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Thread: Tanker Task Force plans?

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    Default Tanker Task Force plans?

    My FD is looking to start working with other area FD's on rural water supply. We've basically taken for granted the section of our community that doesn't have hydrants and called in tankers but due to the relatively small numbers of incidents in these areas, not had the drive to make something happen. Recently we ran on a mutual aid fire in a rural water town and found that the water supply was not as well planned and thought out as we'd assumed it was. Thus we're looking to help develop a tanker shuttle task force plan and are looking for other documents of the same?

    Anyone have any tanker task force type documents they're willing to share, we're specifically not looking to reinvent the wheel. We of course understand the basics but are looking for actual documents for laying out a countywide/area wide plan.

    Thanks.

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    At my volunteer department, we just implemented something similar to this. Though it is not called a tanker task force, we get tankers from two neighboring jurisdictions on automatic aid whenever we take in a structure fire in a non hydranted area. Same goes for the other two departments. Like you, we rarely get fires in our rural areas, however we have found that when we do, this response plan works great.

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    A little background on my volunteer county: 272 square miles, less than 10% hydranted, 100% volunteer, five fire stations (each with a minimum of one engine, one tanker, and one EMS vehicle).

    A reported structural fire gets a minimum of three companies (four if it's commerical) which gives us three engines and three tankers. These resources are all generally coming from within the county, but we have extensive and well-planned mutual aid compacts with our surrounding jurisdictions as well.

    The first tanker goes to the scene and pumps off it's load to the attack engine. While that's occurring, the porta-pond (drop tank, pit, or whatever your neck of the woods calls it) is taken off the first due tanker and set up. As soon as it's set up, the second arriving engine will prepare to draft from the porta-pond. When the first tanker has pumped off it's load, it will head to the fill site, which has been established by the third engine on the assignment.

    On the arrvial of the second and third tankers, they'll drop their loads in the porta-pond(s) and also head to the fill site, and then the shuttle has started.

    If you have a chance, you might check with the Prince William County (VA) Department of Fire & Rescue - they have an extensive Tanker Task Force plan, and I'm sure they'd be willing to share it with you.
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    Let me see if I can get a hold of Bucks County, Pa.'s TTF SOP's. If I can I will PM you for your email.
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    Backstep: Thanks, what you describe is how we currently operate in the area of our first due that is not hydranted. I'm looking for a more widespread system that addresses the needs of our community but all the others around us as well. This will be a countywide project.

    BoxAlarm187: That's right on target with what I'm looking for, I'll check with Prince William Co. We need a well written basic plan that fits most of the member FD's, understanding that situations vary, but planning and knowing the "Gold Standard" plan first allows judgment calls to be based on sound reasoning.

    FWD: Great. I'll take anything as I'm compiling a folder full of ideas and models of which we can hen pick the things that meet our needs best.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 04-05-2013 at 04:10 PM.

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    http://www.buckscandff.com/download.php

    Look in there, see if you can find it.....I took a quick peek but didnt see anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Backstep: Thanks, what you describe is how we currently operate in the area of our first due that is not hydranted. I'm looking for a more widespread system that addresses the needs of our community but all the others around us as well. This will be a countywide project.

    BoxAlarm187: That's right on target with what I'm looking for, I'll check with Prince William Co. We need a well written basic plan that fits most of the member FD's, understanding that situations vary, but planning and knowing the "Gold Standard" plan first allows judgment calls to be based on sound reasoning.

    FWD: Great. I'll take anything as I'm compiling a folder full of ideas and models of which we can hen pick the things that meet our needs best.
    FYI,

    Prince William County, and all the neighboring counties run the Northern Virginia Rural Water Supply Guidelines.

    The 1st alarm in rural areas will get 5 engines 2 aerials, a rescue, 2 chiefs, ambulance, and 3 tankers.

    A tanker task force made up of 1 engine and 3 tankers can be requested for working fires.

    If you want to know more, let me know. I'm also a rural water supply instructor.

