Reading the resent topic about rural water supply, it spawned a question about water shuttles. None of my surrounding departments have folding dump tanks. This is because they use their tankers as a dump tanks and use the engines for the shuttle. Being in a city with roughly 85% of the district covered by hydrants, we encounter this tactic mostly on mutual aid. Most of the time, our engine drops off its crew at the scene and then the driver and sometimes one other person stay with the truck to shuttle water. The engine will go to the fill site where another engine is stationed there to fill the shuttle engines. Once the truck is filled, then it will dump its load of water into the tanker at the scene. The tanker then supplies the attack engine at the scene of the fire. The tanker is used as a ďrolling hydrant.Ē It seems to work fairly well and I cannot think of any downfalls of this system. This could work so well in this area because:
a) we have big tankers, 5500-7000 gallon 18 wheelers all over the county.
b) engines are plentiful. Most departments have around 3 pumpers; some with more.
6 shuttle engines with 1000 gallon tanks can move a large volume of water in a short amount of time. Is there anywhere that uses this system? What do you think about it? Is it less efficient then the folding dump tank system that most rural departments employ?
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Thread: Does anyone else do this?
01-14-2001, 01:13 AM #1InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Does anyone else do this?
01-14-2001, 06:50 AM #2HHoffmanFirehouse.com Guest
Most tanker operations I have seen use 2500 to 4000 gal. tankers with large dump valves. GPM at the fire depends on fill time, driving time, dump time and amount of water moved. I would think that in your system your dump time would slow things down.
Henry C. Hoffman Jr.
01-14-2001, 01:55 PM #3Les.HFirehouse.com Guest
In the UK we spend a lot of time in the summer months doing water relay shuttles when the forest catches fire or a barn goes up. Each appliance in our county carries 350 gallons. We can either do a water relay from the nearest water supply (hydrant or lake) and put pumpers in ever 14 legnths or carry the water in the appliances. It is then either dumped into a makeshift tank made up of a tarpaulin and ladders or into the main tank.
Many a happy month I have spent suttling water too and fro for a major fire situation. No need to do this in the towns, only rural fires. Practice makes purfect and the times for a shuttle can be quite quick. The other, less stressful way is to ask for a water bowser (1500 gals) and do it that way. Had a barn fire three weeks ago and I asked for the bowser to attend from another station. Saves me worrying about water.
Kindest regards & keep safe,
01-14-2001, 02:45 PM #4MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
With a large tanker to "nurse" the pumper, you kind of combine several port-a-ponds into the capacity of the nursing tanker. However, once you deplete the water in the tanker, you fire flow capacity will be restricted to the amount your engines can move in the shuttle. But, if you start with 6500 gallons (5500 tanker and 1000 on the attack engine), you probably seldom run out of the initial attack supply.
Around here, we are stuck with the port-a-tank and around 2000 gallon each tanker shuttle. The biggest reason for this is that we have many bridges in the rural areas that will not handle the load of a big tanker such as yours.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
01-15-2001, 10:21 AM #5Nick SBFD 6Firehouse.com Guest
We seem to be the only department that doesn't buy into the folding tank theory, we don't even own one. When we run to fires we run our 1st out pump, and the 3000 gal. tanker (assuming it is out of the water dist)
and then the other 2 engines. We hook the tanker into the lead engine and call the next town over if we need more water, they have an 8300 gal. tanker. Lets be honest, at least in this area (all our large buildings are covered by hydrants) if you cant put a house out with 13300 gallons of water you have issues. Hey, it works for us but as we all know different towns and departments face different circumstances that's what makes it interesting.
01-15-2001, 11:06 AM #6F52 WestsideFirehouse.com Guest
Our dept., like Nick's, does not buy into the folda tanks either. We use a Four Guys 3000 gal. Tanker as 1st out in rural areas. and shuttle with our Engines or call M.A. for Tankers. Unlike Nick though, we do have some commercial/industrial areas without hydrants.
Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
ECarn21's Homefire Page
"Doin' it for lives n' property"
01-16-2001, 11:45 PM #7InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the replies! Do you guys who don't use folding tanks and a engine shuttle ever find any problem in the system? I have been to a commercial-non hydrant protected fire where multiple hand-lines were in service, a ladder pipe was flowing an another master stream appliance was in use simultaneously and there wasn't a lack of water. Only one 7000 gallon tanker used with I believe 4 shuttle engines with a 3 mile trek to the fill site. Have you found the same result?
Another advantage of this system is the safety of driving a engine as a shuttle rather than a tanker. It seems that I read almost daily of tankers fatally overturning while shuttling water, sometimes in training exercises! I'm not saying that it is impossible to flip a engine but it's much easier to flip a tanker.
When In Doubt, Blitz it Out!
01-24-2001, 06:06 PM #8Lewiston2CaptFirehouse.com Guest
My company uses a 2000 gallon front mount pumper tanker with a folding port-a-pond. we deploy the pond dump the tanker and leave with 3 tankers in a relay with 4-5 miles to the water supply (most of the district has hydrants except for the tuscarora indian reservation) we manage to have plenty of water to do the job. We can dump water in 90 sec. and refill in about 4-6 min depending on water pressure.
Shawn M. Cecula
Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2
01-25-2001, 01:29 AM #9BuckFirehouse.com Guest
It is hard for me to believe the mental process of some departments. People, put a pencil to a piece of paper and do the math.
///multiple hand-lines were in service, a ladder pipe was flowing an another master stream appliance was in use simultaneously and there wasn't a lack of water. Only one 7000 gallon tanker used with I believe 4 shuttle engines with a 3 mile trek to the fill site.///
Let's see, drive time for a 6 mile round trip is 10.85 minutes.
Fill time for a 7000 gal tanker has got to be at least 6 minutes and fill time for a 1000 gal engine is a minute and I am including make and break times.
Dump times through a hose into another apparatus because "we don't buy into the dump tank theory" for the 7000 gal tanker at best is 7 minutes and for the engines at least a minute.
Let's do math.
Drive + dump + fill times
10.85 + 7min + 6 min = 23.85 minutes
7000 gallons / 23.85 min = 293.5 GPM
10.85 + 1 + 1 = 12.85 minutes
1000 gallons / 12.85 min = 77.8 GPM
Now one tanker and 4 engines can provide 604.7 gpm in a 3 mile shuttle.
You said you were suppling multiple hand lines, a ladder pipe and another master stream. I don't buy it, the numbers don't add up.
///It seems that I read almost daily of tankers fatally overturning while shuttling water, ///
Give me a break! I think you are blowing that of proportion just like the amount of water you said you were flowing.
///None of my surrounding departments have folding dump tanks. ///
And what is their ISO class?
///Once the truck is filled, then it will dump its load of water into the tanker at the scene.///
Boy, That sure is one expensive dump tank.
///It seems to work fairly well ///
And if once you could see how it is supposed to be done you wouldn't think that way.
///and I cannot think of any downfalls of this system.///
///Is there anywhere that uses this system?
Only the departments that have a bad ISO grade.
///What do you think about it?
Guess what I think.
/// Is it less efficient then the folding dump tank system that most rural departments employ?///
///With a large tanker to "nurse" the pumper, you kind of combine several port-a-ponds into the capacity of the nursing tanker.///
Maybe several smaller dump tanks into one, but not if your dump tanks are 4000 or 5000 gallons.
Also, you need to compare pumping your water into a tanker and dumping your water into a tank. Dumping is a lot faster.
///you probably seldom run out of the initial attack supply.//
If you could replace seldom with never it wouldn't be a problem.
///call the next town over if we need more water, they have an 8300 gal. tanker. Lets be honest, if you cant put a house out with 13300 gallons of water you have issues.///
And finally when they show up and the fire has burned down to the slab you put 8300 gallons on it to mop up all the hot spots.
For serious water supply people, you don't make fast attacks with your tankers and shuttle with you engines.
As far as I know there is only one department that has achieved a rural ISO grade with a nursing operation. Even they supply their nurse tanker with tankers.
Engines, unless they are designed as pumper/tankers should not be shuttling water. There is too many cons and not enough pros.
