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Thread: The hydrant guy

  1. #1
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    Default The hydrant guy

    What is your department's expectation for the "hydrant guy" on the first due engine? After he/she is done hitting the plug do they follow the initial handline inside? Wait for another company? Remain exterior? We just tried to implement an SOG that instructed the hydrant firefighter to follow the supply hose to the engine, ensure everything is 10-4 with the supply line and then follow the initial handline into the structure and report to the engine officer. We met resistance from some of the members due to the concern of a firefighter entering the building alone to meet up with the rest of the company. What are your thoughts? Anyone have an SOG that states what this person is supposed to do?


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    Our expectations depend a lot on the situation. Being a volunteer department, the hydrant guy may be our 3rd man or our 6th man.

    If we have a hydrant, the lay-out man may or may not hook up depending on staffing, time until the next due and what we find on arrival. Most of the time, we will drop the line for the next engine to pick up and the lay-out man will hop back on the engine and help with the attack line.

    If he stays back, when he returns to the engine he will most likely become the door man and feed line to the rest of the team.

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    MembersZone Subscriber CKirk922's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Our expectations depend a lot on the situation. Being a volunteer department, the hydrant guy may be our 3rd man or our 6th man.

    If we have a hydrant, the lay-out man may or may not hook up depending on staffing, time until the next due and what we find on arrival. Most of the time, we will drop the line for the next engine to pick up and the lay-out man will hop back on the engine and help with the attack line.

    If he stays back, when he returns to the engine he will most likely become the door man and feed line to the rest of the team.
    Ditto for my department.
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    Hydrant operations is not a first-in water supply function for us, even in hydranted areas.

    As a rule we will run a tanker operations, even with areas with hydrants, until we determine that flow is inadequate. The exception is commercial fires, where we often will lay a line initially, but those type of events occur once every 5 years for us.

    If we determine that we will use a hydrant, it will generally be tasked to 3rd or 4th due engines with LDH.

    In most cases there will be a junior riding out on the first due engine from Central, which is the closest to most of our commercial properties, and the most likely engine to encounter a situation where the first due will lay a supply line.

    He will be assigned the hydrant and then will filter back into support related tasks once the hydrant is set up and flowing.

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    if we lay in, hydrant man will make the hydrant and ensure water is made. Checks in with the driver and then will usually join the rest of the company to aid in advancing the line. Obviously this is situation dependent though.

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    [QUOTE=LaFireEducator;1248031
    As a rule we will run a tanker operations, even with areas with hydrants, until we determine that flow is inadequate. The exception is commercial fires, where we often will lay a line initially, but those type of events occur once every 5 years for us.

    If we determine that we will use a hydrant, it will generally be tasked to 3rd or 4th due engines with LDH.
    [/QUOTE]

    Thats a little crazy, if it works for you great! We have a split response area of hydrant and non-hydrant areas however we will never run a tender operation in the hydranted areas. Most if not all of our hyrdrants flow better then 1000 gpm, hard to come close to that with a tender circuit.

    Nonetheless, does anyone have a specific SOG for the hydrant person on the first due engine? I agree that the role of the hydrant person varies greatly depending on the situation, I am looking for input on what the hydrant person (who is SCBA certified) does on a bread-n-butter fire specifically.

    Thanks so much.

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    Default A new consideration on the hydrant

    It's interesting you bring this up. My department thought we had this figured out, and at our last meeting, one of our guys showed us this ad in the 1st Responder Newspaper in NJ for a remote controlled hydrant valve. This could change a lot in how we do things and we are seriously looking into it. It sounds like once the hydrant is on, that guy can join us at the front door and the pump operator can control the hydrant valve with the remote.

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    As with the above posts the actions of the Hydrant man depend on various factors. How close is the Hydrant? what's the staffing on the Engine? what other units are enroute? What can the Engine see from the Hydrant (smoke, columm..etc).

    If the Engine only has three, then the hydrant man wraps but then gets back on the engine and is part of the first-in crew. If more staffing is included then they may stay on the Hydrant to open it up, then walk the line and then assist the rest of his crew.

    Remote hydrant valve.. sounds scary.. a lot of things can go wrong and feedback to the operator is delayed due to hose-distance involved. Iteresting idea and technology but I'd be skeptical.
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    Our second in engine company driver usually helps with the first in driver establish the water supply. Everyone else on those first two engines go to work.

