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    Smile beneifit' of useing a dump tank

    ok so the topic at the fire house what are the beneifit's of using a nursing set up and a dump tank setup. Some of our department around us are using a nursing set up instead of putting a drop tank on the ground. The old timers say we are wasting our time setting up a nursing system that we can have a dump tank set quicker. what is everybodies opion on this,

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    Depends on the situation for us. If we need big water then we drop a tank or two. It allows our tankers to drop a load and go after another. They dont sit there waiting for their water to be used before they go after a load. If it is a small fire that we can handle with less than 6,000 gallon of water then we just set up a nurse line. We roll four engines and a tanker on all stucture fires. Our county has a Tanker task force that has the county divided into three divisions. We can activate one, two or all three if we need. Each department in that area responds with a tanker. Works pretty well for us, we can move a lot of water.

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    1500 is right it just depends on the situation. We have some homes in our rural area that we have to do both. First engine sets up to fight the fire and the second is out on the road as a nurse pump with dump tanks for it to pump. We have quite a few places that will only allow one engine in because of space.

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    As said before, for small operations a nursing tanker will work. If you need big water, dump tanks can supply more over a longer period of time.

    I generally use a nursing tanker setup for a room and contents or smaller. Bigger than that, I start thinking about setting up tanks.

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    Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs

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    Depends.. as always, these issues are not always cut and dry.

    Some areas of our state use 6000 or 8000 gal tanker trucks (Tractor drawn). They tend to nurse and by all rights it should work fine for most of their fires.

    My area, it is mostly tanker shuttle using 2000 to 3000 gal tankers and drop tanks. Works for us and it is expandable.. need more water, call more tankers and drop another tank or two.

    Couple of things to consider:
    • What kind of mutual aid tankers do you have
    • How big is your tanker?
    • Do you have a lot of water sources are they spread out?
    • What kind of fires do you typically see? Small SFDs or Larger homes or commercial/industrial?

    I don't think you can go wrong either way, but it should be part of a bigger strategy based on where you are, what you have and how you use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescueraver View Post
    Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
    There are reasons why this may not be the best option.

    Is that nursing tanker now blocked in? Will it be able to turn around and then do water shuttle? Or is it just fire and forget... and then rely on mutual aid tankers for more water (think travel time and the loss of a tanker in relay).

    It really doesn't take that much more time to drop the tank and dump the water then to nurse if you practice. It does take another engine (typically) and not having that might be the real issue that makes you go right to nursing.

    IMO: Any rural engine should carry 1000 gal... so if you got your first two engines on scene, you got a nice rolling start on the water supply.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 05-10-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    There are reasons why this may not be the best option.

    Is that nursing tanker now blocked in? Will it be able to turn around and then do water shuttle? Or is it just fire and forget... and then rely on mutual aid tankers for more water (think travel time and the loss of a tanker in relay).

    It really doesn't take that much more time to drop the tank and dump the water then to nurse if you practice. It does take another engine (typically) and not having that might be the real issue that makes you go right to nursing.

    IMO: Any rural engine should carry 1000 gal... so if you got your first two engines on scene, you got a nice rolling start on the water supply.
    in our area we are the only fire department to set up a dump tank still everybody around us say's it take up to much time to do it and it's not safe to back a truck up that far lol. Granted we are a very rural department round trip u us some times can be over 10 miles one way for water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescueraver View Post
    Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
    Love it!!! Awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescueraver View Post
    Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
    After watching that I'm confused. what's the difference between nurse tanker and drop tank operations? The above looked like a droptank to me.
    FYI: My area is 99.9% hydrants so it's not something I'm familiar with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    After watching that I'm confused. what's the difference between nurse tanker and drop tank operations? The above looked like a droptank to me.
    FYI: My area is 99.9% hydrants so it's not something I'm familiar with.
    In the video, the first tanker picks up the line laid by the first engine and pumps its tankwater up the line. There are a few variations, but in this case it appears once the tank is spent, the nurse tanker becomes the draft engine and refills its tank as a backup water supply as well. It will draft from the folding tank as each tanker offloads but in between loads, it can maintain a water supply with its booster tank. A nurse tanker needs to have a decent size pump and a decent sized tank to pump line to be useful in this application.

