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  1. #1
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    Default Humat Valves (four-ways) for hydrants

    Hey guys, I'm putting the feelers out there for feedback. My department is integrating a "Humat" valve (four-way type device) into our fire-ground ops. We use 5" supply hose on everything. The reason; we've had a few fires, where it was a long lay, but nobody boosted pressure from a low hydrant resulting in low pressure. So now, this device will be on every 5" hose in the city and hooked up at every fire.

    The proposal is the first due will lay in dry (or leave a man at the plug, depending on staffing), with the second making the connection and boosting through the appliance (after device is connected to hydrant, there are two connections left to be made, one goes into your engine and the other from the engine back to the device, then you switch the lever on the top to divert the flow of water).

    Right now, first due engine doesn't establish their own water supply unless it's a hand lay situation. They go straight to a "fast attack", attempting a knockdown on tank water and the 2nd due lays a line.

    I'm not saying our current procedures are right or wrong, just saying that this is the way things have gone for decades. Now, times are changing.

    For those departments out there that use these devices (or concept), what's been your experiences with them? Also, just in general, who lays a line? 1st due, 2nd due. 3rd due? Do they lay it dry, or leave someone at the plug to turn it in?

    Thanks!


  2. #2
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    The short answer is: it depends.

    The first engine will drop the humat at either a hydrant or intersection if there is no hydrant. Whether they connect themselves or wait for the 2nd engine depends on several things including manpower, how far behind the next engine is, manpower on the engine and how the call was dispatched or what the officer can see from where he is dropping the line. 2nd engine then either connects to Humat, finishes the connection to hydrant or supplies off of their own tank depending on what needs to be done.

    The officer also has the option of having the 2nd engine reverse lay, but that doesn't happen much due to narrow streets, dead-end streets ect.

  3. #3
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    My past department (all-volunteer) used the 4-Way valve with great success. Much of our hydrant system was high flow but operated at low pressure, requiring qn engine at the hydrant to acheive high flows.

    Our protocol was daytime, attack engine would lay in if possible, and would flow hydrant. Second engine would take the hydrant.

    Evenings, when more manpower was available and plenty of engines would get on the air, first due engine would go directly to the fire. Second due would lay and be prepared to supply first due with it's tank while hydrant was being dressed. Third due engine took the hydrant.

    In some cases, the second due engine would perform a reverse lay from the attack engine and take the hydrant. Third due would come in and be prepared to supply water to first due from it's booster tank if required.

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    If I remember right in your other post you have 3 engines on a fire, and an extra if its a confirmed fire.

    Why not have the first engine get it's own water, then have the 2nd or 3rd in engine lay out from the base engine to another hydrant. You now have the added safety of 2 distinct water sources (well granted the hydrants are on the same water system). As for the Humat valves, I don't know, no reason you couldn't use them with the system I mentioned above. You should think about getting 2 sources of water for confirmed fires.

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    We run two Engines (vol dept with a decent hyd system). 2nd due is supply. Our SOG is to make a hydrant with a hydrant assist valve whether its' a f-to-w or w-to-f lay.

  6. #6
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Our hydrant valves are triple combination Class A pumpers.
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    We have used HUMAT valves with tremendous success for well over 20 years, initially with 3" line, then when we switched over to 5"; which required that we change out the intake and discharge flanges from 3" to 5" plates. Easy to do in-house. Here is a pic of an LDH drill, IIRC I am feeding 2 master streams and a tower ladder at the other end.
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    Last edited by FWDbuff; 11-23-2009 at 05:14 PM.
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  8. #8
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    If I remember right in your other post you have 3 engines on a fire, and an extra if its a confirmed fire.

    Why not have the first engine get it's own water, then have the 2nd or 3rd in engine lay out from the base engine to another hydrant. You now have the added safety of 2 distinct water sources (well granted the hydrants are on the same water system). As for the Humat valves, I don't know, no reason you couldn't use them with the system I mentioned above. You should think about getting 2 sources of water for confirmed fires.


    Nameless ..

    This was on my past department current department, not my current department. This was a much more surburban district, with hydrants spaced much closer together and a daytime response of at least 4 engines, including mutual aid, with at least 5 engines at night for working incidents.

    We had a greater level of manpower and also had automatic mutual aid much closer.

    Often we did have the 4th or 5th due engine standing by or laying in for working fires.

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    Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I have been under the impression that Humat valves were designed to let a 2nd engine hook into an already established water supply and then boost the pressure? If the 1st engine in isn't hooking to the hydrant and charging the line, then why do you even bother with one? If there's a dry line on the ground, 2nd engine hooks it to a discharge, and uses tank water until they get the supply hooked into their intake.

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    Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I have been under the impression that Humat valves were designed to let a 2nd engine hook into an already established water supply and then boost the pressure? If the 1st engine in isn't hooking to the hydrant and charging the line, then why do you even bother with one? If there's a dry line on the ground, 2nd engine hooks it to a discharge, and uses tank water until they get the supply hooked into their intake.

