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  1. #1
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    Default Wait or dont Wait to hit the hydrant

    We are planning a drill for this month that will simulate a page for smoke in a residential structure. We will have the teams forward lay LDH from the hydrant to the scene. My question is would have the firefighter at the hydrant finish connecting the line or just wrap the hydrant and then help with other duties. Then have the second due truck finish connecting the hydrant and to the engine and finish the water supply. We are a small rural dept. and normally may only have four FF in the engine. We carry 1000 gal water on the engine that could be used until other members arrive on scene to finish the water supply. Or is it better to just have two member finish the water supply right away??


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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    As a volunteer company officer (especially during the daytime) I always operate under the auspice of "you better do it now." You never know if and when the next due will arrive. I have been involved in numerous successful initial fire attacks with driver, officer, and 2 (4 total.) One drops at the plug, officer and one force entry and advance the initial attack line, etc. The guy at the plug waits for the driver to make his connection (after charging the attack line of course....) and he opens the plug. Then he advances to the scene and advances an additional attack line or performs ventilation/search.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    When I drive, I dont like wasting a FF to do my hookups and charge the supply line. I get them started on tank water and make my own connections. Most of our layouts are only a few hundred feet anyway. I dont wear turnouts when I drive, so I am able to scurry around quickly. There are 500 gallons on my rig.

    You have 1000 Gallons. You should be able to sustain an attack while you make your connections or you should be able to make FAST connections and use your hydrant man to do the hydrant end work QUICKLY to get him back into the game.

    A policy should not be so restrictive as not to allow the first due officer to make that decision based on what other rigs are on the way (if any), their ETA, and the fire situation at hand, taking into account your manpower and what GPM your crew wil be flowing with the first line. If your operators cannot tell you how much GPM each line flows so as to estimate the duration of tankwater available before a water supply is established, then start there and build on that.

  4. #4
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    As a volunteer company officer (especially during the daytime) I always operate under the auspice of "you better do it now." You never know if and when the next due will arrive. I have been involved in numerous successful initial fire attacks with driver, officer, and 2 (4 total.) One drops at the plug, officer and one force entry and advance the initial attack line, etc. The guy at the plug waits for the driver to make his connection (after charging the attack line of course....) and he opens the plug. Then he advances to the scene and advances an additional attack line or performs ventilation/search.
    This is one way to handle the incident, and it certainly isn't wrong. Here is my take:

    I will ALWAYS base my decisions based on my size up, not dispatch information. There is just way, way, way too much variance in what the general public reports as fire. I have been sent to a reported apartment on fire with people trapped which ended up being a shoe lace on fire - swear to god. And, I have been sent to a reported microwave on fire - which it was, along with the rest of the first floor.

    Base your attack strategies and tactics on what YOU see when you get there - not before.

    In my situation, being in an urban environment, I am never going to lay in. We always have enough people coming in behind us that it is not something that I will ever have to worry about - short of the expected earthquake.

    I have however also bossed an engine company in a rural volunteer department and even there, if I had a report of smoke in the house (as in your example) and I don't see any coming out of the house when I get there, I would not lay a supply line in any fashion. IMO, there should not be anything going on that you would not ba able to handle with tank water.

    If I had the indications that a working fire were present AND I had the manpower to lay in, I most likely would. I would not however jack around with it longer than necessary if staffing was short that it severly delayed applying the water that I did have. If you lay the right line and apply it at the right rate, 1000 gallons of water will put out a tremendous amount of fire.
    Robert Kramer
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    This is one way to handle the incident, and it certainly isn't wrong. Here is my take:

    I will ALWAYS base my decisions based on my size up, not dispatch information. There is just way, way, way too much variance in what the general public reports as fire. I have been sent to a reported apartment on fire with people trapped which ended up being a shoe lace on fire - swear to god. And, I have been sent to a reported microwave on fire - which it was, along with the rest of the first floor.

    Base your attack strategies and tactics on what YOU see when you get there - not before.

    In my situation, being in an urban environment, I am never going to lay in. We always have enough people coming in behind us that it is not something that I will ever have to worry about - short of the expected earthquake.

