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Thread: To grab a hydrant or not

  1. #41
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    In both my combo and VFD the Chief is appointed by the board.

    And the officers are appointed by the Chief.

    I have also worked in volunteer departments run by the town where the Chief was appointed by the Town manager or Town Board, and then the officers were appointed, again, by the Chief.

    In my previous VFD the Chief officers were elected and they appointed the Captains and Lueiutenants. I have no issues with that type of system either.

    The fact is that in many VFD there are no boards, so there would be nobody to appoint the Chief. They may have a group of trustees, but generally speaking they are members who are no longer heavily involved in the day to day operations, and rally would not understand the current needs of the department.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I thought the discussion was on hitting a hydrant on the way in????? NEVER pass up water when heading to a fire...especially if your not sure of another Engine will respond.....NEVER
    NEVER say NEVER....

    There ARE scenario's where hitting a hydrant is NOT the choice to make. It all depends on the situation. GENERALLY it will not be a bad choice, but you CANNOT make this an absolute rule.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Our problem is that it is kind of a free for all as to who gets to sit where. We have a designated hydrant seat and it is always the last to get filled. Another problem was the driver/pump operator. Any old volunteer could learn to drive the engine, but would not learn how to engineer the engine. So there was always a Chinese fire drill at the scene. The Chief got ****ed and said who ever drives the truck sure as hell better be able to run the pump. I always sit in the hydrant seat because I am usually the last to the station. It is frustrating because someone who wont go interior usually wont sit in the hydrant seat, forcing me to do it.
    Should I suggest to the officers that they make a rule that less capable FFs sit in the hydrant seat? I like the idea.
    If I am understanding the problem correctly, the issue is more about who should hit the hydrant than whether or not it should be.

    With the limited information you've provided, I'm at least 99% sure that grabbing the hydrant on the way in should be the standard course of action since the arrival of the 2nd due is so unpredictable.

    As for the other part, if you have interior personnel making the hydrant connection with non-interior personnel (other than the driver) on the engine, then you have two serious issues in your department. 1) You have members who aren't very good team players and 2) you have officers that are not effectively managing their crews.

  4. #44
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    I'd go for erring on the side of caution, and dropping a line. However, in your situation- limited initial manpower, widely spaced and sometimes unreliable hydrants, I really think you need to be carrying more than 500 gal of water to the scene. ESPECIALLY if you plan on hitting a fire off tank water.

    500 gal works fine for urban depts with back up on the way, and lots of hydrants. Or for dealing with the small and med size fires. If you are considering attacking a fire with tank water, and no certainty of a rapid connection to a steady supply, you need to think bigger. 1000 is typical for most depts around here. Those who have water or backup issues often go larger.

    500 gal goes fast at a worker!
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  5. #45
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    How about this anytime you have 5 or more guys respond take both rigs, even if it means only a driver in the second rig. He can drop the line at the attack engine and go to the hydrant.

    If hydrant reliability is a problem get your firefighters to go out on a drill night and test them. Send in repair requests and mark the ones that don't work to eliminate the issue of hooking to a bad hydrant.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    How about this anytime you have 5 or more guys respond take both rigs, even if it means only a driver in the second rig. He can drop the line at the attack engine and go to the hydrant.

    If hydrant reliability is a problem get your firefighters to go out on a drill night and test them. Send in repair requests and mark the ones that don't work to eliminate the issue of hooking to a bad hydrant.
    That's a pretty good idea. Manage the resources at the firehouse.
    As for the hydrants, the city has known about them for a couple of years. Nothing happened until we got the homeowners riled up about the issue. They did not like the idea of having pretty red ornaments on the corners instead of functioning hydrants.
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  7. #47
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    What are these "hydrant" things you speak of?

    Out here in the sticks, with the nearest pressurized hydrant seven miles away, we don't worry about whether to hit the hydrant or not.

    On the other hand, we have a number of places where the houses, etc, are a fair distance off the road, usually down a narrow driveway with little room to turn around. For a known worker we had a few years ago the first due engine dumped all 1000' of LDH on the way in.

