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View Poll Results: Should positive locking gated wye handles be implemented into the fire service?

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  • Yes

    1 16.67%
  • No

    5 83.33%
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  1. #1
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    Default Locking Gated Wye Handles

    Hello,

    I am doing a research project to find out if placing positive locking handles on gated wyes would significantly increase firefighter safety. If anybody has any first hand experience with non-locking valve handles being accidentally manipulated (whether on scene or in training) and is willing to write a short narrative describing the event I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    No. If you have someone accidentally closing/opening your gated valves, adding a "locking" device is not going to address that. And as for one closing/opening without human intervention.....not buying it.


    And I'll be honest....I am against the locking clips on Storz connections too.
    "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?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    No. If you have someone accidentally closing/opening your gated valves, adding a "locking" device is not going to address that. And as for one closing/opening without human intervention.....not buying it.


    And I'll be honest....I am against the locking clips on Storz connections too.
    I don't think it would be too hard to engineer a spring loaded pin that would lock it open or closed and that could easily be pushed with gloves on. I think the biggest problem is people not seeing the valve and kicking it open or closed.
    And yes the locking clips on Storz connections are a PITA if both side have them. But I have see them uncouple because of twists.

  4. #4
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    We are taught in class that every valve should be manned. This is so that a line can be opened or closed when needed. Adding locks may give a false sense of security that the valve does not need manned. I can see this becoming an issue for a dropped or burst line that will now become a hazard that may not have had the valve been manned.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    We are taught in class that every valve should be manned. This is so that a line can be opened or closed when needed. Adding locks may give a false sense of security that the valve does not need manned. I can see this becoming an issue for a dropped or burst line that will now become a hazard that may not have had the valve been manned.
    Every valve should be manned ??????????? seriously ?
    ?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Every valve should be manned ??????????? seriously ?
    Absolutely, for all those 6 man engine companies anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    No. If you have someone accidentally closing/opening your gated valves, adding a "locking" device is not going to address that. And as for one closing/opening without human intervention.....not buying it.


    And I'll be honest....I am against the locking clips on Storz connections too.
    I agree on the wye. No need.

    On the storz? I've seen them untwist when charged. I vote locking.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  8. #8
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    For every idiot that "accidently" closes a valve ----- you will have a corresponding idiot that cant figure out how to unlock the valve while you are screaming for water.
    ?

  9. #9
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    The reason that the gated wye is a concern to me is that when used in a horizontal standpipe the wye is not constantly manned. As the hose is dragged or as firefighers move past the wye there is a potential for it to be manipulated accidentally.

  10. #10
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    The concern is not that a person actually closes the valve but that it is manipulated as the hose is pulled over an object or as the hose is rotated causing the valves to open or close. If a wye is pulled into a structure with low visibility is also possible for the valves to be kicked closed on accident. I am most concerned about a situation where a crew is already interior with a charged line who suddenly looses water becuse of the wye.

    When you look at the water supply chain in a horizontal standpipe you have four places where water can be controlled: the hydrant, the pump, the wye, and the nozzle. The attempt to keep the hydrant secure by bringing the hydrant wrench back to the truck. The pump is manned by the engineer and the nozzle is manned by the nozzleman. Between the nozzleman and the engineer is the wye which is normally at least 100' from either person and is unmanned and unsecure.

  11. #11
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Every valve should be manned ??????????? seriously ?
    That is what is taught in the essentials classes here in PA.

    Does it always happen, or does it even normally happen? - No, but it is still taught that way for the reason of safety. If that wye is supplying water to those in the hot zone, then it should absolutely be manned.

  12. #12
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    In your post you acknowledge that the situation warrants teaching a practice to reduce the risk but that it normally does not happen due to lack of manpower. We should practice how we play and we should never establish safety procedures which are unrealistic in real life situations. No captain is going to leave a firefighter to babysit a wye valve at a working fire. If the valve was secured mechanically with locking handles there would be no need to ever leave a firefighter back to babysit it because the risk of accidental manipulation would be mitigated.

  13. #13
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    - Burst line 1 while the line 2 is actively attacking
    - Line 1 is streched and in use while line 2 is being placed
    - Line 1 is actively fighting fire while line 2 needs to extend to get to better attack location
    - Line 1 is 1 to 2 stories above line 2 and therefore needs more pressure

    We practice leaving someone on the valve. Does it always happen, no, but as soon as we have the manpower it does. I am a captain, and I have left firefighters at valves. I have had 3 of the 4 above circimstances occur and locking handles would have made the situations worse.

    I see no harm in a company making the valves with locking handles, but we will not buy any.

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