1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Prepiped Water ways- Do they get in the way?

    Several Years ago a department in my area had a large controversey over which one was the way to go. The design comittee wanted just an ariel without a prepied ladder pipe, but management insisted on getting it.

    I want to hear peoples opinions on them specifically if they find them harder place a ladder even pinned back when not using them, ie. Do they get in the way?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a 100' 4 section pinable, prepiped waterway. Our SOP states we pin the nozzle to the third section leaving the fly unobstructed. So far we havn't had any problems with hitting anything. Our most seen problem is operators forgetting to move the position pin to the fly section to move the nozzle to the tip before unbedding the ladder to take full advantage of the ladder length. Having worked with ladders with no waterway and with those that do, it is the only way to go.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Pre-piped is the modern way of life. Our 75' has the moveable monitor. We keep it in the short-fly position in case we ever have to do a rescue in a hurry. If we go to ladder pipe ops, we should have time to have someone scamper up and move the pin.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest



    We have them at work, and I have used it several times to take the heart out of the fire before moving in with hand lines. Its much better than the old pipes that gave you to a limited sweep area.

    I've talked to your dad and know his take on the issue, but it works well for those of us that have limited manpower...........Jake

  5. #5
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One of our aerials (a 1983 E-One 110' rear mount)has a prepiped waterway. The waterway originally went to the tip of the aerial, we had it changed so that it attached to the third fly section. It does not get in the way during ladder operations.

    And on the eighth day...God created Firefighters!
    Captain Gonzo

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department utilizes 100' prepiped Smeal ladders. The prepipe is non movable. Our Fire Motor Mechanics have added an expendable cage to the end of the ladder to protect the nozzle. The cage extends the length of the ladder two to three rungs. We have never had a problem with the pipe or nozzle getting in the way. If it comes right down to it, damaging the prepipe or the nozzle during a rescue is entirely acceptable. Prepipe in my opinion is the only way to go.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I hate to be the odd man out, but after using both types I prefer the ladder without a waterway.

    Speaking for myself we don't use the master stream that often. The ladder is used for roof access and rescue. We have a 4 section ladder and the waterway is on the 3rd section. Our setbacks are pretty short and often times the ladder isn't extended enough to not worry about the nozzle and waterway. The waterway is just another thing that has to be maintained, and it can freeze in winter.

    I would agree with the better sweep angle on a prepiped waterway.

    I also don't like the stuff that is mounted on the tip of many ladders like: axes, pike poles, cord reels... Those are just potential things to get hung up on while climbing the main.

    Just My .02

  8. #8
    Capt. D
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All of our tiller trucks have a pre-piped ladder pipe on the bed section of the ladder, operated by a cable crank from the turntable. This only gives you about 40 feet of elevation initially, but generally works great for your average row house, 3 story multiple dwelling or taxpayer (commercial building). If we need something higher, we manually mount a ladder pipe on the fly section.

    The advantage is that pre-pipe on the bed section in no way interferes with ladder palacement or using the ladder for venting windows.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I bring this up because at the only 2 fires since having the new ladder, their rig was no where near the front of the building.. once down the block cuz they couldnt get it up (the driver had a million and one reasons) the the other time.. who the hell knows why they put it where they did...

    My feeling is if you want an elevated stream, get a tower ladder. There is no way anyone can say that an aerialscope isnt more versatile than a PREPIPED (below the bed) ladder pipe

    i realize that many departments have monetary constraints and cant get a Tower ladder, but this was not the case. they could have gotten one, but why when the closest 10 ladders are all towers but the 1 closest to the current ladder pipe..

    I agree that the pipe is gonna have to take one for the team if it gets in the way, but i know that the people who disagreed with the management dont want to be the first to do it...

    It also depends on what manufacturer we are talking about. The rigs in question are LTI and Aerial Innovations

    Cousin Vinny

    [This message has been edited by CousinVinny354 (edited 01-22-2001).]

  10. #10
    Detroit Fire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Pre Piped is the only way to go so much faster than the old way of hooking up the gun to the tip of the ladder and laying out the hose. In the city here man power is at a premium we only have a few pre piped watter ways here. They are the best . However be carefull not to lay the gun on the roof or hit something with it.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Most replies above have pretty valid points. i'd have to agree strongly with the pinable waterways. like most have said, keep it pinned back. if you need it for a quick rescue, you got the fly sect. unobstructed. if you arrive on scene to find fire blowing everywhere and need the pipe. the second or two it takes to remove the pin isn't gonna make a difference. good luck and stay safe.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Come on guys, I want to hear people talk about their problems with them. I dont want to hear how great they are at an exterior operation. I would pick a Tower Ladder any day of the week over an "appendage"

    I think they should have gotten a stick because it was idiot proof, it could be thrown from anywhere. Now they must have a COMPETANT chaffeur who know how to place the ladder properly. This voided their originial guiding principle. Not to mention, they dont fight fires from the outside very much where this company is.

    With so many people being inexperienced in that area, they needed an idiot proof rig. It is no longer idiot proof because it is very difficult to place if not impossible at over half of the district.

    Shoot me some more ideas and stories.

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