    I have however also bossed an engine company in a rural volunteer department and even there, if I had a report of smoke in the house (as in your example) and I don't see any coming out of the house when I get there, I would not lay a supply line in any fashion. IMO, there should not be anything going on that you would not ba able to handle with tank water.

    If I had the indications that a working fire were present AND I had the manpower to lay in, I most likely would. I would not however jack around with it longer than necessary if staffing was short that it severly delayed applying the water that I did have. If you lay the right line and apply it at the right rate, 1000 gallons of water will put out a tremendous amount of fire.
    Wise words, Loot. I should have said if I am gonna lay in....blah blah blah.....
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    My answer is like most here, it depends. I make a mental note when the neighboring departments mark up on the radio and that gives me some idea how far they are behind me. It also depends on whether I can see the structure from where I want to drop the line from and what I find when I get there.

    In general, the 2nd engine is close enough that I can just drop the line and let him pick it up. Most of our area doesn't have hydrants, so that's what I have to do anyway. Your 1000 gallons will put out a lot of fire, so you can probably just wrap the hydrant.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We're lucky. We get a truck and an engine (at least) on each call. Smoke in a house....engine stops by the hydrant while the truck does the investigation.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    As a volunteer company officer (especially during the daytime) I always operate under the auspice of "you better do it now." You never know if and when the next due will arrive. I have been involved in numerous successful initial fire attacks with driver, officer, and 2 (4 total.) One drops at the plug, officer and one force entry and advance the initial attack line, etc. The guy at the plug waits for the driver to make his connection (after charging the attack line of course....) and he opens the plug. Then he advances to the scene and advances an additional attack line or performs ventilation/search.
    This.....as a company officer also, we have had workers in the daytime with only 4 people total....Jump the plug. It'll really screw up your attack if you have to go back to the plug because you are out of water and mutual aid is still not there. Scene size-up will give you a good indication of what to do but, also being from a small rural department, I have learned to never rely on MA to show up when you need them.
    Buck
    Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default catch it or not

    We had a directive that said."if you see smoke lay in." With that said we hardly ever did as we did not want another engine to get water on the fire first. We never were burned (sorry for the pun) and never let the "Other" crew beat us to the fire.
    Respectfully,
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    As everyone else has said it all depends...

    Which also means it depends on more than just what the call is. We are rural as well, but we can have a mutual aid department on scene with us within ten minutes. We do not necessarily have to hit a hydrant. They are far and few between for us so we tend to at least lay the line. But if there is confirmed entrapment, we need to get there and do what we can do with the 1000 gallons we have to get the occupant out. When then let the second in do the lay and connections. Also Mutual Aid is automatic for us on any possible or confirmed structure or smoke showing.

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    We're a small suburban VFD on LI NY. We do it just as you explained we "drop" at the hydrant, the guy wraps it, purges and preps it and comes up the scene to help, if we need water we start with 1000 gal. tank. We rely on 2nd due to hit it (we rarely have problems with delays) and pump to 1st due. Their MPO sets it up and the crew comes up to the scene either for BU line or search/etc... One caution we keep in mind is not to commit ourselves too far until we have a positive supply, that said 1000 gals puts out alot of room and contents fires which are most of our jobs.

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    Generally where I work (2 people on an Engine). If you are second due you are water supply be it if the first due layed lines and you finish the hydrant or you lay in or lay out to the base pumper depending on hydrant location and make the plug. As short staffed as we are 8 on initial dispatch we have to make the best of the situation. If a hydrant is close enough say the front yard, or within a reasonable distance the MPO on the 1st due will make the plug. But generally 2nd due is water supply unless otherwise directed by the IC or 1st due officer.
    Last edited by RRFD77; 10-07-2009 at 07:32 PM.
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    For areas that are hydranted our tanker driver brings an engine instead and he wraps the plug, lays in to us and then walks back to make the hydrant. After that he checks with IC for an job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    For areas that are hydranted our tanker driver brings an engine instead and he wraps the plug, lays in to us and then walks back to make the hydrant. After that he checks with IC for an job.
    So, your second engine lays into the first, and leaves the hydrant without an engine on it and both engines are side by side at the fire?

