1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post FOWARD or REVERSE Hose Lay

    I would like some input on how your hose Lays are set up and which you PREFER, and does your first on Scene engine attack with Tank water or Lay Line to the Fire, this depend on the situation I know but any info would be Helpfull

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department sets up their engines with a flat, reverse lay 1000' of 4" hose, but we leave a double female on the exposed male coupling allowing us to do a forward lay if needed. Our first in pumper attacks the fire with tank water with the second in pumper establishing a supply. Whether the first or second engine or the ladder catches the supply depends on the distance to the hydrant . The IC makes the call, but SOP is for the second engine to catch a supply unless the IC states otherwise.

    Our pumpers also carry a 30' piece of 4" in the front bumper preconnected to allow a reverse lay to a hydrant. This eliminates having two LDH hoses off the side pump panel, blocking the operator. The short piece of LDH also allows for a quick fill of an engine at a hydrant, it's easy to pull, connect and load being at bumper height. The valve is air operated for slow opening and is located at the pump panel.

    If we travel out of our district or to a newly annexed area without hydrants, the first in engine will drop its 4" at the street/corner (wherever the best spot is for a supply engine or water shuttle) with an adaptor from our thread to 5" storz (county standard) to allow mutul aid engines/tankers to supply our 4". There are three levels of supply in the county system:

    Level 1 - Pumper to Pumper
    Level 2 - Tankers rotating supply through the "rural hitch"
    Level 3 - Full water shuttle
    "rural hitch" is a LDH siamese with 5" storz connections on both the inlets and the outlet. The siamese is gated allowing for one side to be supplied while the other is being hooked up.

    This may have been confusing to follow - we rarely utilize the county system, we will relay pump 1500' before calling for tankers if we can avoid them. Nothing against water shuttles, but a 90 second hookup to a hydrant is a lot faster than calling for tankers.

    Our urban water supply system is excellent. Most often the second in engine gets the supply with a forward or reverse lay off their truck.

    I forgot to add, we don't usually pass hydrants without catching them. In other words the second in pumper will usually catch the last hydrant between them and the fire resulting in a forward lay.

    [This message has been edited by benson911 (edited October 19, 1999).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We do both with about the same frequency. I prefer a reverse lay to a corner hydrant. This puts an engine at two exposures if possible. Also puts an engine in position to relay pump. Our first engine uses tank water with A foam (500 gal/25gal respectfully). As you said, fireground conditions will dictate the most appropriate means.
    Stay Safe...

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department uses hose with stortz couplings. Thus there is no forward or reverse lays. This also gives us the flexibility to lay in or lay out depending on the situation.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department uses mostly reverse lays. The main hose bed has a bed of 5" hose(1000ft), a bed of 2 1/2"(400ft) with a 1 1/4" tip and a bed of 2 1/2"(600ft) connected to a gated wye that has a 150ft 1 3/4" with a 7/8" tip.

    Most of the time the first engine drops at the fire and leads out to the hydrant to leave the front of the building for the truck company. We also carry two crosslays the front is 150ft of 1 3/4"(car fires) and the rear 200ft 1 1/2"(foam operations).

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use 5 inch with stortz couplings.
    It depends on which captain is on duty, my captain will bring a line in with us if he see's fire and smoke, even if we are first in. Some of the other captains will only let the second in engine bring in the line.

    Be good and safe.

    Joe Decker
    Local 3905

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We lay a line in if an officer is on scene and orders us to do so or we see that we got a large fire, otherwise we go straight in and the second in engine reverse lays to hydrant.In our rural areas, we forward lay in and the next in engine supplies us.We do have several buildings in our area that we will also split lay.WE carry 1300'5" flat laid

  8. #8
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We carry both 4" with Stortz couplings and 3" with threaded couplings. Our quint is setup with 600' of 4" and 600' of 3" packed for forward lay, while our engine is setup with 1000' of 4" and 600' of 3" packed for reverse lay.

    Generally, the quint sets up initial attack from tank water and we use 4" on a reverse lay from the engine for supply. Of course, actual hose lays vary based on situation, access, etc., but reverse 4" is the "default" lay.

    Personally, I would like to see forward as the "default" lay, but I'm decidedly in the minority.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Bob, I agree with you.....I think the forward lay is better in most cases particularly when using LDH. Surprised that is a minority view. We use forward lays in our department using 5" Stortz. Puts the equipment at the fire, where we need it (we don't use truck companys). I'm surprised at the number of departments who use reverse lays.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well, I don't run on an engine company...but of course I run 'with' them.