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    They tell us our CAD system isn't configured to handle a tanker task force in addition to the usual extra alarms. Since we dispatch by station, not by apparatus, rural fires around here will generally get at least an engine and tanker from each station.

    My department has two neighboring departments on automatic for structure fires, so in addition to three engines, we'll have three tankers (5,800 gallons) coming. First tanker in will drop their tank, and usually dump into it, unless it looks like something that can be handled with just the attack engine and tanker.

    Very often one of the incoming automatic aid engines will be directed to establish a fill site.

    Not every tanker around has a pump - it's dump or nothing. They aren't configured as attack apparatus - just supply. That's even true of tankers with pumps - the pump is for utility, not necessarily firefighting. Particularly during the day, it's possible that the first in tanker might not be our own.

    Our second and third alarms bring in two more departments each. Most other departments have the same. It's not unusual a request for a "second alarm for tankers and manpower," meaning they can leave their engine in their station - all that's needed is the water and muscle.
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    Good discussion. I HATE waiting on water in the middle of a fire. Its a helpless, crappy feeling.

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    We have a automatic aid system for all structure fires. If there is a structure fire in any of the 4 fire districts each fire departments sends tankers. This gives us 6 2000 gallon tankers all set up nearly the same. If man power allows a engine will be send from the nearest automatic aid fire department. This gives us a totally of 6 tankers, 12,000 gallons, 3 engines, usually 2 chiefs. This is all dispatch at same time through the dispatch center.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    Good discussion. I HATE waiting on water in the middle of a fire. Its a helpless, crappy feeling.
    Try running a fill site, with no customers, then finding out that the other fill site has 8-9 tankers backed up because they're having trouble keeping water...

    Meanwhile, at the fire scene, they're looking for water.

    That got corrected in short order, once somebody figured it out. Thing is, the other fill site should have been notifying Command of their problems, not trying to tough it out.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Here in so cal. we use a water point.. mostly for the wildland environment, but it would work for structure fires as well. Let me know and I am happy to provide information.

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    Don't forget to assess your area for drafting and water supply points. I had to convince a few people that there are more options to just filling at the closest hydrant. For instance we have a large house and barns at the end of an 1800' single lane drive. There's a hydrant a mile away, but there's a pond 40' from the drive. I demonstrated that with a turbodraft appliance, I can get around 600gpm out of that pond, but even if that hydrant could deliver 1,000gpm, (which it can't) a realistic turnaround time would be 10 minutes for our 2500 gallon tanker/engine, which equates to 250 gpm. Some people just don't believe in commitng a tanker to drafting, even when it's more efficient. (and safer) Look at all the options, not just shuttles.

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    That's what mutual aid is for. I'd hate to commit a tanker to draft, too.

    Have you considered talking the landowner into putting in a dry hydrant?

    Far too many of our potential static water sources are also highly seasonal.
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    In addition to Bucks County, PA, you may want to contact someone in Lancaster or Chester County, PA. They have a very elaborate mutual-aid system in place (1st-alarm, 2nd-alarm, etc) which has seen Hockeesin, DE getting sent up to Lancaster County - quite a distance.

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    After watching an ISO Tanker Relay drill yesterday I'm now seeking and "Best Practices" or innovative ideas relative to filling sites and dump tank sites. For instance, in the Apparatus forum there was some discussion regarding adapters, gates and such used at the fill site to drain LDh tank fill lines to make connecting and disconnecting easier. At the drill I watched yesterday it was apparent that most tank fill are chest height or greater and disconnecting 4-5ft of charged LDH isn't as easy as people thought, due to the weight added by the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    After watching an ISO Tanker Relay drill yesterday I'm now seeking and "Best Practices" or innovative ideas relative to filling sites and dump tank sites. For instance, in the Apparatus forum there was some discussion regarding adapters, gates and such used at the fill site to drain LDh tank fill lines to make connecting and disconnecting easier. At the drill I watched yesterday it was apparent that most tank fill are chest height or greater and disconnecting 4-5ft of charged LDH isn't as easy as people thought, due to the weight added by the water.
    If I can be brutally honest here, I am beginning to believe that there is not much of an advantage using LDH to fill tankers over 3 inch. The weight and hassle of disconnecting 4 or 5 inch hose, especially if there is no quick way to relieve the back pressure and some of the weight can make it a real bear of a job.