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    This is how we set up our apparatus for our own coverage area. The engine lays in to the fire leaving the portable pond at the end of the lay. The tanker hooks up to the LDH. It can then supply the tank water (2,000 gallons) to the enginer (1,000 gallons) while setting up the engine's portable pond as well as the one carried on the tanker. Additional tankers from mutual aid will then dump and head to water supply where a mutual aid engine has established. Because this was our intent, we matched pumps (1,500 gpm) and practice this with a power siphon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    In the video, the first tanker picks up the line laid by the first engine and pumps its tankwater up the line. There are a few variations, but in this case it appears once the tank is spent, the nurse tanker becomes the draft engine and refills its tank as a backup water supply as well. It will draft from the folding tank as each tanker offloads but in between loads, it can maintain a water supply with its booster tank. A nurse tanker needs to have a decent size pump and a decent sized tank to pump line to be useful in this application.
    So the real difference is the size of the "buffer" the unit has to work with in between tanker shuttles. If you're using an Engine then it uses its (relatively small) tank but if you're using a Tanker then it has a much larger tank to work with.

    Sorry if I'm missing something, but I don't see a difference operationally.. at least not enough to warrant calling them two different terms.

    Also, with respect to drop tanks is anything done to maintain the draft in between shuttles? I would imagine that if the water level gets too low you need to cycle water back into the drop tank to maintain a draft, right? You wouldn't just suck it dry and try to reestablish the draft once the next tanker drop occurs..
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Also, with respect to drop tanks is anything done to maintain the draft in between shuttles? I would imagine that if the water level gets too low you need to cycle water back into the drop tank to maintain a draft, right? You wouldn't just suck it dry and try to reestablish the draft once the next tanker drop occurs..
    Hopefully... you won't go dry.

    However, we always have a handline or discharge aimed into the drop tank to keep water flowing. That way you can shut down the discharge that is supplying upstream and not lose draft.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 05-11-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Sorry if I'm missing something, but I don't see a difference operationally.. at least not enough to warrant calling them two different terms.
    They're actually very different. A little background information on our operations in order to explain...

    We get three engines and three tankers dispatched on the report of a residential fire, four if it's commercial. SOP is that the first arriving engine will lay a line up the driveway, the second arriving engine will supply the attack engine from the drop tanks, and the third engine will generally never even see the scene, as they will establish a fill site (generally from one of the 72 dry hydrants we have).

    The first arriving tanker (which 99% of the time arrives ahead of the second engine) will nurse the attack engine while the tanker's drop tank is pulled off and set up. Once the tanker's tank water has been exhausted, it takes off to the fill site. The second and third tankers will use their quick-dumps to fill the drop tank, and if the fire is large enough, their drop tanks can be set up as well. One they dump, they take off for the fill site as well.

    In this scenario, the only nursing that's done is from the first tanker to the first engine. From that point forward, it's a tanker shuttle operation.

    We live and die by rural water ops, so our engines and tankers are set up for effective RWS operations, including low-level strainers preconnected to the hard sleeve, front and rear suctions, large side and rear square dumps (which off load water much faster than round dumps, we've researched it), rear direct tank fills on the tankers with Storz connections for faster fill times, taking wheelbase into consideration when spec'ing tankers (easier to turn around at fill and dump sites), and other factors.

    Remember, it's better to have the water sitting stationary at the scene, NOT the tankers!

    EDIT: ChiefKN is right - the idea of a good tanker shuttle is that you DON'T have to worry about running out of water in the tank(s), but setting up a recirculation line is always a good idea.
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 05-11-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Hopefully... you won't go dry.