    In PG County, the standard seems to be +/-1200' of 3" supply line, split, so as to be able to drop dual 3" lines. Most companies drop at least a single line for all fire calls as they approach the scene, and then would make the attack off of tank water until the second arriving pumper picked up their line. Layout instructions are given by the first arriving engine, i.e. "Engine 112 on the scene, side 1, have the next arriving engine pick up my line at 8811 60th avenue". Typically the first and second engines relay to side 1, while the third and fourth relay to side 3. When the hydrant is quite close to the building, the pumper will take it with it's 6" soft sleeve off the bumper and back stretch a handline.

    Most layouts are less than 400', and hydrant pressure is usually around 100psi.

    Some wagons in the county are equipped with 5" LDH.

  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    With nothing showing enroute and just a single phone call, we'll stage the 2nd due at the hydrant to lay in if needed.

    Multiple calls or smoke showing enroute, the first due grabs it. If the 2nd in is close behind they'll make the tap, if not one of the 1st in crew makes it.

    When in doubt, lay in from the hydrant. You can always pick up the line, but you can't unburn the building.

    5" LDH (storz) to the steamer and a gate valve on the 2-1/2" towards the fire. With the hydrant gate you get to tap the hydrant again with another 5" if needed, or relieve pressure on the hose when breaking it down. An additional 2-1/2" to 5" storz is in the hydrant bag in case the steamer cap is stuck.

    Hose beds on each engine are set up to make the following lays:

    1 1200' lay; or,
    2 - 600' lays; or,
    drive by lay to 1200'

    SBrooks, I don't want to start a debate, but I'm just wondering why 3" lines for supply when a single 5" will move almost 3 times the water?


  12. #12
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yea, Snowman, I'm surprised about the reverse lays myself...I kind of expected to be in a minority that would take some criticism. I honestly think that there are three reasons that I can't sell forward lays as the "default" in my company:

    1. People don't want to lay in and have to repack 4" all the time.
    2. #1 hasn't really caused problems over the years because we generally get the quint and an engine to the scene at about the same time, so the quint can position while the engine lays out.
    3. As long as #2 is true, there really is very little effect on fireground operations by using reverse lays, so there isn't a major push to rearrange things.

    My feeling, though, is that we should have the engineers always thinking "forward". They can always turn around and use the reverse if there is an engine immediately available to do it, rather than always thinking "reverse" and having to adjust based on radio traffic, line of sight, or whatever.

    I admit that I tend to think in worst-case scenarios most of the time (like, it's the first day of buck season and most stations are lucky if they can get one rig on the road quickly). Am I making too much of this? I'd like some opinions.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm also suprised to see that reverse seems to be the majority. Perhaps because my city's hydrant system is in less than perfect condition, we (almost) always use a forward lay. There's a fair chance that you might not get to a operable hydrant if you lay out(Murphy strikes again ). The apparatus use 4" LDH. First in engine to fire. Second due grab hydrant. Rescue/pumper rarely lays since hosebed is so small (500').

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Because of the 2-in/2-out and other reasons we lay a supply line in (foward lay) whenever there is reason, like smoke showing or very panicy police officers :-). It takes so little time to drop a line, and our area has so many hydrants our lays are usually short. If for some reason we don't lay a line, the second due engine will do a forward lay to first due engine.

    In the past, working for a rural department that had NO hydrants, it was common to do a reverse lay with a 3" horizontal standpipe so that the engine could get to a location that the porta-tank could be deployed. IT was also common for the first due engine or mini-pumper (on narrow drives taht the engine couldn't make it up) to lay a dry supply line from the main road so that the second due engine could pump water to the foward pumper from the porta-tank. In other situations, the second due engine could lay a reverse lay from the foward pumper to a static water supply and draft.

    So, I guess it depends on your situtaion.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    S. Cook: you'll not start a debate to me! I agree there is no really good reason for 3" rather than 5", except perhaps: "thats the way we've always done it"

    More likely it is the money issue...most of the money in the county (now that the volunteers cant run casino nights) goes to ff salaries. As far as equipment is concerned, the county bought stuff is always low low bid (ferrara, etc).

    In fairness, we have pretty good municipal water service, usually with 2-3 hydrants within 600' of any location, usually on 8-12" mains (or even 96"!!) at good pressure. We have 4 engine companies dispatched on non-sfr smoke or fire, which gives us 4-8 pumpers. At least in my area the wagons are pretty good about laying in, even with nothing evident, so it gets put down and picked up a lot.

