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My department is in the process of reconfiguring our highrise/ standpipe packs. We have moved to 150' of 2 1/2" hose using 3 seperate bundles. We also use 1 1/4" soild stream nozzle. I am intetrested what other departments are using.

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Hi Ray,
the powers that be felt the need for the flow meter not to gate down but rather to indicate if the flow is insufficient such as in the case of pressure reducers being installed or some type of leak in the system. Other than that I agree it almost seems like over kill.
As for staffing, I agree again. We can always use more staffing but we are luckier than most in that we are able to throw up to a fourth alarm at a high rise. A typical first alarm here is 28 firefighters; including the two battalion chiefs. These personnel allocations, while not ideal, seemed to be yielding the results we require. The new high rise protocol was put to the test a few times now since coming on line and it appears there are some things that need to be addressed but as a h*** the policy seems to be working.
I have been always to keep it simple stupid (KISS.) Like Ray said, you can find guys on the fireground to stretch the line. The most important thing to do at any fire is to get the line into operation. We have tried over the years to find the easier way, but it always boils down to the same thing. Stretch a 2 1/2 with an 1 1/8 smooth bore nozzle. Use 1 stair as an attack stair and the other as an evacuation stair. If the door to the fire apartment is open, charge the line at the stairwell door, and treat the whole hallway as part of the fire area. Try to keep the line in a straight run from the door of fire apartment to the stairwell, avoiding the spaghetti effect. If guys need to make a hasty retreat, the line will take them right to the stairs.If you encounter a wind driven fire situation, stretch a second line and try to get down hallway with 2 lines. If not try another approach, indirect attack, outside stream? The key to the whole operation is getting and maintaining control of the apartment door. I have worked in "Project type buildings" for most of my career and when we follow our protocols things seem to go fine.
As far as supplying the system goes, the siamese would often be vandalized, most of the engineers would supply the 1st floor outlet to augment the system if there was any issues with siamese.
A few years back we added the pressure gauge to our standpipe kits, this gives a better reading on what pressures are being delivered on fire floor. We use 70 psi for 3 lengths, 80 for 4 lengths. (with nozzle open).
We are now in the process of analyzing the results of our recent Wind Driven Fire scenerios. I am sure there will be some changes coming down the pipeline after all the data is looked at. We will talk about that at our workshop at FDIC.
A High-Rise Story:

Last night about mid-night a fire alarm came in for the Aberdene Apartments. The Aberdene is 7-story Type 1 building that was built in 1922. When crews arrived, fire was showing from one of the center apartments on the 7th floor. Command called for a 3rd. Interior crews began to stretch in and experienced high-heat and visibility was nill. Command went ahead and called for a 5th. For us that puts around 70 people on scene.

The fella's did a hell of a job. They called the main body of the fire knocked down at the 30-minute mark.

My point to telling you this. The 5th alarm companies were used. The fire was a single apartment and a portion of the hallway. Not the towering inferno by any means. The fire dictates how many people are needed, not our manpower levels.

For the brothers and sisters out there who are forced to run thin; keep fighting the fight for more manpower and get ready to call for mutual-aid.

Keep the Faith and Keep it Safe
For the folks that have replied between my first comment and this one...THANKS.
A point was made that a 2 1/2" can be strecthed with 3 people. I must be doing something wrong because as much as I train with this line, I consistently see that 6 people are needed for an interior stretch. I've tried to do it with 3 but there seems to be more corners to pull around then there are people to keep the line off the friction points. What am I doing wrong? Teach me, teach me, teach me!
Bob you are the right track. Although we dont keep the hose connected. 150' is a lot for a person to carry. We only carry one section of 2 1/2 person and sit it over the top of the airpack. This leaves their hands free to use the hand rails while walking or carry an additional tool. Only the Engine Companies carry the hose however. Truck Companies look like pack mules ascending the stairs. The smooth bore tip size is perfect. That will give you 328 gpm if pumped correctly. We also take a gated wye with 1' 1/2 outlets to connect 1 3/4 hose too for doing mop up. Hope this helps.
Hello Ray,
I agree with your comment in regards to staffing issues. Im just wondering what the big staffing issue is when stretching and operating 2 1/2 inch lines at an FPMD fire. In my experience both the stretch and the operations go quite smoothly with 3 or 4 well trained firefighters.
I need some tips im an avid believer of smoothbore my department had packs put together of 1-3/4 with adjustable nozzles we finally got then to got to 2-1/2 but cannot convince them to switch to smoothbore tips even with goin to 2-11/2 using a fog nozzle just wont get the job done an suggestions on what to so or how to convince them that this is the right way to go
Brandon - Try and look at it this way. It's about the ability of the nozzle to pass debris. Fog nozzles clog much more easily than a Smooth Bore in standpipe operations. In addition a 2 1 /2 SB is a low pressure nozzle. What about the fog?
Also look at reaction force and gpm. A nozzle operating at 100 psi (as most fog nozzles are) has a reaction force of roughly 1/2 of it's gpm. Compare this to a nozzle operating at 50 psi which has a reaction force of roughly 1/3 of it's gpm. Now look at nozzle gpm and compare the 250 gpm of a typical 2 1/2" fog nozzle to the 325 gpm of the 1 1/4" SB. Thats more than 30% more water and less reaction force.
Something to be aware of in non-highrise standpipe equipped buildings... often these standpipes do not have to meet the same standards that highrise standpipes do.

My fire district has many of these "mid-rise" type buildings. Up until recently the buildings pre-plan would show them to have standpipes and even have their locations inside the building marked. Upon further inspection, however, we noticed two major problems:

1-Often the standpipe connection was not in the stairwell. This may not seem like a problem when you start to stretch the line, but once smoke conditions worsen and you begin to run low on air how do you get out of the building? Normally, you would follow the hoseline back, if the standpipe cabinet was in the middle of a hallway or just a room you might be in trouble if you can't remember how you got to that cabinet in the first place.

2-It can be hard to tell what the plumbing looks like behind the wall. Several of these buildings had only an 1 1/2" connection. We had thought this was no problem, since along with our 2 1/2" bundles, we carry an adapter kit that includes an 1 1/2" --> 2 1/2" increaser. When one of these buildings was being renovated, we realized the plumbing that went to the standpipe cabinet was 1 1/2" pipe all the way to the cabinet and did not take a direct route through the building. Obviously this 1 1/2" pipe was NOT going to adequately supply our 2 1/2" hose.

Because of this information we have changed some of our fire strategies in these types of buildings. Rather than relying on the standpipe we plan to stretch our own hose from our engine unless the quality of the standpipe can be readily validated.

Food for thought
Josh - You standpipe connection area should be on the floor below the fire then you do not have to worry about finding your way to safety, even if the outlets are on the floor and not in the stairways. For a lower floor fire it is often best to hand stretch than use a questionable standpipe system.

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