Thread: 3" Hand Attack Line?
12-01-2000, 03:14 PM #1dandanfiremanFirehouse.com Guest
3" Hand Attack Line?
Please forgive the newbie question. I responded to a structure fire with a neighboring department yesterday and found something that was a little different from the way we do it. My initial assignment was to man a 3" handline. While this was a lot of fun muscleing that thing around, is it standard to use that size line? FYI, the fire was a fully involved 4 room house.
12-01-2000, 03:30 PM #2CorvinFirehouse.com Guest
Depends on a bunch of different considerations. A fully involved house might require enough GPM that three lines were needed. Perhaps there were three exposures that needed addressing. Maybe someone wanted you to have some practice on line handling.
Many times on interior attacks our dept places an attack line, a support/search/attack line and a third line left outside for the RIT team.
12-01-2000, 06:06 PM #3Lt.ToddFirehouse.com Guest
NEVER! If a fire requires the GPM's that a 3" line will flow then a deludge gun or stinger is a much better and safer choice.For one man to operate a 3" line the GPM's and PSI would have to be lowered to a point that the line would be rendered ineffective.
You said fully involved. If there was no exposure problems, a couple of 1 3/4 and a 2 1/2 should be more then enough. Dont let poor tactics get you hurt.
12-01-2000, 08:05 PM #4pokeyfd12Firehouse.com Guest
DanDan, that must have been one helluva fire.
In almost all circumstances, anything above a 2-1/2 inch line is considered a "supply line" and really should not be used as a manned attack line but can be used for exposure protection with a monitor, deluge gun or exposure nozzle.
As Lt. Todd said, the deluge gun or monitor is the safest way to do things if the fire has progressed that far. As he also said, for a 3-inch line to be effective, it would have to be manned by numerous personnel and I shiver to think of what would happen should something go wrong. A 3-inch line wih a gated wye or a water thief would be a good choice if more line placement is needed but I would use deluge guns, tower ladders or aerials to cover that much involvement.
Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)
12-01-2000, 11:19 PM #5sohardyFirehouse.com Guest
Not Freakin' gonna happen!!!!!
12-01-2000, 11:46 PM #6Detroit FireFirehouse.com Guest
Never: set up the water tower ,use a deck gun.Requires too much man power
12-02-2000, 12:02 AM #7S. CookFirehouse.com Guest
We use a 3" handline flowing 600gpm or more when the need arises. It is handled safely with 2 firefighters.
Generally the only problem is dragging the thing around, although pulling it in a straight line isn't too hard.
Training is the key.
12-02-2000, 12:33 AM #8LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
Cities like San Francisco have used 3 inch attack lines for decades. The only sense it makes with low flow nozzles, 250 to 328 gpm is that they already own the hose. 2 inc hose in almost all cases will attain those kinds of flows. 2 1/2" and 3 inch attack lines are tradition like a chrome bell, leather helmet, alloy wheels, etc.
Hmmm, Does it make any sense? 250 gpm from a 3 inch hose limits you to a 5250 foot attack line. In most cases you can attack all your first in fires from the station.
2 1/2" does it make sense at 250 gpm? Your limited to 1600 foot attack lines.
How about 2 inch? Limited to 500 foot attack lines at 250 gpm.
I don't know about you but I've only been on one fire that required an attack line 800 feet long inside a structure fire. I'llnever need a one mile attack line. But 500 footers pretty much means I can handle any building on any block no matter where we park the rig.
2 1/2" and 3 inch hose for 250 gpm...seems like over kill. Everyday 200 gpm flows from 1 3/4" hose make lots of sense to me.
Pull a big line''' 2 1/2" or 3 inch the flow better be way up there 500 gpm plus to make any hydraulic sense. Especiallty in these days of two guys on a line and 3 on a rig.
12-02-2000, 04:35 AM #9RDWFIREFirehouse.com Guest
Not a bad question "newby" My opinion is that 3" is too large for an attack line. S. Cook....are you telling us that you can actually MOVE a handline flowing 600 gpm?
Dandan....if we need an attack line, we use 1 3/4". Good flows, fairly easy to move around (as long as the flows are less than 250 gpm). If you need flows as high as 600 gpm...you are at the master stream flows, and these are STATIONARY lines. 2 1/2" handlines are HARD work, as even the toughest companies will tell you. If your fire is big enough to require fire flows in excess of 500 gpm, you are in an exterior attack mode.
Be safe. The dragon lurks!!!
[This message has been edited by RDWFIRE (edited 12-02-2000).]
