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  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Forward or reverse

    Here in Atlanta we currently have our Engines set up to perform reverse hose lay's.Standard lay on a working fire is 2-3" lines, one connected to a water thief and the other 3" open. The 3"in on the thief is hooked to 2-1 3/4 handlines.If heavy exposures are present we can drop either a stinger or 2 1/2 handline.My question is this:How many of you out there still use this tactic? We can lay forward and pull cross lay's, but the plugman must take the double females and the driver needs to connect his double males.In my opinon we should do more forward lay's and thats what we try to do at my company. Just curious as to what everyone else does! THANKS.

  2. #2
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are set up do forward lays. We carry 1600 feet of 3" hose as the supply line, split into 2 beds of 800 feet each. There is one area of the city where the water pressure is low, in that area the second due engine will reverse lay from the first due engine to the hydrant.

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

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use 4" for supply lines. Our engines are set up with the male end out (reverse lay,) but we leave a double female on the male end to allow for a forward or reverse lay. If we are in an area where we need to lay in (closest hydrant sucks, so lay in from larger main) we can lay in.

    Normally the second in engine reverse lays to the hydrant to ensure the necessary water volume is pumped to the attack pumper, thus relieving the attack pumper from anything but attack.

    Attack lines on our engines are taken off the rear - 1.75" with TFT or smooth bores, take your pick (TFT are pulled the most.) Attack lines from aerials are crosslayed with TFT. We use 2.5" to extend a preconnect 1.75" line greater than 200'. The 2.5" is flat laid with a preattached nozzle, but must be pulled dry and attached at the pump for use as an attack line.

    Not the best system, but I like the hoselines from the rear. They stay out of the operator's way and you pull past the house to see three sides when you line up the tailboard just past the house.

    Industrial/commercial fires are the same, except we pull the 2.5" and wye that to 2-1.75" lines or attack with the 2.5".

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We had our pumper set up w/5" supply, 600' each in a split hose bed. One side was reverse lay with a water thief, which we'd pull with our pre-connects, then lay to the hydrant. (Normal reverse lay)

    The other side had a Hydrant valve (sorry, I forget the brand), that allowed a forward lay direct, but a second in pumper could connect to a side outlet, "steal" the hydrant water to his intake, then pump back to an inlet on the other side, which boosted the flow to us. All without interrupting our supply.

    Best of both worlds, unless you needed all 1200' at once. In that case, there was a double male-double female on the end of the water thief, and you stopped twice, once at scene/hydrant, and once half-way, to connect the two halves together.

    How many depts still do this with a split hose bed? And does anyone else use the 4-way hydrant valve anymore?

  5. #5
    Detroit Fire
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey there in atlanta . In Detroit we use only reverse lays that way the truck can get right up in frount of the house and put up the stick and get to all the tools. that way the FEO always knows that there is a good Hyd with good water. I worked in Atlanta fo 3 years at station 29

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    //How many depts still do this with a split hose bed?


    //And does anyone else use the 4-way hydrant valve anymore?

    Sure, but you lose 30% of your flow in a forward lay and up to 70 psi when pumped. Odds are you are always better not to use it and buy a siamese and gate valve at a lot less cost.

    Course not to mention you've tied up a pumper pumping a line so at best you'll move 50% to 100 percent of one rigs pump capacity, simply laying a second line in would have doubled the flow and freed a pumper and crew.

    In almost all cases going up one hose size makes the valve useless and the cost of the valve will pay for the increase in hose diameter.

    If you lay beyond say 4000 feet you might be able to make a special case for the valve, but probably not.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello Lt.Todd fromCape Cod,Ma.
    In mt Dept. of 44 Line FF,our Engines carry from 1,000' to 1,200' of 4" supply line.
    We are lucky to have a hydrant every 500' in our town with minium 8" h2o main. Very few left in town. Also out engines are 1,250 pumps. Norm we pull up w/3-side view to leave roomfor the truck co. on a residential or taxpayer. Our 4" is (sexless)storz connection. We use humat valve in case need to pump hydrant.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We almost always do a forward lay, using 5" (1000' on each rig). Can't think of the last time we did a "true" reverse lay at a fire -- second engine sometimes lays from the attack pumper to the plug, though. Usual M.O. is to have the first engine go straight in and the second engine (or tower) make a forward lay from the plug and supply it.

    Nice about 5" with Storz couplings -- doesn't matter which way you lay it!

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At our dept. we also use 5" storz with 1000'. That way you can lay either way. Worked real well recently. We had a fire with possible entrapment. First due engine went directly to the house for rescue. The second due did a forward lay to the first pumper.

    Also depends on the situation--if no smoke is showing we usually don't lay intil we get to the structure. And if confirmed we reverse to the hydrant and our second comes in and hooks up.

    Depends on rescue, eta, exposure, etc... Usually second is real close.
    Fishers Fire Dept.
    Local 416

    [This message has been edited by ME93 (edited 12-19-2000).]

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Clarification on my earlier post and comments.

    I'm aware of the problems with loss going through the 4-way. It was a small (30 member) Vol. dept, w/3 primary and 2 reserve pumpers, and 1 tanker. Also, the area was mixed, with some suburban w/good hydrants, some suburban but on rural water (hydrants sparse, and many low flow) and some rural (no hydrants at all). All of it was very hilly, so many lays were up hill.

    In the areas with hydrants, normal SOP was to lay 2 lines if hydrant was close (less than what's in each side of the bed on the 1st in).