    The question, therefore, is the same - do we lay in so we've got a ready supply line for the next due engine to hit? If we get our tanker out the door in short order, they can sometimes have a drop tank on the ground and full before the next engine arrives.

    I'll second the larger tank on the engine. I wouldn't dream of spec'ing anything under 1000 gallons for us.
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  8. #48
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Both of my POC FDs have 1000 gallon tanks on first due engine companies. We serve both hydranted and non-hydranted areas.
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  9. #49
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    My combo department has a hydrant system in the suburban core of our district. however, the spacing is irregular and some of the areas flow less than 500gpm. Typical flow is 700-900 gpm with a few plugs over 1000 up to 1400gpm in the "commercial core".

    Outside of the core we have a couple of areas with a very limited, weak hydrant system, but it's primarily rural water operations.

    4 of our engines have 1000g tanks, and 2 have 3000g tanks. Our reserve carries 1250g.

    My VFD has hydrants only in the village, which is roughly .75 square miles of our 100 mile district.

    Our 3 newest engine carries 1500g. The two older engines and the reserve engine carries 500g.

    The engine we are planning on buying later this year has been spec'd out at 1000g (in will be stationed in the hydranted area) with one of the older engines being converted to a 5" carrier.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    What are these "hydrant" things you speak of?

    Out here in the sticks, with the nearest pressurized hydrant seven miles away, we don't worry about whether to hit the hydrant or not.

    On the other hand, we have a number of places where the houses, etc, are a fair distance off the road, usually down a narrow driveway with little room to turn around. For a known worker we had a few years ago the first due engine dumped all 1000' of LDH on the way in.

    The question, therefore, is the same - do we lay in so we've got a ready supply line for the next due engine to hit? If we get our tanker out the door in short order, they can sometimes have a drop tank on the ground and full before the next engine arrives.

    I'll second the larger tank on the engine. I wouldn't dream of spec'ing anything under 1000 gallons for us.
    Tree I would ask what is this hard suction you talk of. All our ponds are 500' apart and pressurized. We have to get those big black hoses out of storage when we do pump tests. In my 44 years we have drafted 5 times at fire scenes and none of them were in our fire district. We drop the LDH at the hydrant automatically if something is showing. In the old days most pump operators could easily get water flowing from the tank and then get the supply line connected before the hydrant was ready to be charged.
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    All our ponds are 500' apart and pressurized.
    Discussions about putting in municipal water here some years ago died on the price tag.

    Most residents weren't interested in paying over $600 a year for something they get out of their wells for for cost of the electricity to run the pump. The biggest killer was a statement by one of the engineers during the town meeting on the topic - that the price had been set by some state flunky in Albany and even if we managed to find money (grant, etc) from another source, one of the existing planned sources would dry up. I might add that some $400 of that was debt service. I suspect that a lower cost would have been more likely to gain approval.

    Even that system only covered the hamlet (100 houses, 300 people) and the route of the waterline from another municipal system. All of the side roads would still be tanker operations. Oh, and the system was only designed for 500GPM...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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  12. #52
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    We have been considering changing our sog's to give the first arriving engine more leeway in regards to grabbing a hydrant. Currently we always grab one, every time. There have been some fires lately that we would have lessened the damage to the home if we could have just used tank water. I know this sounds ridiculous to some but we don't have a guarantee that another engine will lay us a line. Sometimes we get our other engine to respond but sometimes not and our closest mutual aid is always at least thirty mins. out. So if we don't grab one, we may have to hand lay later. This would be left up to the first arriving officer as he does a window size up upon arriving.

    We know a quick knock down works, but under our circumstances do you guys think it is worth the risk? Our should we quit complaining and just get better at grabbing a hydrant?
    This is why I am a firm believer in laying out, not in. Coincidently, it is also the reason that every fire engine I know of carries between 500 and 1500 gallons of water. You can make a hell of a dent or certainly effect the rescue of a viable victim with tank water.

    In addition, regardless of how good you get at wrapping a hydrant and laying in, it will significantly delay the amount of time it takes to put water on the fire.
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    This is why I am a firm believer in laying out, not in. Coincidently, it is also the reason that every fire engine I know of carries between 500 and 1500 gallons of water. You can make a hell of a dent or certainly effect the rescue of a viable victim with tank water.