12-02-2000, 05:20 PM #10fireseekerFirehouse.com Guest
If I were to apply to NFA formula for figuring the gpm I would need to fight a particular fire effectively. The use of a 3" line flowing 600 gpm means that I am fighting a fire involving approx. 1800 sq.ft if my calculations are correct. Now, maybe it's just me, but I need to question why I would be sent inside to fight a fire involving 1800 sq/ft. Can't see the benefit, sorry. Too much risk, not enough benefit for me.
12-02-2000, 07:41 PM #11S. CookFirehouse.com Guest
"S. Cook....are you telling us that you can actually MOVE a handline flowing 600 gpm?"
Yes, move it but not advance it while flowing. From a sitting position, we work the nozzle, you know, side to side, up and down, make big circles. Repositioning the line requires shutting the gate valve and dragging the line where you want it.
"but I need to question why I would be sent inside to fight a fire involving 1800 sq/ft."
You may not be going inside. On the fireground from the outside among other fires, we've killed a fully involved attic of a 5,000 square foot building in about 10 seconds with it. All that was left was a room and contents in the kitchen area that was handled with a single 1-3/4".
[This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 12-02-2000).]
12-03-2000, 10:12 PM #12Fireman488Firehouse.com Guest
Good question. The only foolish/newbie question is the one which isn't asked!!!
I agree whole-heartedly with Pokeyfd12.
Anything larger than a 2 1/2 inch line, should be considered a supply line.
If a 2 1/2 inch line isn't sufficient, a portable deluge gun would be an alternative.
The deluge gun could be supplied with 3 inch lines.
Stay low and stay safe.
12-04-2000, 01:14 PM #13ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
I've seen several departments in my area use 3" hose for larger attack lines, 250 or 300 GPM. Their main reason is to conserve hosebed space by not having to carry the extra 2.5" hose.
If your using traditional nozzles, solid or fog, then I'd stick with 2.5" hose. But if your utilizing newer technology, The Vindicator, then a 3" would make more sense. Two firefighters can easily ADVANCE 400 + GPM with a Vindicator Blitz Attack.
Oh by the way the Vindicator has just received more praise, This time from Industrial Fire Journal in their sept. 2000 issue.
If your looking for giant flows you should look into the Vindicator on your 3" line, and not just a bigger smooth bore. It's far safer and more versatile at the real high flows.
12-04-2000, 01:57 PM #14chiefjay4Firehouse.com Guest
2 1/2" should be your biggest attack handline inside or out. 3" hose should be used not for supply(use 4 or 5"), but for deck guns, gated wye's, master streams.
12-04-2000, 10:11 PM #15LooperFirehouse.com Guest
We generally use 2" lines with 350 gpm nozzles for "big" interior water. We have used 3" handlines (spare 350 gpm nozzle or 300 gpm playpipe) for defensive attack, or if the 2" lines are already in use. One person can handle it in a defensive mode.
12-05-2000, 09:32 AM #16TXFIRE6Firehouse.com Guest
3" hose is NOT and attack line. 3" and larger is considered supply hose. 2 1/2 is the biggest line to be used as a hand line.Safety is the main concern. Use deck guns, or monitors if it requires larger lines.
Any Opinion expressed, are my own, and do not reflect my Department...RB
12-07-2000, 12:24 AM #17StaylowFirehouse.com Guest
3 inch line should not be used in confined structure fires where the area is compartmentalized. Multiple 1 3/4 lines are your best, and safest choice. Large attack lines, like 3 inch, can be most effectively used in industrial buildings where the fire load requires large gpm's and penetration.
In San Francisco we use 3 inch for supply on upper floors. We wye off two 1 3/4 lines off of each 3 inch supply line. We would rather maintain maneuverability in an aggressive interior attack with multiple lines at work than commit a majority of our people to one unmaneuverable large line. The only time we will use it as an attack line are with warehouses or garage fires. We use it with a minimum of three people and with a smooth bore nozzle. We do not drag it down hallways as an attack line, but it could be done slowly, just as others use 2 1/2 inch. We are very fortunate to have a great water supply system and no shortage of manpower.