    However, many of the new sub-divisions were recent developments along a state hiway, fed by the rural water system. Most had a single hydrant where the entrance road came off the hiway, and were dead ends. If the address was "in the back", then 1st in (my pumper, usually) layed forward, then reverse sides of the bed, so the 4-way was at the hydrant. 2nd in came to scene to drop personnel & tools, then laid second line back out to the hydrant. They needed the 4-way so they could give us the boost without breaking our supply (which was iffy at best).

    Likewise, in some areas, there wasn't a hydrant at all (or it was no good), so the same setup works, only now the pumper at the hiway is drafting from porta-tanks dropped by the tanker, which is doing relay duty (along w/3rd pumper, both reserves, and possibly M/A).

    I never saw us fight a house fire w/ more than 1 pumper actually working "on scene". Only when the grocery store in town burned (that one we had several good hydrants, thank God).

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use 5" with Stortz couplings, so we can go either way but typically we forward lay. However, the last time I laid supply line, I did a reverse lay. The IC wanted a forward lay, but with prior knowledge of the area, I knew that there was a hydrant about 300 feet closer, just around the corner of the side street.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    To LT, I think you are understanding that LDH is a better way to go to move water however I understand that you are looking for ways to improve your current 3" capabilities. Here is some food for thought.

    First in pump goes to work on tank water. A 500 gallon booster tank can go a long way on a initial interior attack. I think it is always important to leave room for the truck company but I don't think a reverse lay is the answer for that. Spotting the first in companies keeping the truck in mind can usually take care of that.

    Instead of laying the two 3" lines to the manifold and what ever else you mentioned, why not bring both lines into the pumper on scene allowing maximum water . Its easier for a pumper on scene to deploy and properly pump lines than from a pumper at a distant hydrant which could be several hundred feet away .It is also a good idea to put a pump on the hydrant to move the water to the pump on scene especially in a large flow operation using 3" hose. You would be surprized how much dual 3" lines can move. In fact if need be a second engine could even lay two more lines (4 total) if the water is in the ground to support it.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    [//And does anyone else use the 4-way hydrant valve anymore?

    Sure, but you lose 30% of your flow in a forward lay and up to 70 psi when pumped. Odds are you are always better not to use it and buy a siamese and gate valve at a lot less cost.

    LHS, please describe the conditions of the test that was done. The appliances used and hose. I would like to recreate the conditions as I heard this before and would like to confirm this. We were using 3' with a humat valve and have switched to 5". I want to do the math and figure out a better way.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I believe that you could be more flexible if you split your hose bed and could do both forward or reverse lays. There are so many variables that can effect your situation that it would be best to have both options available to you. i.e. Which end of the block did you enter from, and where is the closest hydrant (in front or behind you)? And, what are the pressures of those hydrants? How far behind is the next due company that is available to give a supply? How much fire do you have on arrival?

    I agree with Paulie, that the "ideal" situation puts the first due engine in front and goes to work using their tank. The second due engine can back down, drop a supply line and lead to a hydrant. But, this all depends on what line you are going to pull (large or small), and how fast you will use your tank. Also, how far back is you next due engine? If there are any doubts either bring water with you, or lead to the hydrant after dropping your thief. It all depends on the situation you are faced with. But, the more options you have to work from will provide for a better fire attack.

    Stay Safe!

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There are plenty of examples of dead crews when one rig relied on another to bring them water.

    I'd ratherr bring my own. Always lay two 3 inch lines, use a carlin valve so you don't have to leave a hydrant man and leave a 4 way attached to one leg. That way you can boost it if needed.

    3 inch hose is a real poor idea for supply of the attack piece unless you are in san francisco and using 300 psi hydrants. The hose limits your options and risks firefighter safety.

  16. #16
    ENGINE 52
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Our Engines can perform forward or reverse drops. We have the appliances to perform both. Most of drops are forward but we have drop reverse lines. When we reverse out we drop from an engine on side 1 of the fire building to a water source.

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    3" works just fine for interior attack flows in an urban setting. If I laid 4000' of hose i'd pass 20-odd hydrants.

    My department uses 800' 3" with a humat valve and 800' 4" stortz. Sop is for the 1st engine to forward lay (or split if nec) to the front, 2nd to the rear. 3rd Pumps #1, 4th pumps #2. Usually third due is at the hydrant before the first due finishes laying.

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use 5" with stortz connections. 1st in engine goes to work on the fire with a full crew and the 2nd in engine brings the water.

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    //3" works just fine for interior attack flows in an urban setting. //

    //My department uses 800' 3" with a humat valve and 800' 4" stortz//

    You means sorta works????????

    Let's see it works so good you have to have a pumper pump it!!!! No pumper on hydrant on the 3 inch you've got a supply problem. If the three inch works so well, what is the 4 inch for? Carrying both sounds like a contradiction to me.

    The 4" without a four way and without the pumper flows the same amount as the 3 inch with the 4 way and the pumper. How does pumping 5 times the pressure through a 3 inch line make any sense?

    I'm sure this suppose to make sense but I'm sorry, it doesn't. You list Washington DC, so that means 1250 gpm pumper, to supply it to capacity you only need a hydrant with 260 psi flow pressure I know you don't have those. Of couse that is based upon your 4000 foot pass 20 hydrant distance needs. If you lay the whole bed all you'd need is a 1040 psi hydrant or throttle up a bit at the hydrant.

    Oh please explain all this to us.

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We still use a split lay. In our town the hydrant spacing is good but the pressure sucks, so even with a supply pumper we have to call for someone from public works to cut on the auxillary town water pump. Instaed of using a four way valve we usually gate both side connections of the hydrant, that is if the hydrant actually has a steamer connection on it. Most of our hydrants have only 2 2 1/2" discharges. I wonder how many towns still have those?

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