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Line selection is light-weight wood frame multiple dwellings

I would like some input on your departments line selection on light weight wood frame multiple dwelling. The buildings in question usually range from 4 to 6 stories in hight and are equipped with a standpipe system. So the question is do you stretch the 1 3/4 for speed or the 2 1/2 for the standpipe operation. Do you even use the standpipe or do strech up the outside of the building. The volume of fire would be room and content.

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It's going to be faster to grab a high rise pack than to stretch a 3 inch up the stairs.
Size-up/pre-plan questions: Will you need a charged line to protect the stairwell for egress and the crew? How tight is the stairwell against fire and smoke? Is the standpipe large enough to support more than 2 lines or do you need to connect to another?
Some other things to consider in making that decision would be: the ammount of fire (1-2 rooms versus multiple apartments), how close to the entrance is the engine (of course leaving space for the ladder), how close to the stairwell the apartment is, and how much personnel you have on scene. I think it is generally accepted that 1 3/4" lines shouldn't be more than 300' long or you get diminishing returns with the g.p.m. due to friction loss. In our department we don't use preconnects over 200'. One other thing to consider is the layout of the stairs. If you can do a well stretch you can go alot further with your preconnect than if you have wrap around or scissor stairs. A "one size fits all" solution may not be the way to go. On lower floors it might be quicker with the preconnect, but upper floors or remote apartments would be quicker with the stand pipe.
Anything with a standpipe you gotta role with 2 1/2. Here is why in my opinion.
1. (and most important) The fire protection system was designed by a Fire Protection Engineer with 2 1/2 hose in mind to be deployed by the FD. Thats part of the information they base the sprinkler flows on and the fire pump rating and needs. Deploying smaller hose prevents you from gaining the maximum out of your fire protection system and your FD pumper is no fire pump is available.
2. With synthetic material, and long deployment times by the time you reach the fire floor if the sprinkler has not either checked the fire or has it out you are dealing with a significant fire that will require upwards of 350 gpm. You don't want to wait for the second end company to achieve the required fire flow.
3. Reach and penetration. If you encounter heavy fire upon arrival at the fire floor you can use the reach of the smoothbore and 2 1/2 inch line and never have to advance out of the stairwell. Once you place a knock on it you can then adavnce it easily. We routinely advance this line with 2 people by deploying webbing around the hose and using it to drag the line with our legs.
4. Utilizing the 2 1/2 will make your pumper operate more effeicently and it will be less wear and tear on it.

There is a ton of literature on the 2 1/2 out there (Dave Mcgrail specifically) We also did field trials in my FD with different appliances, hose loads, deployment etc. We also took video of the reach and penetration of a 2 1/2 vs 1 3/4 and the difference is significant and was a real eye opener. Anyone who wants it send me your info and I will foward you what I have.
I agree totally! If you are going to use the standpipe, you have to go with a 2 1/2" line with a smooth bore nozzle. Our high rise/standpipe gear is 3 50' lengths of 2 1/2" with an 1 1/8" smooth bore nozzle. I believe that some of the engines in our downtown district have a fourth length of 2 1/2" for a total of 200'. We last had a standpipe operation last week. It was a low income residential high rise with a fire in the kitchen. The sprinkler kept the fire small, but the first due engine deployed their standpipe kit and charged it. Better to have it and not need it than the converse.
1.75" its department policy. Even our high-rise packs are 1.75"
1 3/4 should Never be stretched for speed! 1 3/4 is stretched because it is compatable with fire conditions.
2 1/2 should be used off the standpipe. As to which is a better option only your department can decide. If your hosebed design does not support a long hand stretch then you might have to go with a standpipe operation or only cover certain floors with the 1 3/4 line.
For me it's not so much that it's just a room and contents fire, but what does it have the potential to become. While my department has officer's discretion as to the size of the first line being stretched, the size of the building with anything showing indicates that a 2 1/2" will be my first attack line. Unless the standpipe is known to be a problem (pre-planning) we will be using it for any fire on the third floor or above. Prior training in similar structures and efficient use of manpower on scene will translate into the proper speed of the line being deployed and put into service. Backup plans for when things don't go as planned (broken standpipe) shows an experienced officer and well trained crew.
Robert Owens said:
We routinely advance this line with 2 people by deploying webbing around the hose and using it to drag the line with our legs.

Just wondering how you do this? Never heard of anybody doing that before. How do you tie the webbing around the hose? And your legs?
Am I reading this correctly? You have six story WOOD FRAME MDs? Regardless, 2 1/2" for Standpipe. If you only need less than 180 gpm and you are stretching less than 6 lengths from your pumper (or 2 1/2" reducer) then use 1 3/4".
Ok, Everyone seems to have strong opinions on this so let me expand on the topic a little. Take this scenario into consideration.

Five story light weight wood frame, 50x75 occupied multiple dwelling standpipe equipped, fire is showing out of 2 windows on the 4th floor your initial response consists of 3 engines with 3 firemen on each, 1 ladder with 3 firemen and a rescue with 2 firemen. Your basic engine company objectives are as follows. Stretch a primary attack line and a back-up line, establish primary and secondary water supply, and supply the standpipe, How would you accomplish this with the manpower available and what lines would you select taking the location and extent of fire, aux. appliances, speed, fireflow and manuverability into consideration.
Stretch the first 2 1/2" from the standpipe with the first two engines while leaving the pump operator out. This places 5 members on the first line. Two truckies locate fire and victims, confine and/or rescue. One truckie to the roof to open bulkheads and such. As long as the first line is actually making progress and doing its job without any problems then use the Rescue and third engine for your back up line, also off the standpipe from below. Now before I hear about having a firefighter operate alone ask your community why they are operating alone. Request additional alarms and/or mutual aid.
Nice. The only thing is that the floor above will have to be searched and evacuated and checked for extension [especially in this type of construction] which will be done by the rescue. The 3rd due engine will have to be outside to establish water and supply the FDC. Also you will need one member on each standpipe (first line floor below cabinet, 2nd line 2 floors below) to hook up and charge the line.
So lets break this down.
Eng. 1= 3 men, 1 at the cabinet 2 on the initial line
Eng. 2= 3 men, 1 at the cabinet 2 on the back-up Line (once the first line is in place and operating)
Eng. 3= 3 men, est. primary water supply and supply FDC
Lad. 1 = 3 men, 2 primary search fire floor, 1 to the roof
Res. 1= 2 men, primary search floor above.

The back-up line seems to suffer here also 2nd water supply. What do you think.

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