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Have you found that your department has become dependent on the preconnect to the extent that your officers have lost the ability to estimate hose and stretch the longer or more complicated lead-outs? or....

Are you providing your new officers and firefighters with sufficient training in the "lost art" of the lead-out or stretch?

I have become aware that many, mostly suburban departments are now handcuffed in their ability to efficiently and effectively complete longer, difficult or complicated hose stretches because of their dependance on pre-connects.

What are your thoughts?

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Replies to This Discussion

My paod department is all hose estimayte and my volunteer department is almost exclusively (200 ft.) preconnect. There is, to put it mildly, severe resistance to getting away from the preconnect (by bioth officers & F.F.'s). There is the old 'We've never had to do it before, so why start now" mentality- even in the face of new McMansions built 200 feet from the road. "Well add on"
A few are fighting to change it and hopefully slowly and surely we will but it is a hard thing to do. A lot of firefighters do not like being shown something they don't know- and pulling 200 ft is an easy way to not have to calculate things.
Rich Maybe fire academies should start out with stretch estimating classes. It is hard to go a more complicated form of hose stretching, when all you ever do is pull and go. However when you know that a portion of your response area contains long setbacks and you don't wish to train on it, thats another issue. Putting lines together results from a poor work attitude and will equal sloppy engine work. If a portion of a hosebed is set up for long stretches than a simple contest can be set up to see who gets to the house first. This is a way for a new idea to gain eye witness acceptance.

I agree with Ray regarding the "simple contest" and starting with the basics of hose lead-outs or stretch. The first task is to determine (to the extent possible) the required fire flow. This task will determine the next which is to estimate the amount of hose required to reach the seat of the fire and provide enough hose to "cover" the rest of the floor or building as required. With these two factors determined, the proper line can be selected and an organized, systematic hose stretch can begin.

All too often, the first steps are overlooked, ignored or just not known and the pre-connect or another line is advanced. In the end, the safety of the members is at risk if the correct flow through the correct hoseline is not stretched to the seat of the fire. Further, any occupants are at greater risk and additional property will be lost. We must arrive at the seat of the fire with the right hoseline, flowing the right amount of water applied in such a way as to confine and extinguish the fire as quickly as possible.

Thanks again Rich and Ray for yopur contribution,

I agree and it's been tried, but no matter what you do, some mutts just feel that 'change is no good.' You can tell them, show them and they shrug it off- delay it and hope it goes away.
The amazing F.F. killer, "well, we've always done it this way and we haven't had a problem so why change" Is a powerful tool of denial. A few guys train for the inevitible of how to overcome the short stretch and you have to hope that one of them is working the day we need to marry a line.
I must take some blame since I resist being an officer so I must place myself squarely in the "If you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem" I have however seen several officers argue for it to no avail.

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

I'll place my money on good over lucky, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.

Thanks for your reply. There is very little you can do with Mutts if you don't have standards in place. Performance standards at least provide a minimum acceptable level of performance that all members must meet. Further, if that level of performance is still not translating to an acceptable level of performance, then the standard needs to be changed. The truth is; you can't make a mutt be proud of this profession, you can't make a mutt want to come to work and do a great job, you can't make a mutt have a genuine desire to seek continuous improvement, can hold them to a standard.

These issues don't go away, it takes good Chief Officers and especially excellent, dedicated Company Officers to get the job done, train daily and seek continuous improvement for themselves and their shift or company.

It looks like it is time for you to step-up Rich. If you don't vote you don't get to b**** and if you don't take proactive steps to be a part of the solution, well???????

Take care, be safe and it is always better to be good.

Great information!

In Okla. City we employ a tactic that we call an "apartment lay." Our hose beds are set up very (maybe too) simple. Each Engine carries approximately 1500' of 4" supply line. Next to the main hose bed is 200' of 2 1/2" hose that we call "the reverse." (It got tagged that years ago when we do a reverse lay). Some Engines also have a section of the hose bed that carries 200' of 3" line that has a Blitz-Fire monitor (portable monitor made by TFT) attached. We then have 2- 200' 1 3/4" crosslay preconnects (typically loaded in a triple load). Some Engines have what we call a rapid deployment line which is 150' or 200' of 1 3/4" line loaded in an accordian load that rests just under the ground ladders it is also preconnected. Ofcourse, those loads are going to be phased out since both sides of the Engines will have the same number compartents due to internal ladder storage.

Anyway, since we encounter Garden Apartments so often that have buildings that set back in the complex, a pre-connect won't reach it. What we do in these situations is have a couple of people skull a 4" supply line to the entry side of the affected building. A 3-gated water appliance is attached to the end of the 4" hose where the 2 1/2" or 1 3/4" lines can be attached for fire attack. The other end of the 4" is attached to the Engine's largest discharge. I have heard some departments call this a horizontal standpipe.

To keep the pressures correct, an in-line gage is attached to the appliance where the 2 1/2" is attached so the driver can pump the higher pressures to the 1 3/4" lines without over pressurizing the 2 1/2" . When the lines are charged, a firefighter gates down the 2 1/2" outlet to the appropriate pressure.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you all but it is what we are doing and it works pretty well. I have no experience with a static load per say and am not able to say which method would work better.
Hey Mike,

Thanks for your reply.

Your set-up it not that different from many static beds with a few exceptions; the 4" is a bit large, and its not all attached from the start. Many departments use a 2 1/2 or 3" line with a gated wye is to supply the GPM to some type of hose pack. In my case, we use a "skid" pack of 150 feet of 2" hose. The 2" allows flow up to 250 gpm with a standard flow of 160 gpm. The skid is sitting on top of a static bed of 500 feet of 3". We also carry 1000 feet of 5" and a 500 foot static bed of 2 1/2" with the last 100" in a hose pack for easy deployment. We also have two preconnceted 2" lines at 200 feet and a front bumper line of 100 feet of 2".

We also carry a version of your Blitz-fire monitor. Our is a RAM (rapid attack monitor) and can flow up to 500 GPM with a single line inlet. Works well to get alot of water on a storefront, taxpayer etc with alot of fire on arrival.

Thanks again Mike, always good to hear from you.



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