In many cases, new technology or different tools may be the answer. Arriving at this solution to the problem will take some time to research and test new hardware and see if the items will improve the department’s operations, efficiency and safety over that of the equipment now in use.
In the above case, my first recommendation would be for the department to extensively research the advantages of two-inch attack line. In a past blog, I’ve described how it has approximately half the friction loss of inch and three quarter hose, but still uses one and a half inch thread couplings. A starting point would be to try the hose with a one and an eighth inch smooth bore nozzle that will provide a 250-GPM flow rate from a line that is as easy to maneuver as inch and three quarter hose. For combination nozzle fans, there are now fog nozzles on the market that can flow 250-GPM at 50-PSI nozzle pressure.
But, keep in mind that the reaction force from a given flow and nozzle pressure is the same whether the nozzle is supplied by two and a half inch or two inch hose. So, while the 2 inch hose line becomes more maneuverable than the two and a half, the nozzle reaction stays the same and should be considered when testing new hardware.
Remember, that there is no such thing as an all-purpose attack line.
Our business of combating fires is an extremely dangerous undertaking and thankfully, the successful outcomes far outnumber the unsuccessful. But, becoming complacent and thinking that a fully involved auto body shop can be handled with the same line that extinguished a bathroom fire last month, could prove fatal.
Good command practice dictates that when an order is given to stretch the two and a half inch line first, it should not be subject to a consensus vote of the members present.
Every day our profession presents us with problems to be solved, and in many cases, it might take more than “Because I said it, that’s why,” to find a practical and safe solution.