12-11-2000, 11:13 AM #18BIG PAULIEFirehouse.com Guest
The largest line I like using for a heavy attack is a 2-1/2" but if your department only has 3" it will work well. Let's face it High flowing lines like we are talking about generally are not advanced while in full flow for two reasons,FIRST If the fire is requireing that much water to knockdown then it's probabably too hot to advance into and SECOND at that high of a flow it's generaly too awkward and dangerous to advance.I think we need to remember where high flow handlines are usually needed. For the big hit on a large fire. If interior high flow is needed then the smaller 1-3/4" and 2" are deffinately more manuverable but you have to be ready to pump higher pressures to get the 250 to 300 gpm flows. Some talk about a portable appliance taking the place of a 3" handle. In a quick attack situation for a first due company a 3" handline flowing 500 gpm will be alot faster to deploy than a portable monitor. TFT now makes a mini monitor called the blitz fire that can be deployed probably just as quick as a handline the only difference being that it will be some what heavier than a handline nozzle and a little more awkward to deploy.
12-12-2000, 05:14 PM #19First-DueFirehouse.com Guest
WOW and I thought a 2 1/2 was BIG!!!
First what is your manpower? I would think you would need at least 4 ff to at least ff to handle that line. And I hope a 3" line is not used for interior ops.
12-12-2000, 06:37 PM #20BIG PAULIEFirehouse.com Guest
First-Due, On a 2-1/2" preconnected 200' handline it takes one firefighter to pull the line and SIT on it to make a 400gpm hit. Again this is not an advancing line. Any target that can be hit with 4 firefighters standing can be hit easier and safer with one sitting. Try a smooth bore tip 1-1/4"@ 80 psi NP or a 1-3/8" tip @ 50 psi NP.
12-13-2000, 10:26 PM #21FF/EMTSPANBAUERFirehouse.com Guest
"Newbie" All I can say is Welcome to the Fire Service.
The first department I belonged to felt that it was neccessary to have a 3" attack line as one of their 1st due pumper's pre-connects. Not a very brilliant plan. As I am sure you found out, it is a monster. If you think back to essentials class, you might remember how they taught you that one gallon of water = approx. 8 lbs. Well, I can assure you that in 50 ft. of 3" hose, you are probably looking at 25-30 gallons. Quick math ------>= 200 lbs. right there. Not what I would want to be going into a fire with.
Can it knock down some fire?? Sure it can. However, like the Lt.'s and other members said, so can your master streams. A fully involved house, is just that, fully involved. If there are any exposure problems, solve them with a couple of 1 3/4" or duece and 1/2's. Don't wear yourself out to the point of exaustion by using a handline, that in the end, isn't really going to effect the outcome of the fire.
--Stay Safe, and Remember our Fallen Brothers and Sisters; John
01-10-2001, 03:35 AM #22rfd241Firehouse.com Guest
3" is used for supplying handlines, not actually being used as a handline. not really a good idea, I agree with most of the other guys that 2 1/2" is pretty much as high as an attack line should go.
01-10-2001, 01:49 PM #23RJEFirehouse.com Guest
This is old news, and I have no idea whether they still do it this way, but....
The vollie dept I was on had few hydrants, and those had only 2-1/2 outlets, so we used mostly 3" (w/2-1/2" fittings) hose for supply lines.
Since this was what we had, we also used it for "attack" lines. In reverse lay or long setback situations, we'd use a water thief, and (typically) two 1-3/4" hand lines, with the thief supplied by a 3".
But I remember one fire, a 1500 sq. ft. ranch that was "thru the roof" on our arrival. (delayed alarm in a rural setting). We went "surround and drown", using the deck gun from the front, but because of access, we couldn't get around it. We used a stinger on one side, and all lines off the water thief on the other.
On the water thief, the 2-1/2 outlet had 100' of 3", and a selectable gallonage nozzle. Normally, we had these set for 250gpm, but for this one, we upped it to "max", which I think was 400gpm. Of course, we couldn't move it much, but this was "exterior ops" anyway, so it didn't matter.
There were many times, though, that I remember pulling 3" into commercial structures, flowing 250 or 300gpm.
01-10-2001, 05:16 PM #24axmanFirehouse.com Guest
Wow a 3" hand line, you must have had a tough time handling this line, did you use this line as an attack line inside on the structure? Getting that line around corners on the house must have been a real problem if that is what you used it for. I can see a use for this size of line for supply or for use with a master stream appliance.
STAY SAFE ALL OF MY BROTHERS.
01-10-2001, 11:46 PM #25BayRidge60Firehouse.com Guest
While it is true that 3" lines are normally used as supply lines, they can be used as hand lines. I wouldn't recommend using it for an interior attack, but it can work (even with only 1 person)for surround and drown situations. All you need to do is loop the nozzle end of the hose around on the ground leaving enough of the end so that you can work the nozzle and then sit on it. Then you can work the stream up and down and back and forth as needed. I've done this a couple of times and have had no problem.
Bay Ridge Fire-Rescue
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