    There are two "water supply units" in the county equipped with 2000'? of 5" and 2000gpm pumps, I believe they are dispatched on all 2d alarms, or when requested by command or the run sheet. I can think of 3 or 4 engine companies that pack 5", vs. 4 or 5 that definitely don't. I can't speak intelligently of the other 40-odd companies in the county.

    I would guess that 5" is something that is somewhere on the list of things that the county "would like to buy".

  16. #16
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I understand Brooks. What's non-sfr mean?

  17. #17
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Not too sure what these "hydrant" things are you keep referring to. When we go to a fire we bring the water with us and start tanker shuttles if necessary. The first arriving engine makes the call based on geography and what's showing. Where can we best position the dump tank(s) and relay pump? If there's visible smoke and fire showing, the driver better have a real good reason for not laying the line. It's a real *#$2* to back up a 600 foot driveway that doesn't have a turnaround at the residence. Every driver has usually had the experience of picking up unused 4 inch hose and also of being caught short and they all agree that picking up the unused hose is preferable.

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All of my engines are set up with 1500+ feet of 5" hose and 1000gal tank. If there is a chief on scene it is his call. If it is a report of occupants within and the 2nd due engine is on the road we will go with tank water and let the 2nd reverse lay. Most of the time due to dead end streets and/or long driveways we will forward lay or split lay with the first due.
    Storz couplings and multiple adapter types make any lay easy.

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    HFD carries 900' of 4" LDH on every Engine Co. The new guidelines call for the 1st. Engine and Truck Co. to come into the fire with the Engine using tank water. The 2nd. due Engine Co. comes into the fire also without laying. This allows the 2nd. due to put its crew at the fire to stretch another line if needed or assist with another assignment. The 2nd. Engine Co. is then in a good position to reverse lay to a plug. If reverse laying is not possible then the the 3rd. due Engine Co. can grab the plug. For the most part 1st. due HFD Engine Co.'s have always "tanked" everything. This allows a good initial knockdown or at minimum allows for a holding action to be initiated while the primary search is being conducted. We use 4" LDH with threaded couplings loaded for forward lays. The new guidelines call for an Engine at the plug for any lay over 100'. This can be accomplished easily with a reverse lay. We are in the process of getting 6" soft suction for our Engine Co.'s. Our DTO's (District Training Officers) are also advocating the maimization of every plug used now. This means that 2-4" supply lines off the plug may become the norm with 3-4" lines possible. All that is needed to be done is add a couple of 2 1/2" to 4" adapters on the plug when it is hooked up to. We actually did this drilling one day and had 3-4" supply lines into the pumper with 2-4" lines going out. All you got to do is think outside the box. Just my thoughts. Be safe.


  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Ditto here on the number of reverse lays, although I realize it depends on department/equipment/situation.

    Since going to 5" Storz, forward lay is our SOP. 1st eng goes to fire and starts attack w/tank water, 2nd looks for/stages at hydrant, pending orders to make the lay. 1st eng has option to drop a line on the way in, but (due to manpower) it is (usually) left dry until 2nd eng comes along to finish connect. All engines now have 1000+ ft of 5" and 4-6-or 800' of 3" depending on hosebed. Course, they have stuff to make reverse lay if needed.

    I personally like the forward lay, realizing we could have problems with an extremly long lay and have to put an eng in the middle somewhere...but we haven't faced that yet. I like having the engines at scene where/if you need them. Of course we have run into congested scenes before (apt complex w/limited parking lot access) where 5" kinda limited access/placement of snorkel, quint, etc. Like Larry(Sta 2) said though, maybe a little thinking outside of box (or better preplanning) would solve this. I'm anxious to see how we handle this because we're about to start our first Truck Co.

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    sfr=single family residence

  22. #22
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our Typical response in order is an engine, tanker, engine, with automatic mutual aid. If we have reason we lay in (5" stortz). Then begin a nurse operation. The tanker has a 5" clappered siamese. The tanker will begin to supply the opreration while the porta tank is set up. The first M/A tanker will fill the porta tank. The second engine will take the other end of the siamese and supply the porta tank water if the tanker runs dry. (3000 gal) This way you have adequate water almost from the get go.

  23. #23
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Where I come from we always do a forward layout going in. If you don't know where the hydrant is than layout from the first hydrant you see going into the scene. The second engine always picks up the first engine supply line. We do a split lay going into dead end street. We always lay out except if we are the only station due on the call. We will use tank water until the next piece arrives.

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