    However, we always have a handline or discharge aimed into the drop tank to keep water flowing. That way you can shut down the discharge that is supplying upstream and not lose draft.
    Yup. Our neighbor to the south has a device that clamps on to the drop tank for this. You just hook up a short length of 1.75" to it and a discharge, and away you go. I'm not sure if they made it, or if it's a commercially available accessory. Beats lashing an unused trashline to the tank, or screwing a nozzle to a discharge ( and ducking the stream for the rest of the operation)

    I like the idea of a nurse tanker for those house fires that sit wayyyy back off the road. You'd prefer NOT to block the driveway with a 5"- how would you get an ambulance or patient in or out in a hurry? Not to mention, getting needed equipment and relief personnel to the fire- ready to work, and not already spent from playing pack mule down 1/3+ mi of driveway... ( a good job for that utility squad or ATV- bringing "stuff" up to that remote fire.)


    I'm thinking a 3000 gal or better elliptical or wetside. Even better if you have one with a crew cab to put more members at the scene. Mount some ground ladders, hooks, etc to it so the ff's that do have to hike in aren't loaded down with bulky. heavy stuff. This puts at least 4000 gal of water on scene immediately, assuming your first due pump carries 1000 gal or more. Re-supply could be tricky, but what's more important than being able to quickly get an injured civilian or ff out of there?? The homeowner made that choice already when they put that narrow, steep, 3000+ foot driveway in...

    Other than that, I agree with the others. Set up your tanker to do both jobs!

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    Engines are engines, tankers are tankers.

    Structure call, one engine to the fire scene, one to the water point. (we have none of those things you call hydrants)

    Engine at the fire drops a tank. Tankers drop water, and head for water point to refill. If we don't need that water we can drain the tanks. If we do then it is there. In the meantime, those tankers are getting refilled - for the present fire, or for the next call.

    Both tankers can drop behind or to the sides.

    Both engines carry drop tanks, one tanker. If it is a fire requiring lots of water, we drop a second tank.

    Auto aid is bringing water and manpower.

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    To me it's a simply math equation... If your tanker delivery rate allows you to have a Tender sitting on scene "nursing" then it's a nice to have.

    If it doesn't, you better drop the water and go for more!
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    thank's everybody it seen we are right and the guy's that have been on since god was a private are wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy1213 View Post
    thank's everybody it seen we are right and the guy's that have been on since god was a private are wrong

    Maybe those guys that have been on since God was a private can read. Your comprehension seems to be limited. You seem to only hear what you think helps your stance.

    Almost everyone on here says it depends on the situation. Compare responses from departments LIKE yours, as you say very rural with 10 miles from water source to fire being common.

    What kind of automatic aid do you have, what do they bring to the party?

    By the way, what in the world does this statement you made mean?

    "Granted we are a very rural department round trip u us some times can be over 10 miles one way for water."

    Round trip or one way?

    Being a similar department, running water shuttles, if it is a room and contents fire we nurse, but anything larger we drop a tank and start the shuttle.

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    The biggest benefit is you don't have the tanker sitting there empty when the simple fire you thought you could handle with just that tank of water blows out somewhere else in the structue.

    If we have something more than we believe we can handle with the engine's booster tank we drop and run, with mutual aid coming in with their tankers of roughly 3000 gallons a piece. Better to have the water on the road, and the drop tank full and not need them, then realize 5 minutes too late that it was more than you thought.

    the only time I can remember ever nursing with our tanker is for brushfires to refill brushtrucks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    They're actually very different. A little background information on our operations in order to explain...

    ...

    The first arriving tanker (which 99% of the time arrives ahead of the second engine) will nurse the attack engine while the tanker's drop tank is pulled off and set up. Once the tanker's tank water has been exhausted, it takes off to the fill site. The second and third tankers will use their quick-dumps to fill the drop tank, and if the fire is large enough, their drop tanks can be set up as well. One they dump, they take off for the fill site as well.

    In this scenario, the only nursing that's done is from the first tanker to the first engine. From that point forward, it's a tanker shuttle operation.
    So by your operations it sounds like the tanker has a smaller pump so the 1st in Tanker "nurses" the line up to the Attack engine until it's empty at which point hopefully the 2nd in Engine is there to take its place So Tanker Nursing should hopefully be a temporary situation until an Engine is available?

