1. #1
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    Default Stretching the second handline

    During Wednesday's webcast, Jeff Shupe said that he still feels a lot of departments are not stretching backup or second handlines at dwelling fires. He often hears that a single line in enough for the bread and butter dwellings.

    What happens in your district? Do you normally stretch a backup line for dwelling fires? Does the lack of motivation for that second line at a dwelling fire impact your operations for commercial fires? How often do you stretch a second line at commercial fires?

    You can find the webcast here: http://www.firehouse.com/webcasts/en...-dos-and-donts

    Pete

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    I followed along with the webcast - great job and very informative. I took away quite a bit and am in the process of reviewing several key elements mentioned in the program as to how they apply to me or how I can apply them myself.

    As for stretching a second line, my department routinely stretches a second line to the door, manned and ready to go - line charged, packs on, off air, etc. The second line is usually identical to the initial attack line in terms of length and size.

    The webcast has me re-evaluating our second line choice. I'm strongly leaning towards a bigger line. I can honestly say, if I'm the company officer when the time comes, it'll be the bigger of the two.

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    Both crosslays come off the attack engine at every structural fire where there is entry being made.

    Probably 25% of the time it's never used, but it's on the ground and charged should it be needed as either a backup line, a line for a RIT team or to hit some exterior fire.

    We experience very few significant commercial fires. As a rule, the 1 3/4" line is the most common choice for those as well. Depending on the officer, the backup line may be another 1 3/4" or a 2 1/2". We have no firm policy/SOP on that.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-18-2010 at 05:55 AM.

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    we will pull a a back-up line. as more companies arrive we assign one to the back up position.

    this is not a "second line" but one to immediately provide support for the first and protect egress for the first attack company.

    does it get done ALWAYS? no, fires are usually extinguished, undercontrol, into overhaul on room and content fires with the first line very rapidly. thus not often needing the second line to be fully stretch and charged.
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    When in Doubt Lay it out... That is how we do it.

    So more than likely both lines get pulled out.
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    I've seen very few working fires that didn't get a second line pulled and taken inside. The county SOP says that the 2nd arriving engine will pull the 2nd line. Usually both lines are 1 3/4, but for more than a room and contents, we may pull a 2 1/2.

    The times that a 2nd line has not been pulled are the exception, usually the fire extinguished by the first line before a crew arrives for the 2nd line, or not a working fire.

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    We pull a 2nd line/ backup line at all building fires. That why the engines have two pre-connects.
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    We routinely pull a second line of equal size. Recently we've given serious consideration to using a Vindicator nozzle on the second line as it will give us greater volume in the same size package if need be. The concern that we have with stretching a larger line (for us a 2.5") is that it's far slower and less maneuverable than the initial line (if it's the 1.75"). So if we need that second line to quickly cover the initial, they'll be delayed and further hampered by the tight quarters posed by the first line and members. Also, quite often that second line will be used to cover another area when the initial line has knockdown of the main body, again the 2.5" has big disadvantages in a small top mid sized residential occupancy, where we do most of our work.

    Commercial jobs get the 2.5" from the outset, and are backed up with the same. Of course conditions dictate tactics and a smaller line may be used when appropriate, but with significant thought given to ADULTS and the SOP of the 2.5" line.

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    A back up line is pulled at every working fire.

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    almost every fire it gets pulled off, every once in a while the fire will be so small its out before the second crew gets the second line off but that's rare.

    Always good to get the practice stretching lines, helps keep you sharp during the dry spells.

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    Are we talking a 2nd line or a backup line? Or do some people use the same hose for both jobs?

    Standard for us...

    1st line to the fire
    2nd line above the fire
    Backup line standing ready.


    Commercial building will tend to have additional lines and additional backup lines.
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    Backup line gets assigned to one of our auto-aid engines. If the first line is working, it always gets backed up. The backup line can be used for the floor above if needed after knock down on the first floor or a 3rd line is stretched.

    Great job to Jeff on the webcast!
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    Just expanding on what has been said, I like to call the first line the confinement line, at least as a teaching point. We tend to stop the first line at the point that we can best cover vertical access for search when the fire is on the first floor, or in the hall, wherever until a second line can cover egress. Teaching newbies that the first line is the attack line, gives them the sense that thy'll be going right in for the kill immediately which may not be the case.

    Again, situations dictate tactics and a small fire that can rapidly be knocked down might get water immediately, while at other times just protecting the stairs is the first order of business. Getting a second line is important but only after the first is well placed.

    Often it seems like 'we' do too much in the beginning and try to play catch up from that point on. I can't argue the safety of having a back-up line or second line for the second floor, but I can say that with reduced personnel, adequately stretching the first line is a priority.

    I long for the day when we can roll up with properly staffed companies that can go about their individual assignments without having to mix personnel to complete tactical priorities. We teach Norman's 5 Firefighting Concepts so that all understand proper prioritization of assignments.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 12-20-2010 at 10:01 AM.