    In addition, regardless of how good you get at wrapping a hydrant and laying in, it will significantly delay the amount of time it takes to put water on the fire.
    The amount of time it takes for one member to dismount and simply wrap the hydrant is inconsequential with the time needed to hand lay.

    Yes, it does delay fire operations by 30-45 seconds, but given the consequences of running out of water, IMO it's a pretty fair trade off if you are in a situation where the response of a second engine or hose cart to lay in is unknown or uncertain.
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  14. #54
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    30-45 seconds in my book is a long time when you apply it to every operation that must occur on the fire ground - especially the primary search and rescue if needed.

    If tank water will allow you to rescue a still viable victim and you end up running out of water, I say job well done.

    If there is no rescue, tank water may buy you the time needed to establish the supply without additional damage to the structure.

    Lastly. Going to the fire allows you to make an informed decision as to whether you can attack with with tank water and be successful or if you need to reverse lay to establish a supply line without allowing the fire to go unchecked when you are down the street guessing what you think you might need.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    30-45 seconds in my book is a long time when you apply it to every operation that must occur on the fire ground - especially the primary search and rescue if needed.

    If tank water will allow you to rescue a still viable victim and you end up running out of water, I say job well done.

    If there is no rescue, tank water may buy you the time needed to establish the supply without additional damage to the structure.

    Lastly. Going to the fire allows you to make an informed decision as to whether you can attack with with tank water and be successful or if you need to reverse lay to establish a supply line without allowing the fire to go unchecked when you are down the street guessing what you think you might need.

    Agree, to an extent.

    The OP stated that he had a 500g tank, which isn't very much water, and that it could be up to 30 minutes until another engine arrived.

    To me those are 2 major issues that scream lay in on just about anything with smoke showing.

    1000g tank, not so much, but 500g doesn't buy much time for handjacking hose while conducting fire attack with more than likely a pretty small crew.

    Again, to me, it's worth the time to at least wrap and lay a line every time in. If need be, don't charge it initially but have it on the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Agree, to an extent.

    The OP stated that he had a 500g tank, which isn't very much water, and that it could be up to 30 minutes until another engine arrived.

    To me those are 2 major issues that scream lay in on just about anything with smoke showing.

    1000g tank, not so much, but 500g doesn't buy much time for handjacking hose while conducting fire attack with more than likely a pretty small crew.

    Again, to me, it's worth the time to at least wrap and lay a line every time in. If need be, don't charge it initially but have it on the ground.
    I agree about the 500 gal tank. I would much prefer 1000. I'm actually surprised that any smaller, rural department would opt for the smaller tank, assuming there was a choice.

  17. #57
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    We have a larger tank on our rural engine. We are very well hydranted in our town so when we got our
    '83 Grumman several years ago we were more concerned about price. It replaced a '68 IH/Howe that is a third out engine now, that replaced a '54 Ford.

    Some of the officers have suggested at times to respond with one or two and darken the fire on tank water if no one else shows up after the second page. I cant say that I disagree with that.
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    We have a larger tank on our rural engine. We are very well hydranted in our town so when we got our
    '83 Grumman several years ago we were more concerned about price. It replaced a '68 IH/Howe that is a third out engine now, that replaced a '54 Ford.

    Some of the officers have suggested at times to respond with one or two and darken the fire on tank water if no one else shows up after the second page. I cant say that I disagree with that.
    I guess I am more of a "ducks in a row" man before beginning fire attack, and at least having my supply line on the ground, if possible, is one of those "ducks".

    And yes, I am generally willing to sacrifice 30-45 seconds of burn time to get that supply line laid if I have any fire condition at all, especially if I don't have the manpower to stretch that line, such as at my VFD.

    As a rule, my combo department does not lay in but we will generally have 2-3 additional engines with 4" on scene in under 3 minutes from the arrival of the attack engine.

    The same was true in my previous VFD where at night we easily get three or 4 engines responding plus an AMA engine or two. During the day I would get a couple on the air from my own department plus 2-3 from the AMA response.

    Rural department not so much, but only about 1% of our district is covered by hydrants.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-23-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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