1. #1
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    Default Dropping 5" on every alarm

    So, the topic has finally made it to my department of dropping supply line and tying into the hydrant on every fire alarm call. There are some larger departments in the area that have started doing this. Does anyone here do it? What are your thoughts, good or bad?

    I'll share an example of why I'm against it right now. It was mentioned for a call we go to quite often: a dorm at the local college. I have been to this dorm many times over my career for false alarms. It was mentioned that we should drop 5" on this call and other fire alarms so we don't get caught being complacent with it being "just another fire alarm." We have 2 engines responding from our 2 stations on every call. (1 from each station).

    I, for one, think that you should have enough confidence in your officers to be able to make that call. Also, I despise blanket policies for something that may never happen. It's my belief that knowing your first due, you have an idea of what to plan for. Your response should be based on what will happen 99.9% of the time, not the .1% of the time. I'm not saying don't train an practice for the worst case scenario, but for your average response, I believe you should go with what you know. For our scenario, the second in engine can easily catch a hydrant if necessary and the IC from the first engine will get there and should know if there is a fire pretty quickly. During these 100 degree days, needlessly dropping 5" seems like a burden. Also, our difference is if we catch another call, there is no one else to respond besides us. Larger departments usually have other stations that can cover. If another call comes in, you can't really just leave your 5" laying and go to the next call...you might need it!

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    Wear and tear and time as you mention

    Especially if you have a lot of calls

    Is it just fire alarm system runs or every run???

  3. #3
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    Dropping LDH on every alarm sounding? No way. Sure, if there's ANY indication something may be unusual about the alarm, but for a simple alarm with no additional information, I wouldn't do it.

    If anything, have the 2nd engine stage and prepare to either forward or reverse lay (depending on how your department works) to the hydrant if needed, or to support the FDC as required and/or equipped.
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  4. #4
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    Default That's right

    Yes, as it was mentioned to us, it would be every fire alarm we run, which is what some of these larger departments have started doing recently. I personally think it is overkill. I like the idea an suggested staging the 2nd due at the hydrant until you can confirm no fire. That puts you in position for the worst case, but doesn't needlessly waste time and resources.

    Keep the input coming!

  5. #5
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    Good afternoon brothers. I come from a dept that just last year we got caught up not having water and the whole first due engine crew through the front door on the primary line got fried. We followed a similar procedure... First due engine stretches on the dwelling, second due secures the water source for the first in engine. This is a practice that in my opinion is no bueno for a volunteer dept, because there is no guarentee that the second engine will get on the road at all. So we ended up sitting down and discussing how can we prevent this in the future, and this is what we came up with 1. If the second due engine is not on the road by the time first due gets on scene, the first due is to pick up a hydrant. 2. We will not roll light crewed, every position on the rig gets filled to ensure adequate manpower to get a line in place properly 3. We have a dedicated riding position set just for securing a sustained positive water source 4. We're currently working with neighboring departments for 24/7 automatic mutual aid plan for any report of a structure fire the closest neighboring dept gets called for an engine the same time we get activated for a full dept response to increase the chances of that second engine getting on scene to secure the water source and get the secondary line or back up line in place. 5. If the first due engine has a secured posative water source the second due engine will pick up a secondary water source anyway... In no way, shape, or form do we lay in for every alarm, but the water aspect is taken seriously and water is king by us

  6. #6
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    We run engines with 1000 gallon booster tanks due to our rural areas. Because of that we have the first on scene engine proceed to the address and the 2nd in stages at the hydrant. If there is a confirmed incident they lay in automatically with the 5". If not, they stand by and await a request. Having 100 gallons allows the first engine to begin an attack without needed the supply line as early.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by efd281 View Post
    We run engines with 1000 gallon booster tanks due to our rural areas. Because of that we have the first on scene engine proceed to the address and the 2nd in stages at the hydrant. If there is a confirmed incident they lay in automatically with the 5". If not, they stand by and await a request. Having 100 gallons allows the first engine to begin an attack without needed the supply line as early.
    We operate similarly, but with 750 gal. tanks and the second due comes to the scene and prepares to reverse lay so the hydrant can be pumped if necessary.

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