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My question is; What is your longest handline? and when that isn't enough, how do you extend it? I know for those of you who use a static hose system this is an easy question, most will say 300' of 1 3/4 hose finished out with 2 1/2 if necessarcy. But for those of us who are using preconnects how do you go about extending the lines?

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Our engines both where I work and where I volunteer are set up with 200' and 300' handlines. These are all preconnects. I know the advantages of a static hose system, however for those of us who live in predominantly rural areas these aren't always as feasible as they are for those living in urban area with a water supply system located every 3-500 feet. Using the preconnect we will inevitably come up short sometimes. We've determined a couple of ways to correct this. One way is of course to pull a yard lay of 3 inch and wye it down to either a pulled and extended preconnect or to utilize our standpipe racks. This takes time, especially when our 3 inch is flat packed, the proper amount must be placed on a members shoulder and the extended. We can also use a preconnect and extend that with our standpipe rack. This is a little quicker but depending on the length of the rack and the precconect we could still be short. One way that we have found is that we can extend both handlines rather quickly and connect the two giving us a 500' 1 3/4 handline. We have the ability to do this in about 90 seconds. This is by far the quickest way to put the long line in service. Now I know a lot of you are thinking that the pump pressure on that is impossible. We however have flow tested this line and determined the pump pressure to be 210psi, flowing 186gpm out of a 15/16th smooth bore nozzle. I think that this is a very do-able pump pressure providing the speed and proper gpm to extinguish most fires.
Our longest handline is 300ft. We rarely use it. Normally for anything over 200ft we use a "leaderline" of 3 inch hose. Not only is it more efficient for you pumper but also equipped with the right appliance it can really assist in building your incident for the future. Ours is equipped with a water thief (2 inch and a half discharges and 1 three inch discharge). It allows for the first line and 2 back up line be stretched off of it without compromising Truck company position.

We usually always defualt to a leader line for multi family dwellings or town home fires.
How is your leaderline packed? Is it flat packed or minute man? Just wondering why you would choose to pull that over a line that is already set up? I understand wanting to cut down on your pump pressures, but I have just found that the time it takes to put a leader line in service is much longer than a handline that is already set up, especially with low manpower. Thanks for your response and your input on the subject.

we have 800 feet of 3 inch hose that is packed flat load. There are a couple reasons we choose to go with this set up versus just pulling the 300 some our company mandated and others are my personal choices.
1. more efficent for the pump
2. allows the front of the occupancy to be saved for the first due truck
3. allows for the 2nd and 3rd in companies to add on to the leader line and not have to peice into other preconnects, and park in a bad spot taking away truck access.
4. I am a bad judge of distance and have been burned especially on the multi family apartment fire going with the 300 line.

Those are my reasons. As for the time it takes up I have not really noticed it hindering our operations or causing us to put less of an effective knock on a fire.....granted we practice it very very often.
I'm glad you have something that works, something that you can put together fast, and a group of guys who practice make the difference. It looks as if you have put time into making your engine company more efficient. When pulling the 3 inch do you load a few hundred feet on some shoulders or do you just take the wye and go with it? Just curious as to how everyone else is going about their leader lines.
The nozzle firefighter shoulders 100 feet the officer shoulders 100 feet ans the driver stays at the truck to feed off additional lines either shoulder loadign running and dropping or just pulling more out. Great discussion


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