    3 inch hose flowing 1000 gpm has 40psi of FL in 50 feet. Meaning it is well within the power of a class A pumper to move 1000 or more gpm through that single 3 inch line. Even if you went 100 feet the friction loss is still only 80psi.

    To me a much more efficient operation would be to run 4 or 5 inch hose from the supply engine to the tanker fill spot, set a manifold up and run 3 inch hose from there. if you had multiple 3 inch lines in place the tanker filling could be hooked up and the next in line could be hooked up and as soon as one was full and shut down then the next gets filled and another rolls into place and is connected. No one waits to be hooked up making the fill site more efficient. For those that insist on 4 or 5 inch fill ports, or my favorite the cam lock, the fill site would have necessary adapters to hook them up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    If I can be brutally honest here, I am beginning to believe that there is not much of an advantage using LDH to fill tankers over 3 inch.
    Don't apologize for honesty on my account, I'm a faithful disciple of the Church of Painful Truth.

    On the 3" vs. LDH: I agree, but it appears all of the M/A companies around us have set their tankers up for LDH fills and we're not in a position to suggest that type of a change. Most FD's in our area don't use 3" at all, with just ourselves and one or two others using it mainly for quick attack monitors and flying standpipe type lays. At this point I'm looking for ways to make what we have in the area more efficient at little to no cost.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 05-05-2013 at 09:01 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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    We carry the adapters so that if we are at the fill site, we can adapt our 3" to their 4" or 5" dry fill. If they want to use the 5" and hook / unhook, that is up to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Don't apologize for honesty on my account, I'm a faithful disciple of the Church of Painful Truth.

    I am almost unable to be brutally honest in my thoughts and opinions. So can I have a HALLELUJAH BROTHER!!

    On the 3" vs. LDH: I agree, but it appears all of the M/A companies around us have set their tankers up for LDH fills and we're not in a position to suggest that type of a change. Most FD's in our area don't use 3" at all, with just ourselves and one or two others using it mainly for quick attack monitors and flying standpipe type lays. At this point I'm looking for ways to make what we have in the area more efficient at little to no cost.

    You don't have to change their minds on how they have their tenders set up, just have the appropriate adapters from 3 inch to thier LDH size. You get the conveience of the storz adapter with the ease of handling the much lighter 3 inch hose. We have the ability to supply 2 1/2, 2 1/2 cam lock, 4 and 5 inch storz, all from our 3 inch hose. WHY? Because our neighbors can't settle on one size for tanker fills. Personally I would go with 2 1/2 inch cam locks. They are fast, simple, and require no spanner wrench to apply or remove.
    Being radical and trying to effect positive change is always a struggle. Just remember "A sane man in an insane world must appear insane."
    Last edited by FyredUp; 05-06-2013 at 02:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Being radical and trying to effect positive change is always a struggle. Just remember "A sane man in an insane world must appear insane."
    Without a doubt we'll likely use our 3" to fill trucks using adapters to the LDH, we do carry enough adapters to facilitate this already, but we rarely are at the fill site. Sadly few seem to understand that 1000 gpm is 1000 gpm through whatever size line is stretched, the LDH may be easier on the engine, but in the relatively short lays for the fill site, I'd hope anyone's engine wouldn't be sweating it. In our case, I foresee the likely set up being: a 5" line from the pump to a gated wye reversed and a single 3" line with LDH adapter at the end. This would be duplicated to allow connecting two tankers simultaneously, though filling them one after the other. The reversed gated wye allows for the rapid release of pressure and water from the line. We may find that using the 3" makes this unnecessary which would allow the wye to be deployed to feed two 3" lines and eliminate the second LDH from the pump. Thoughts?

