conditions to the search team and the attack team. Maybe the fire has spread or can't be found by the attack team and your observations are important.
What are your operational guidelines for the back up line? Share you experiences and thoughts.
As always, stay safe and train hard.
I actually found the Cincinnati report and reviewed it. As I read it, the bigger issue in this incident was proper line deployment versus friction loss. Yes, the hose line was much too long in this situation and a shorter attack line may have been more effective. Here are the numbers we found as we tested our setup.
We use a TFT Metro nozzle: This is a breakaway nozzle where you can choose either fog or a 15/16" smooth bore.
With 400' of 1.75 inch hose and a 200 psi PDP we achieve the following flows:
Fog: 155 gpm
15/16": 175 gpm
With only a 150 pdp, we achieved 135 gpm for the fog and 150 gpm for the 15/16".
We did some extensive testing and found that this setup will work for us as an initial line for long stretch operations.
I actually work for Cincinnati, so I have a little knowledge on the LODD fire that's come into question, along with the TFT Metro nozzle that we USED to use.
Proper line depolyment at the LODD fire was an issue, but no less of an issue than the friction loss that was in this line. This was due to the hose used, the way it was deployed, and the nozzle used. Before this fire, all of our Engine companies carried TFT 100psi nozzles on all of the lines. Crosslays were, for the most part, a standard 250' across the board. The rear preconnects, which is the line Oscar pulled, had no standard length to it. Due to this LODD, and the subsequent investigative report that came out after it, nozzles have been changed and there is a maximum amount of 1 3/4" hose allowed to be used on an attack line. We are no longer allowed to use the standard TFT 100psi nozzles except for our trash/car fire lines. For our attack lines, we now carry a Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle (250 GPM @ 50NP), a 7/8" or 15/16" SB and a Chief Nozzle (in the process of changing styles, either 250 GPM @ 50NP or 200 GPM @ 75NP). Our 1 3/4" attack lines are NOT allowed to have more than 5 sections (250') of 1 3/4" hose on them. If an Engine Co. Captain wants a line longer than that, he must preceed the 1 3/4" hose with 2 1/2" hose that has a 2 1/2" to 1 3/4" reducer in it. This was another change from the LODD fire. Previously, companies had a 2 1/2" wye on the rear preconnect, with two 1 3/4" discharges on it. Companies that wish to carry hose in this configuration must now have the handle strapped open to ensure that there is no delay in getting water to the nozzle in this line.
As for the TFT Metro nozzle, we used to carry these nozzles, as part of our 1 3/4" high rise packs. Our high rise packs used to be lightweight 1 3/4" hose. We have now changed our high rises packs and nozzles, due in part to the information obtained from hose testing after the LODD fire. We now carry lightweight 2 1/2" high rise hose and have the choice of using an 1 1/8" SB nozzle or a Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle.
Jack, I'd be curious to know what KIND of hose you are using for these attack lines. I know of county departments outside of Cincinnati that are using Key Combat Hose and can get GPM flows at 200 GPM and above using lines of 250'. They too are no longer using TFT 100psi nozzles, having switched to low pressure high GPM Chief nozzles, Vindicators and Smooth Bore nozzles.
Great information, thanks for sharing.
Ben, thanks for the insight from a member of the CFD. Great info and I am sorry for your loss in this fire. To answer a few of the previous questions regarding our 400' 1.75" line. We do indeed use Ponn Conquest hose, which has the lowest FL of any hose on the market. Coupled with the TFT Metro 75 psi NP nozzle, we have achieved very positive results as I have indicated in my previous postings. We found that with our current hose, we can achieve 40+ more GPM that other brands of hose with the same PDP...you get what you pay for. Many of you have posted "by the book" calculations, but there is no substitute for actual field testing. By the book hydraulics, in my opinion, is for the classroom and should be used as a general guideline in calculating fire flows. I would not second guess any of your tactical decisions, but I do know that we did our homework on this one and are comfortable with choosing this line when an initial long stretch is necessary.
thanks for the information. This is great stuff for everyone to take and apply that best fits there situations. There are so many great people offering important suggestions and ideas.