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    Usually, we only pull a 2nd line if it looks like the 1st one isn't putting the fire out. It normally does on most of our dwelling fires.

    Commercial is a different story. May lay dual preconnects, wyed lines, or 2 1/2 depending on the amount of fire.
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    [QUOTE=FHEditor;1230797]
    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Are we talking a 2nd line or a backup line? Or do some people use the same hose for both jobs?
    Excellent point, thanks Bones Jeff mentioned that most people feel the second line is not needed because the first line will be enough to contain and extinguish the typical fire.

    A poll that was conducted during the webcast showed that 68 percent of users bring a line to the floor above the fire, the rest do not.

    Pete

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    Cool Our Second Line

    We pull both Preconnects; Fire Attack and RIT/RIC lines.

    If needed we will either pull a Hotel Pack and break that if another line is needed as a true "Back-up" line. To me the Back-up line is a second line that goes in to assist the initial Fire Attack Team. My suggestion, take a larger line then the original line.
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    What ever happened to getting one line in operation and seeing how/if conditions change before laying dual lines "all the time."
    RK
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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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    What ever happened to getting one line in operation and seeing how/if conditions change before laying dual lines "all the time."
    We pull a second line "almost all the time". I understand what you're saying. But. Most of my area is balloon construction, old buildings and attached. Not uncommon to have a basement or first floor fire knocked down with one line...only to find fire running the walls all the way to the c*ckloft. If no obvious extension the 2nd line can be held until needed at the front steps. If the second line goes in and goes to work, a 3rd is pulled to the front sidewalk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    What ever happened to getting one line in operation and seeing how/if conditions change before laying dual lines "all the time."
    First in engine does do that. And if that first line is not in operation when 2nd engine gets on scene, they assist with that first line.

    We try not to wait and see how the fire reacts before starting our next action. I really don't want to wait for my engine 1 officer to say the fire's not being knocked down to start pulling a 2nd line...I'd rather have it started being stretched and stop it if not needed.
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    Bones, I tend to agree. Normally it's not a matter of the 1st line not putting out the fire, but it's a matter of having a line to protect egress, stairs etc. I'd rather have the line in place than have to pull a 2nd line when there's an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Bones, I tend to agree. Normally it's not a matter of the 1st line not putting out the fire, but it's a matter of having a line to protect egress, stairs etc. I'd rather have the line in place than have to pull a 2nd line when there's an issue.
    Basically the reason for 2 lines always being pulled at every structure fire, even at fires that seem like the first line will do the job.

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    It all depends on the structure 1st line to the fire 2nd line goes (depending on the structure) to the stairs

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    Default Back up lines vs. 2nd lines

    In my area, the 1st due Eng Co stretches the attack line. Based on fire volume, the IC will order the 2nd due Eng Co to stretch a 2nd line to either "back up" and protect the attack team as well as the search teams or the 2nd line will go to the floor above the fire. Once thing to remember is that the 2nd or "back up" line should be of the same hose diameter or larger than the attack line if at all possible.

    FF Shupe was one of my instructors in the Fire Academy. He is very well educated and experienced in the science of Firefighting. He has a great reputation. I happen to live in his 1st due area and I work for a smaller department nearby. I know the construction and fire loads that he is referring to personally in his podcast. All of his points are dead on correct.

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    We always pull a second line, equal to or greater than the first line.

    Rarely use both together, but it is nice knowing we have a backup team protecting our egress.

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    I have a different question about this presentation. The first slide on do's and don'ts referred to no freelancing and not doing ladder company work such as breaking out windows. For small volunteer companies that run a Quint as first due, what is the proper role of the first due apparatus?

    Life is the first priority, so you would think have a search crew.
    But, do you want the search crew going in without the protection of a line? Assume a there is no second due apparatus/engine on the way anytime soon.

    I've seen many quints with a crew of 4 or 5 try to do it all, usually with limited success. The apparatus operator is conflicted between raising the ladder to send a crew to the roof to vent, and put a first line in operation.

    With a crew of 5-does this make sense?

    1. 2 firefighters stretch a handline to house to effect rescue and use the line for suppression/protection as needed.
    2. 1 Firefighter as outside vent person, coordinating ventilation with inside crew.
    3. 1 firefighter ladders the building with either a ground ladder or the quint to get the ladder in position for vertical ventilation (assuming this is needed).

    OR would you put 2 on search/rescue and 2 on suppression. That leaves nobody to vent, but perhaps someone on second due apparatus can handle that or the interior crew can vent as needed. Considering life is first priority, this is the way I would do it.

    Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question, but this comes up quite a bit with understaffed companies with first due quints. Part of the problem may be the instinctive "need" to ladder the building and cut a hole in the roof at nearly every fire.
    Last edited by JD1234; 01-08-2011 at 05:05 PM.

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