    For some reason I keep picturing then "Tengines" that have a big tank and big pump/draft capability that could drop their water if they're in a shuttle but also stay on the line if they're the 2nd unit there.

    Again, I apologize if this is simple for you guys. It's not something I've thought much about.
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    Voyager, no problem.

    In our situation, the first engine & tanker respond from the same station, second engine & tanker respond from same station, and so on.

    All engines are 1500gpm with 750 gallons of water, and the tankers are all 1000gpm with 1800 gallons to 2800 gallons of water (we're working on standardizing tankers to 2500 gallons now).

    It's rare that the second arriving engine (supply engine) has to nurse the attack engine. Generally, the way our stations are spaced, the 1st tanker hasn't even finished nursing it's load and setting up it's dump tank when the supply engine gets there. While the supply engine prepares to draft from the drop tank and supply the attack engine, and the second tanker dumps its water as soon as the first tanker drives to the fill site.

    In the 17 years I've been doing this, I've only seen one of our engines used in a shuttle - they're not designed for shuttling or quick dumping. That one time was on a mutual aid assignment to a neighboring county during nasty weather, and they simply could not get more than one tanker to the scene.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Voyager, no problem.

    In our situation, the first engine & tanker respond from the same station, second engine & tanker respond from same station, and so on.

    All engines are 1500gpm with 750 gallons of water, and the tankers are all 1000gpm with 1800 gallons to 2800 gallons of water (we're working on standardizing tankers to 2500 gallons now).

    It's rare that the second arriving engine (supply engine) has to nurse the attack engine. Generally, the way our stations are spaced, the 1st tanker hasn't even finished nursing it's load and setting up it's dump tank when the supply engine gets there. While the supply engine prepares to draft from the drop tank and supply the attack engine, and the second tanker dumps its water as soon as the first tanker drives to the fill site.

    In the 17 years I've been doing this, I've only seen one of our engines used in a shuttle - they're not designed for shuttling or quick dumping. That one time was on a mutual aid assignment to a neighboring county during nasty weather, and they simply could not get more than one tanker to the scene.
    Pretty much the same here, except some tankers have pumps and some don't. Our "standard" size engine booster tank is around 1000 gal, and most depts have two of them in a station.

    A sustained flow is always better than a fixed one- because you just never know. I cited my example as an exception- one of those nightmare fires. ( and you KNOW it would only burn on the hottest day of summer or during a blizzard, ice storm, or a thaw with 6 " of wet snow to wade through...)

    I've had the "pleasure" of using our old 2000/1000 pumper in a tanker shuttle, too. And you're 100% correct- it's NOT designed for that job, and it's a time wasting PITA. I probably dropped their flow rate to a trickle. But, it was a scorching hot summer day, daytime fire, and they needed every tank they could get. I was quite happy to shuttle water, as opposed to working in that brutal heat in full gear!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Maybe those guys that have been on since God was a private can read. Your comprehension seems to be limited. You seem to only hear what you think helps your stance.

    Almost everyone on here says it depends on the situation. Compare responses from departments LIKE yours, as you say very rural with 10 miles from water source to fire being common.

    What kind of automatic aid do you have, what do they bring to the party?

    By the way, what in the world does this statement you made mean?

    "Granted we are a very rural department round trip u us some times can be over 10 miles one way for water."

    Round trip or one way?

    Being a similar department, running water shuttles, if it is a room and contents fire we nurse, but anything larger we drop a tank and start the shuttle.

    What i ment was it can be up to or more then a ten mille trip tp get a load of water. the equipment we have is a 750 gpm pumper with 500 gallon water tank, and two 2400 tanker's with 750 pump's . Our aid is approx 8 to 10 miles away one department had a 4200 gallon tanker on a used trash truck so it's not the fast thing and the other two department have 1500 gallon tanker

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