    The whole area used 2.5" cam lock quick connects when I started but as LDH started to take over hose beds, everyone migrated to it for any "supply" type operation, it's really only been a few people watching the fill site folks struggle that have raised any question. We're definitively going to host a little fill site drill with multiple methods used and see if we can flesh out the most efficient and safe way, something about continually spilling water all over ones self and the ground in mid-February seems to scream for a better way, but I'm old(ish) and hate the cold.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 05-06-2013 at 07:40 PM. Reason: key board caused misspelled words

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Without a doubt we'll likely use our 3" to fill trucks using adapters to the LDH, we do carry enough adapters to facilitate this already, but we rarely are at the fill site. The whole area used 2.5" cam lock quick connects when I started but as LDH started to take over hose beds, everyone migrated to it for any "supply" type operation, it's really only been a few people watching the fill site folks struggle that have raised any question. We're definitively going to host a little fill site drill with multiple methods used and see if we can flesh out the most efficient and safe way, something about continually spilling water all over ones self and the ground in mid-February seems to scream for a better way, but I'm old(ish) and hate the cold.
    Brother we are all getting older and I HATE the cold too. In fact I hate it so much that my wife and I are seriosuly looking at relocating to Tennessee in a few years!

    I will tell you that if we are sent to the fill site we set it up using at least two 3 inch lines, that way because of the need for different adapters we can always have 2 rigs hooked up for filling.

    Good luck, change comes slowly if at all sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    If I can be brutally honest here, I am beginning to believe that there is not much of an advantage using LDH to fill tankers over 3 inch. The weight and hassle of disconnecting 4 or 5 inch hose, especially if there is no quick way to relieve the back pressure and some of the weight can make it a real bear of a job.

    3 inch hose flowing 1000 gpm has 40psi of FL in 50 feet. Meaning it is well within the power of a class A pumper to move 1000 or more gpm through that single 3 inch line. Even if you went 100 feet the friction loss is still only 80psi.

    To me a much more efficient operation would be to run 4 or 5 inch hose from the supply engine to the tanker fill spot, set a manifold up and run 3 inch hose from there. if you had multiple 3 inch lines in place the tanker filling could be hooked up and the next in line could be hooked up and as soon as one was full and shut down then the next gets filled and another rolls into place and is connected. No one waits to be hooked up making the fill site more efficient. For those that insist on 4 or 5 inch fill ports, or my favorite the cam lock, the fill site would have necessary adapters to hook them up.
    The problem you describe is easily remedied by using a 5" flow through valve with 3" gated outlets on the side. You just use a short section of 5" past the valve, and when you're ready to disconnect, you open a 3" outlet to relieve pressure and drain the 5" fill line. You can run your pump at a lower rpm saving fuel and there's less noise for the operator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    The problem you describe is easily remedied by using a 5" flow through valve with 3" gated outlets on the side. You just use a short section of 5" past the valve, and when you're ready to disconnect, you open a 3" outlet to relieve pressure and drain the 5" fill line. You can run your pump at a lower rpm saving fuel and there's less noise for the operator.
    Whats the advantage? If I can flow 1000 gpm through 100 feet of 3 inch, which is lighter, easier to handle, and adaptable to whatever the tankers in my area are using for a fill port, why wrestle a 5 inch hose?

    Holy cow John, if you engine can't run at 100 psi all day supplying a 3 inch line for filling tankers without excessive RPMs it's time to look for a new engine.
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    Some years ago pretty much everyone in this county adopted twist lock (Stortz) couplers for filling tankers. I forget whether they're 2.5" or 3", but it matters little - they're all the same. There are usually plenty of them available, and all of the tankers have them permanently mounted on their ground fills.

    A lot of tankers around here (probably most, in fact) have two ground fills.

    If I'm setting up a fill site I'll sometimes set up not two, but four 3" lines. That way one tanker can be filled while the next is being connected. There's no sense filling two at once - they'll likely dump one at a time anyhow. And if I'm moving ~1000GPM, they're full in two minutes anyhow. It almost takes longer to make and break the connections.

    If the fire scene is using a lot of water (barn fires can be like that), the pump operator can be like a one-armed paper hanger. Makes one a believer in top-mount pump panels.
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