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I work in an area of Atlanta that has large, and I mean LARGE homes with some driveways extending over 1500 feet from the road. The houses range from 5,000 to 30,000 sq. feet. Some of the driveways have bridges that cross over creeks or culverts but were not built to handle fire apparatus. the driveways are too small for our regular apparatus. We are beginning the process of designing a vehicle to address these structures.

There are several tactical scenarios which need to be addressed.
- enough hose for the hose lay
- enough water for supply
- enough attack lines
- enough pressure to support master streams if needed
- enough equipment to begin critical tasks

I would like to get your ideas about how we can accomplish these tasks with one apparatus.
As most of you know, as the first attack line goes, so goes the fire. If we screw up the first line we'll never recover and we'll lose the structure. We've looked at a Manifold Truck F-550 chasis. I'm sure there are other configurations that will work just as well.

Thanks for your input.

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Holy problems batman.

I guess short of a 1000' lead out, (just kidding everyone), I would first address this with all of the homeowners. Show them some of the many videos of what a fire does every min water is delayed from going on the fire. Hit them in the pocket book so to say. Like" hey, your 30,000 square foot house is beautiful, if it catches fire, can we bring marshmellows to roast, since we can't reach it"? Ok, maybe not, but tell them what can/will happen. It sounds like there is some money in this area there, so the homeowners may comply with your requests.

The mini-pumper is another way to go. Get one that has a pump large enough to handle at least one 2.5". Take that over the bridge, use it's 300-400 gallons WISELY for a quick attack until a line from an engine from the other side of the bridge can be stretched to the little guy. Purchase 1,000 gallon engines to feed it, or use those porta-tank things that come with those milk truck looking things, sorry rual guys. Then you have up to 3000 gallons. The town I live in has 1,000 gallon engines due to the size of some of their houses, almost the same sizes you are talking about. They have 4 stations, so they get 4,000 gallons pretty quick, and auto aid brings at least one 3,000 gallon tanker/tender. Of course once the truck goes up, there goes all your water, but you can't live for that call, live for the first one-two lines first, then adapt from there.

You can talk to any rig builder and tell him your situation and will build you almost anything to help you. It may not look pretty, but it may get the job done.

Do you have hydrants? If so, it sounds like the mini-pumper or small attack engine is the way to go, with a large pump rig out on the hydrant able to pump good pressure through a long 4"-5" lay to the lil' guy. I forget the builder, but I have seen a little attack engine called a Rat. It is a short, narrow guy that may be an option as well.

As for tools, and equipment, you know fireman, if there is not a wire running behind the diamond plate,, hell we will put a bracket there to hang something.

If water and hose are your main concern, contact as many rual departments as you can. See what they do for long lead outs and no water. Those boys always do more with much less and usually do it pretty good.

But I for sure would talk to the homeowners first. Address your issues and see what they think.

Good luck Stephen, let me know how it goes.
Great points joe. I work in a dept. that has a little of everything. Yes we have some of those port-a-tank thingys and a 4000 gal tender, however, a cheeper option for you may be to solve your problem with hose. When we have a barn fire (those are the things that you keep cows and pigs and horses ....insert hillbilly coment here!) or house that has a long lay to the fire, we have been known to work off of what we call a portable hydrant or a large water thief. If you can find a way to stretch ldh from the fire to the nearest access point you can run a lot of gpm off this appliance through your 4" or 5" ldh. and into handlines or protable masterstreems (we call them ground-huggers) I have seen a few photos of pickup trucks designed to hold ldh if you have the money for that sort of thing.

A couple of points though.

Once you lay up that drive or accross that bridge, that's it, no more traffic can get through so personel transport and getting tools and ladders to the fire may be a concern.

Also, you have to station a firefighter at the portable hydrant to keep control of those valves (this is very similar to a stand pipe situation) And you have to be sure that the pressure relief valves on your portable hydrant are in good working order.

Smoothbore nozzles and 2 1/2" inch hose are a good idea to keep the pressures to a managable level since ldh and the portable hydrant are only good to about 125 lbs. At least that is what our hydrants pop off valve is set to. Remember gpms put out fire, not pressure.

You basically have to view this obsticle like a high rise fire turned on its side. and bring your own standpipe. Anyway those are some added thoughts, you can take them or leave them. What ever your dept ends up doing just make sure your men are trained to be on the same page and that you take these ideas and go out and play with them. See what you like and don't like.. I have seen this situation be both successful and a big mess.

Stay safe.

Ok here is my spin I think Joe is on track here. What I would do is a few things. One attempt to pass a town ordinance that ensures any driveway over xxx number of feet long must be capable of holding fire apparatus including any bridges. Two, to help with the problem already there, look into a mini pumper that has a CAFS system a decent size pump maybe 1000gpm two beds of 1 3/4" 350' each a bed of 2 1/2" maybe 400' and whatever your supply line is. With the CAFS you can carry say 250 gallons with CAFS that will go a long way. As far as other equipment you have to know how heavy you can make this truck? I would put ladder racks on it that carries a 35', 24' and maybe two roof ladders. Hand tools IRONS, hooks, roof saw, metal saw, search ropes etc. all minimal basic stuff to get the initial attack going. Once you drop your lines as was said the bridge is closed to vehicles pretty much. It's not an easy problem to solve with just one lighter duty unit...
What about a standpipe that runs from the curb to the end of the drive way?
How has this situation faired for you since you made this comment?

Have the city mandate that homes that are inaccessible to fire apparatus in that manner be sprinklered!!! If they have a house that large they can afford a few thousand dollars to protect it with a sprinkler system.

This situation sounds like you need to go back to initiating your basic rural water supply tactics and strategies. The standpipe Larry suggested is a good idea and also if the have a pond suggest they put in a dry hydrant to allow you to pull a water supply from. In the case of getting apparatus over a culvert or bridge that is not rated for heavy you may want to spec out some light single cab engines like they use in wild land but put a hose reel in the bed and compliment it with NFPA required equipment. Then use it for special responses like this after you have identified all the addresses in the area that the engines would need to be special called.
You know Brad, dealing with red tape is always slow. I am working on several fronts to combat this issue. We need sprinklers mandated for new construction, a stand pipe for operations that may overwhelm the sprinklers and apparatus that can deliver equipment and people to the structure. All of these fixes take time and all have different sets of red tape to go through.

Thanks for all the suggestions, we are trying different strategies to determine the best response using our current equipment. We currently have an F-250 pickup loaded with 1500' of 3" hose. We will be trying a 5" supply line next and determining if this will meet our needs.

Gotta love the "Political Red Tape" seems like a lot of politicians have it in for Public safety these days! Like Chief Lasky said something like: "We are not a funding blackhole"! How true is it that the city officials and taxpayers often forget that our funding is directly aimed at their safety and well being! Yet we are the first ones to be hit when it's time to trim the fat! Why not cut it somewhere else like say salary cuts for high earning officials?

Good luck with the red's like dangling a cape in front of a raging bull!



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