    As a rule our first in made the connection to the hydrant and flowed water until second due arrived.

    However, we did get in the habit of connecting the 4-way valve to the hydrant for all hydrant operations simply because it would allow us to provide the attack engine a continuous flow even if we had a problem with the engine at the hydrant and had to switch out engines.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I have been under the impression that Humat valves were designed to let a 2nd engine hook into an already established water supply and then boost the pressure? If the 1st engine in isn't hooking to the hydrant and charging the line, then why do you even bother with one? You dont. If there's a dry line on the ground, 2nd engine hooks it to a discharge, and uses tank water until they get the supply hooked into their intake. Is there even enough water in the tank to fill the dropped supply line, much less fight any fire?
    It allows the laying engine to immediately charge the line, and have SOME water. A HUMAT is a perfect device for hydrants that have plenty of volume, but need the pressure boosted.
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    I think that you may see a difference in this change. It's a fairly significant move to go from the first due getting a line on the fire with no other priorities to making a forward lay, placing the 4-way on the plug and charging the laid line. We've always had success having the second due be the water supply. Getting the first line placed is big in our town because the hydrant spacing is poor. Forward lays make little sense when you see our system mapped out. I find it difficult to apply any of this to anyone else's situation without really knowing a district and the general operation of the FD. Lots of variables, try and look at them all.

  13. #13
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    Hey guys, I'm putting the feelers out there for feedback. My department is integrating a "Humat" valve (four-way type device) into our fire-ground ops. We use 5" supply hose on everything. The reason; we've had a few fires, where it was a long lay, but nobody boosted pressure from a low hydrant resulting in low pressure. So now, this device will be on every 5" hose in the city and hooked up at every fire.

    The proposal is the first due will lay in dry (or leave a man at the plug, depending on staffing), with the second making the connection and boosting through the appliance (after device is connected to hydrant, there are two connections left to be made, one goes into your engine and the other from the engine back to the device, then you switch the lever on the top to divert the flow of water).

    Right now, first due engine doesn't establish their own water supply unless it's a hand lay situation. They go straight to a "fast attack", attempting a knockdown on tank water and the 2nd due lays a line.

    I'm not saying our current procedures are right or wrong, just saying that this is the way things have gone for decades. Now, times are changing.

    For those departments out there that use these devices (or concept), what's been your experiences with them? Also, just in general, who lays a line? 1st due, 2nd due. 3rd due? Do they lay it dry, or leave someone at the plug to turn it in?

    Thanks!


    Raleigh doesn't need to go this route. Chief John should do as Philly does and then you guys will be right on time.

    We looked at them years back and said no our hydrants are good and the spacing is good. The first in Engine makes the hydrants with a 4" LDH and lays it out. The next in Engine comes in from a different direction and makes it own hydrant.

    One thing to remember do put all your eggs in one basket. What happens if you are supplying 3 or more engines from one source and the supply engine breaks down or the main screws up some way? HUH? You are up the creek. Having water coming from different hydrants and mains gives better water on the fireground.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Our hydrant valves are triple combination Class A pumpers.

    WHAT HE SAID!........ ABSOLUTELY!

    Our First Engine Lays to the Front of the Fire Building, Second picks up the Hydrant and pumps the line to the First.

    Third Lays to the Rear, Fourth picks up the line and Pumps to the Third.

    First Truck to the Front, Second to the Rear.

    Squad to the Front.

    Oh, and the hydrant thingy??.... Not Here......

    Honest Answer: We tried Humats and Meushaws years ago, NOBODY liked them, and some pump operators would take them off the Hydrant before hooking up....... Although we've gotten away from it somewhat, in the past we ran Two Engines together a lot. The First would have a full Crew, and the Second would have a Driver and any bodies that couldn't fit on the first Piece. With Two Engines always working together, we had an unbeatable Water Supply Plan.
    Last edited by hwoods; 11-24-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I think that you may see a difference in this change. It's a fairly significant move to go from the first due getting a line on the fire with no other priorities to making a forward lay, placing the 4-way on the plug and charging the laid line. We've always had success having the second due be the water supply. Getting the first line placed is big in our town because the hydrant spacing is poor. Forward lays make little sense when you see our system mapped out. I find it difficult to apply any of this to anyone else's situation without really knowing a district and the general operation of the FD. Lots of variables, try and look at them all.

    While I don't know all the particulars of where you are, you have to admit having 4 engines on scene and only having 1 hydrant and 1 supply line supplying the base pumper is flirting with disaster. Any problem with the main, hydrant, supply line, or base pump and your up sh*t creek without a paddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    While I don't know all the particulars of where you are, you have to admit having 4 engines on scene and only having 1 hydrant and 1 supply line supplying the base pumper is flirting with disaster. Any problem with the main, hydrant, supply line, or base pump and your up sh*t creek without a paddle.
    No doubt. My comments are merely on seeing a difference in how the first due engine operates. Going from stretching the first line to an engine that must split it crew to forward lay and develop it's own supply will reduce the first line efficiency. Maybe this isn't a big deal with proper staffing, but with 3 or less, I'm guessing it takes twice as long to get the first line in operation, and that's when it's the 1.75"!

