Our policy now states that the first 2 Engines will take 1-High-Rise Pack, which has 200-ft of 2-1/2" hose equipped with an 1 1/4" smoothbore. The pack also has a bag that contains all of the fittings and wrenches.
Our thinking is that we have to get the 1st line in place and in operation as soon as possible. Other Engines will bring up the back up line and it will be in place momentarily.
We have 2 Engines accomplish this to allow the firefighters the ability to quickly assemble the hoses while the officer is doing a walk through on the floors below, getting a lay of the land if you will.
Once the line has begun its attack, the 2nd Engine can either be used to help advance the line or act as the 1st relief for the guys on the attack line. Ofcourse, the ability to use this company can be modified by command if necessary.
We also felt that if these first two companies brought up too much equipment it would only slow their ascent and shorten their work time.
Put the fire out and everything else starts getting better.
Standpipe operations in the FDNY include 2 1/2 inch hose and smooth bore 1 1/8 nozzles. Let's talk about length first.
Length: We almost always bring up three lengths of hose because by design and building code, every area/apartment (office/appt Bldg.)needs to be able to be reached by 150 feet of hose. I have worked many standpipe operations and don't ever remember stretching short with 150 ft of hose. If you don't have these building code protections, you may have to get into your HR buildings and measure out how many lengths are required. Don't wait till 2am on the night of the fire to figure this out.
Hose: We carry and stretch 2 1/.2 inch hose only for SP operations. The reason for this is primarily pressure. We want to make sure we have sufficient pressure to produce an effective stream from our attach hoseline. Unfortunately, we are connecting to a SP outlet on a floor below the fire floor and depending on the "system" pressure initially. Yes I know the engine pump operator or engineer is in the process of supplying the SP system, but there is much to do before this is complete. You and your nozzle team may be up to the fire floor, connected to the SP outlet and ready to advance into the fire apartment long before the system is charged. If there is only 50 or 60 pounds of pressure available at the SP outlet, you need most of it to get a sufficient stream onto the fire. If you use anything smaller than 2 1/2 inch hose you are going to eat up the pressure with dramatic friction loss and you will be lucky to get a decent stream from your nozzle. But...
Nozzle: But... the nozzle you select is important for all the same reasons. If you use an adjustable fog/ss nozzle you will probably need around 100 psi to have it work properly and produce a stream. Add this to your 1 1/2 inch hose and you can forget putting out this fire. On the other hand, if you use a simple smooth bore nozzle, which works well with 40-45 psi at the tip, along with your 2 1/2 inch hose, which will not eat up your SP system pressure, you will have a stream and you will be able to fight the fire. There are obviously lots of variables in high rise firefighting, but we need to minimize the ones that can cause us trouble and keep it simple.
We carry into every high rise: two 75 foot lengths of 2 1/2 inch light weight high rise hose with a lightweight 1 1/8 tip secured in Milwaukee straps. On my engine, they are hung up in a vertical compartment on a vertical slide out making them very easy to remove and store. Also, we carry a small bag with a shoulder strap that contains a pipe wrench etc (all light weight). We used to carry the hose in bags with shoulder straps which is certainly not as ergonomically friendly as the Milwaukee straps. Change is good!
We decided to go ahead carry 200 ft. of the lightweight 2 1/2" becaus we have some buildings that have the standpipe in very odd locations. In fact, we had one last month where the crews took 150' of 2 1/2" and came up short. We are currently in the process of cutting down 100' sections into two 50' sections. The 100' were just too long for the stairwell stretches not to mention carrying up that particular pack. By cutting them down into 50' section we can spread out the weight between members of the attach crews.
We actually have some buildings that supply a tremendous amount of water through the system pump others not so much but I totally agree that using the smoothbore allows for low pressure ops. Talk about a change in paradime, me getting a died in the wool fog nozzle department to start using smoothbore but they're coming around pretty well. Some are struggling but McGrail's book has helped tremendously in helping them understand the need for the smoothbore.
Thanks again for adding to the conversation. I know there are several departments around the country who are working on High-Rise updates.
75 ft. sections? I've never heard of it before. Sounds like it could be very handy. We are actually doing away with the Milwaukee straps so that we can carry the hose over our SCBA packs. We got the idea out of Dave McGrail's book. We are loading it differently, in the Metro Pack. It works great.
Thanks so much for sharing what your department does. It will help people from all over, I'm sure.
I would like to see a picture of the metro load, as this is the first i have heard reference of it. i would also like to see a picture of the hose being carried. i will certainly experiment with this. i think i will buy mcgrails book. like i said, change is good! the 75 foot lengths are special ordered in that length. it works great because we generally have 1 officer and 2 firefighters on a engine. The 2 firefighters carry the hose, the officer carries the small bag with wrench etc and also accesses the knox box and verifies the location of the alarm on the panel.
The Metro feeds out of the center of the fold. It can be set on the ground and charged or placed up against a wall. If charged on the ground it makes approx. 4' coil. Believe it or not, it works fantastic. You can also hold the top part of the fold against a wall and when it is charged, the coils stay in place. I know it sounds funky and when you first see it, you think it's going to make a mess but it works. I'll put what I have up on the post. The guys we got it from (Out in California) use it with 1 3/4" but we adapted it to 2 1/2'. It really works great.
As you can see, these are big files so be patient when you open them up. If for some reason you can't open them drop me a message and I'll just e-mail them to you. In the Water Thief article is where we got the original idea. We are going away from Water-Thiefs because of the bulk and weight. We are going to inline pressure gauges with 30 degree elbows.
NHRFR uses 2" attack lines with solid bore nozzles in our high rise packs
We roll 4 engines on the 1st alarm and if it is a working fire, a 5th engine rolls. Any additional engines brings another 2 engines
The 1st 3 engines bring the 2" high rise packs -- they have 150-200' in them
We attach a 30' 3" pony length and then a gated wye to the standpipe on the floor below so we can stretch 2 lines off the the 1st standpipe
all other engines (4th, 5th, and additional alarm) bring 100' of 2-1/2" and a solid bore nozzle to the resource division 2 floors below the fire. We figure if we did not do well with the 2", the 2-1/2" will be on its way up or be ready to go.
In addition, all companies after the 1st 3 engines also bring spare SCBA cylinders to the resource div. Without air, even the best plan with the best staffuiing will go down the tubes
Our engine carries 200' of 2 1/2" hose. We need 200' for some of our buildings. One point that a lot of departments and firefighters miss is the importance of using a smooth bore nozzle for High Rise operations. It is not about favorites its about the increased ability to pass debris. Standpipe systems contain scale. Using a nozzle that increases the chance of a restricted flow or shut down is not something I wish do deal with.
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