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    MG-
    All of our hydrants are 1000' or less with good mains and pressure. Smallest hydrant is around 850 gmp. Have a few that would be less gpm. Most of the fires are single family, we have very little commerical. So no we don't boost the hydrant. Anything over 1000' feet and we run tankers. We cover 110 square miles and about 80% is non-hydrant. Rural area that is slowly seeing some housing where it was nothing but farm ground.
    Last edited by rm1524; 10-09-2009 at 12:54 PM.

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    So, your second engine lays into the first, and leaves the hydrant without an engine on it and both engines are side by side at the fire?
    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    MG-
    All of our hydrants are 1000' or less with good mains and pressure. Smallest hydrant is around 850 gmp. Have a few that would be less gpm. Most of the fires are single family, we have very little commerical. So no we don't boost the hydrant. Anything over 1000' feet and we run tankers. We cover 110 square miles and about 80% is non-hydrant. Rural area that is slowly seeing some housing where it was nothing but farm ground.
    It still seems like you are crowding the scene with 2 engines sitting at the scene and only 1 actually pumping. To me it would seem better for the first engine to drop the line, let the second connect to the hydrant and leave room in front for the truck or whatever is going to be performing that task.

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    The 2nd engine will pull on past once he breaks his line. Not very often to we have a truck on scene with us, if there is one it is a mutual aid truck. Keep in mind we are a combo dept and we have guys coming straight to the scene and they are using the 2nd engine to get their packs and tools off of.

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    I put this in another thread, but thought it would be good in here as well. The pictures below demonstrate why this is not really an issue for us and why we have no policy on laying in. The 1st company, normally an engine, goes to the fire regardless of what it appears to be. Could like like the block is on fire, but they are still going to go all the way and see exactly what they have.

    At that point, they have the option to drop lines and initiate an attack off of tank water. If this is done, even the next due engine will not lay in. They will go to the first pumper and lay the supply line from them to the next hydrant. They will then get on that hydrant and pump the supply line back to the first pumper. This reduces congestion immediately around the area of attack and provides a level protection should the first engine have any kind of mechanical malfunction.

    The next option is to drop lines and to send the engine to the next hydrant to establish it's own supply.

    Finally, the driver can hand jack a supply to the closest hydrant in either direction.

    All of these are able to be accomlished quickly and easily by the abundance of hydrants we have available. The photos below demonstrate this fact quite effectively. They show all of the hydrants that are within camera view of a single hydrant on the NW corner of Lamar @ Knight Arnold. The hydrant in the foreground in all of the the photos are the same plug from different angles. There are litteraly 10 within 400'. Six of these are within shot of the camera. The other 4 are along Lamar Ave, but cannot be seen because they are blocked from sight by buildings.





    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 10-09-2009 at 03:49 PM.
    Robert Kramer
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  19. #19
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    It depends on the situation. Since you are planning a drill, conduct several evolutions with all the examples others have stated to determine which works best for you.

    One other thing: Depending on your access and street width, if the 1st due lays a line, it may cut off/restrict access for additional incoming units.

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    As a driver or when acting as the officer if I decide to lay in, I will almost always wrap the plug, lay in and work off tank water letting 2nd due hook up and charge the hydrant. Although in all honesty I am still a huge believer in reverse lays, as this gives me a second crew at the scene to carry out any number of functions while letting the 2nd due driver establish the water supply. (Not to mention the scene accessibility point brought up in CrnkB8s post). Either way I prefer at least 1 full crew at the scene to get the ball rolling and make sure that line gets in and working quickly. Firefighting rule number 1 in my book...put the fire out an all the other problems go away. Alot can be accomplished with 500 gals and a good crew.

    That being said there are always exceptions dependent on circumstances and as others have stated it is really all dependent on the size-up.

    Cogs
    Last edited by FFPCogs08; 11-04-2009 at 08:15 AM.

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