    Our basic ops plan is that the first due should lay it's own line when readily possible, but otherwise concentrates on the first attack/confinement line. The second due supplies the first, usually by reverse lay. The third due is given it's assignment by the IC. I cannot see a circumstance where only one hydrant or supply line was laid or available. On an offensive job, I've yet to run out of water before a hydrant line was in place, utilizing a 750 gwt. As I said, dictating how to function from a few lines of text rarely will account for the variable that should be factored into an educated decision.

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    Cool Just Had a Thought.....

    Originally posted by RFDACM02
    Going from stretching the first line to an engine that must split it crew to forward lay and develop it's own supply will reduce the first line efficiency.
    For me, it's easy..... Smoke showing =s bring my water. Also secure a second Water Source (top off my Tank).

    With 2-in 2-out, the idea of "Quick Attack" is out the door unless it's an Incipient Stage fire and if it's there just use a Can. So, if I read your earlier posts correct you're running 3 Man Engines so you have to wait anyways unless there's a rescue; So no loss in the First Line efficiency. Even with 4 Man Engines (which is what we run), I bring my water with me that way our other Companies can be assigned other Tasks.

    As far as using a 4-Way Valve, I've used it a few times mostly in training but also on a couple of fires. How we used it was (now this was at my previous Dept. so I'm trying to recall) the 1st In made the connection and left the FF (3 man Company), the Engineer laid their Supply Line, made the connection to the Pump and called for "Water....." The C.O. gave his Radio Report, formulated the Fire Attack Plan and by that time the FF was with him. As the 2nd In arrived they'd make entry and Fire Attack did their job. 2nd In pulled Tools and was the "Standby Crew." While the Engineer from the 2nd In made the connections to boost pressure. The nice thing is that from Unit to Unit the Tasks/Seat Assignments stayed pretty consistant. An official "RIC Team" was mainly established on Multi-Alarms and anything Commercial.

    The main thing as I see it..... Train, Train, Train..... With so many connections it's easy to hook it up wrong. I know, but I've seen it done.

    Well there's my .02.....
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    Guys, thanks for keeping this discussion mostly on point. As far as our staffing goes, non-union state so we can't bind our staffing levels by contract. Sometimes you've got an officer + 2, sometimes an officer + 3, and hardly ever an officer + 4 (engines or ladders). Minimum staffing is an officer + 2 though.

    It will definitely be laying hose on the ground and doing what works best for us. TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. Kramer, don't get me wrong, some agree with you. An engine makes a perfect "boosting device", in one and out the other.

    Thanks again, and keep the positive feedback coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy View Post
    Originally posted by RFDACM02

    With 2-in 2-out, the idea of "Quick Attack" is out the door unless it's an Incipient Stage fire and if it's there just use a Can. So, if I read your earlier posts correct you're running 3 Man Engines so you have to wait anyways unless there's a rescue; So no loss in the First Line efficiency. Even with 4 Man Engines (which is what we run), I bring my water with me that way our other Companies can be assigned other Tasks.
    Our staffing issues don't allow for a consistent 3 man engine more than 50% of the time, which is why I noted there are many variables. Two in/Two out, is addressed by the total assignment, not just the engine crew. But if you're the truck crew going to upper floors, it's nice knowing the line is in position to protect the stairs of confine the fire. I'm merely noting what works for us and that you need to look at far more variables than we have info on here. If we had better hydrant spacing I'd certainly favor a forward lay, but often the street we're on doesn't have a single hydrant, it might be on a parallel street or down the cross street, 1500 to 200 feet is not uncommon in out "intown" sections while the western portion of our first due has no hydrants.

  20. #20
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    Cool Our Staffing.....

    At the time that I was using the 4-Way Valve, my Department had 2 and 3 Man Units responding. It worked well for us on the Mountain and also down in the Desert.

    And as far as 2-In, 2-Out was addressed we also used our full assignment to make it happen. Especially in the Districts that ran 2 Man Units. We would just increase the pieces of equipment for that Area, which brought us the needed Personnel.

    In our Districts where the Hydrants were nonexistant we'd add Water Tenders to the assignment. For Extended Lays (which we encountered quite a bit, especially with Brush Fires) we'd Relay Pump.

    So back to the original question.....
    For those departments out there that use these devices (or concept), what's been your experiences with them? Also, just in general, who lays a line? 1st due, 2nd due. 3rd due? Do they lay it dry, or leave someone at the plug to turn it in?
    That's how we would handle it.....
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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