    We are lucky, you can't find many places in our city where you will not trip over a hydrant every 300'. Usually can skull drag the 5" to the plug with little effort. We also use a manifold and a 25' short section to connect the supply line to the pump intake. This enables the driver-pump operator to shut down the water supply it needed without returning to the hydrant.
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    We do not have a witten polcy as a department but we have a riding assignments at the company level.

    Hydrant Man-
    Sits behind the driver

    uses the map book to confirm response routes and hydrant locations with the driver (driver is primary hydrant man acts as a fail safe)

    Wraps the hydrant and stages at hydrant until the driver calls for water.
    Driver hand jacks if less then 200'
    Drags supply line back to the truck if it turns out to be nothing.

    Obviouly establishes the water supply.

    Chases any kinks in the supply line.

    Checks with the driver to make sure he does need any help

    Chases any kinks in the attack line going inside

    Chocks any doors the line passes through if the nozzleman and officer missed them

    follows the line. Picks up as the back up man on the line.


    As you can see the hydrantman does go inside by himself. However he is disciplined enough to stay on the line. I see it as no different then a guy farther back on the line working a corner. Also in my situation we get 4 quints and rescue company and bc on the inital assignment so by the time the hydrant man gets inside we have tons of people inside.

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    we task the hydrant man with the "3 h's"

    hydrant -wrap it, check it, flow on chauffers order
    help - any immediate fire victims, give first aid
    hook - bring a 6' hook up. eith can get in and assist the interior crew or does ov duties if truck is not o/s

    we run 5 on the engine and usally have a quint, towerladder, and another engine o/s in about 5 minutes from 1st due arrival. usally 18 men total.
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    Pulls the back up line and protects the interior stair case or means of exit.

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    Consults with the driver to refresh memory of what a hydrant looks like and whether to pull the 3" or the 5".

    Tries to remember where the appropriate adapters and wrenches are.

    Wraps the hydrant, maybe flushes it, makes the connection and sends water when requested.

    The attack crew is riding the rescue as the engine only has seating for two (three, if they're small).

    We're rural, with zero pressurized hydrants, so this is only slightly tongue in cheek. Usually by the time we hit a mutual aid scene with hydrants they've already laid in and we're mostly providing manpower.

    Mutual aid or the trailer pump usually hits the dry hydrants if one is available.
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    we are lucky as well. We have hydrants every 250-500 ft away depending on what part of the county. Water supply, on our Dept., is established by our second due engine/quint. we mostly ride THREE on an engine. The officer will setup command and complete his walk around/360 (if 360 is even possible and or command isn't already established by Batt Chief or other Sup) while the driver and tailboard pull a preconnect and/or whatever line we decide to use. by the time the officer is done with his 360, the tailboard firefighter is waiting at the entry door with charged line in hand and they enter and being fire attack. From arrival the driver is scoping out hydrants to see if he can establish his own water supply (residentual structure) if not the second due engine should be NO longer than 5 minutes to arrive and they will grab water for him. they will back to the 1st due engine and lay single or dual reverse lines to the hydrant (how far away the hydrant and what type of structure is envolved facotrs 1 or 2 supply lines and whether to relay pump or not.)
    Last edited by thomasldixon33; 03-15-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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    not to nit pick, but why not just lay both lines and relay pump every time? Then let fire intensity dictate whether both are charged or not. If the fire gets away from you or for some other reason it grows larger you'll have the second line ready to go and the engine already connected to boost pressure/flows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    not to nit pick, but why not just lay both lines and relay pump every time? Then let fire intensity dictate whether both are charged or not. If the fire gets away from you or for some other reason it grows larger you'll have the second line ready to go and the engine already connected to boost pressure/flows.
    Very very true! and normally we end up doing it like that!! Those are just our SOPS.. haha which means nothing on how we ACTUALLY do it
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    We ride with three on the engine 90% of the time (ride with 4 the other 10%), and the first due engine driver is tasked with stopping and wrapping the hydrant for the forward lay. The driver of the second engine is responsible for establishing the connection to the hydrant and feeding the first due engine, allowing both the officer and firefighter of the first due engine to go in together.
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