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Our second topic deals with how to properly estimate a hose stretch. For me there are two distinct hose stretches.One is horizontal the other vertical. Most private dwelling stretches tend to be horizontal,while apartment house stretches tend to be vertical. Either stretch can be a combination of both segments. The stretch estimate for private dwelling can be broken down into two basic distances.
1.The distance from the apparatus to the homes entrance.
2. How much hose the home will require.
Apartment houses are a bit more complicated and require stretches estimates that contain more elements.
What elements would you include?
Thanks to Christopher A. Barry Sr. for the topic idea.

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Replies to This Discussion

Great topic. Estimating the stretch for private dwellings requires stretching enough hose to reachand cover the ENTIRE dwelling. Apartment houses (multiple dwellings) require your estimation to reach and cover the fire apartment on a specific floor. Much more thought must go into a multiple dwelling stretch. Many just consider one length per floor (flights of stairs to fire floor), plus a length for the apartment, however, this "formula" is missing many denominators. Don't forget to estimate the distance to the stairs from the front entrance, hallway distance to fire apartment on fire floor from stairwell (landing), and add a length for larger apartments (duplex apts., lofts). Also, don't forget to account for the type of stairwell configuration. Large straight run stairs and wrap-arounds eat up more hose per floor. Other elements include consideration of a "well-h***", rope, or fire escape stretch (remember those?!)....anyone care to discuss these?

Thanks for taking the time to thoughtfully consider and answer my request.

I know this is a subject that in this age of preconnects can be oftentimes neglected, and then not addressed until a short-stretch happens during an incident. I know that I find myself constantly asking myself during preplanning "how many lengths would the correct stretch require?"

We face challenges in garden style apartment complexes in my community, where two (2) stories may face the exposure 1 or A side of the building, but may reveal greater than two stories at the exposure 3 or C side. It is important to note that our concerns for estimating the correct stretch may need to take into account the amount of house needed stretching to a fire that may be below the grade that is visible at the front of the building, and may require extra lengths.

We also need to take into account our standpipe stretches in high-rises. Our community does have some "exceptions to the rule" in terms of distances between standpipes. We need to assess this possibility when preparing for stretches that will involve the deployment of our high-rise packs. Some considerations in our pre-arrival size-up may include the following:

Does your high-rise pack configuration take into account the "exceptions to the rule" in your first-due/second-due district? What's your plan B?
Do you even have a plan B for this type of contingency?

Especially good point raised by thehousewatch with respect to rope raise of hose. At a recent multiple alarm fire in Beverly, MA one company used this evolution to their advantage. Great tool to have in the arsenal.

Thanks, and Be Safe,

Chris - The type of buildings that throw us the biggest curve balls are the ones we have not preplanned. Stop at them get access, walk around and discuss what you would do if. It's okay to add a length of hose into your stretch to be on the safe side, however too much hose can lead to problems. Ask a firefighter how many lengths it would take to reach the house and many will say a length and a half. There is no such thing. It's TWO! As for standpipe buildings if your crew can carry what they need for the longest stretch I would. You can always reevaluate what you need once you have a fire floor survey completed. Now if the exceptions are only able to be covered by an additional units firefighters and hose then communication is key along with an acurate size up.

Advice well receieved. Your point about too much hose is a good reminder. I couldn't agree more about the need to identify potential problems in your area by making the effort to get out and look at the buildings we're least familiar with in our first due district. It can't ever be a good thing when the first time you see the problem a particular occupancy creates is when we answer an alarm for that address.

Thanks, and Be Safe,

I use a variation on the theme...Length plus width of the building, plus 25' for the fire floor, 25' for each level (up or down), (wrap around stairs are 50') This is estimated by the nozzle ff, since he is estimating the WORKING LINE inside the structure. The doorman estimates the distance from the engine to the door of the structure to the nearest 50' section. Breaking it up in this way assists for traiing and delegation of duties on the fireground. IT MUST BE TRAINED ON OFTEN TO BE GOOD AT IT! I do it minimally once a month, try to get the guys thinking when out inspecting, on EMS runs, etc. Estimating comes with practice. By the way, all numbers are rounded to the nearest length of hose...either 50 or 100 feet.


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