But who am I to say that is a stupid way to do a water shuttle? We are just only the second department in the state of Texas to receive a rural water grade and our grade will put us in a group of about 15 other departments in the nation. When you say water shuttle we think 3500 gpm.
01-25-2001, 04:47 PM #10ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
I've seen, and used, both systems and both work well and have a place. The most recent drill was a repeat of what we did for ISO to get our 3 / 4. We flowed two master streams from two trucks each flowing 1,000 GPM. One set up utilized the standard port a tanks. The other was a nursing operation utilizing a neighboring town's 8,000 Gallon Semi.
Both operations worked well and as a matter of fact the nursing operation was set up and flowing FASTER than the port a tanks.
If using a nursing tanker in your operation you have to use a large one. A 2,000 & 3,000 gallon tank doesn't have enough reserve while waiting to be filled. Some times we will start the port a tank operation and switch over to nursing when the semi arrives. It all depends on what you have (size up).
I also agree with Nick. You have other issues if you can't put the fire out with 10,000 or so gallons. And no one should be allowing commercial or industrial buildings to be built in the rural parts of the district without sprinkler protection.
01-28-2001, 01:08 AM #11InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Buck, in your calculations, you had a serious brain laps. You didn't realize that 77.8 x 6 = 466.8, a little less than twice the amount that one tanker would shuttle plus it takes half the time. So letís see, in about 24-25 minutes, one tanker would move 7000 gallons. In the same time, 6 engines would move 12,000. Not quite double but a hell of a lot more of water then what you are trying to prove. Thanks for all your help with the math in proving the "nursing" system more efficient. Couldn't have done it without you. And, going along with your theory, a 3 mile trip would cut the time in half (only applies to an engine since there is a greatly shortened fill and dump time). So according to your theory, 3 engines can move 12,000 gallons in 25 minutes traveling 3 miles to the fill site. I would say thatís a little more than 77.8 gallons a minute. More like 480 gallons a minute. Wait, there's more...as said by ADSN/WFLD, the nursing system is much quicker to set up and getting the water flowing then the drop tank system. Now I have realized that the nursing system is much more efficient then the drop tank, thanks Buck.
01-28-2001, 12:49 PM #12BuckFirehouse.com Guest
//Buck, in your calculations, you had a serious brain laps. You didn't realize that 77.8 x 6 = 466.8///
I said ""Now one tanker and 4 engines can provide 604.7 gpm in a 3 mile shuttle.""
In the scenario given you said """Only one 7000 gallon tanker used with I believe 4 shuttle engines with a 3 mile trek to the fill site."""
So one tanker plus 4 engines is 605 gpm and you said that was suppling multiple hand lines, a ladder and another master stream.
///So let's see, in about 24-25 minutes, one tanker would move 7000 gallons. In the same time, 6 engines would move 12,000. Not quite double but a hell of a lot more of water then what you are trying to prove. ///
Add 7000 gallons and 12,000 gallons you get 19,000 gallons now divide that by 25 minutes and you get 760 gpm.
That is with 6 engines and one tanker you get 760 gpm. In the scenario you gave minus 2 engines.
So 760 gpm minus (77.8x2)and you get 604.4. That is .3 gpm off of my original figure.
Thanks for showing me another way to prove myself right!
///So according to your theory, 3 engines can move 12,000 gallons in 25 minutes traveling 3 miles to the fill site. I would say thats little more than 77.8 gallons a minute. More like 480 gallons a minute.///
Let me slow down and try to explain it to you again because I can see you didn't comprehend.
Engine can fill in 1 minute
Engine can dump in 1 minute
Engine can drive round trip in 10.85 min
That's 3 miles there and 3 miles back
Total time is 12.85 minutes
So it can make 2 trips in approx 25 minutes.
3 engines can make 2 round trips a piece in 25 minutes so that is 6000 gallons.
6000 gallons divided by 25 minutes is 240 gpm.
240 gpm divided by 3 engines averages out to 80 gpm.
My exact calculation is 77.8 gpm so using your approximating system is 2.2 gpm better.
///Thanks for all your help with the math in proving the "nursing" system more efficient.///
Yep! you are just so correct. There is no helping you I guess!
///nursing operation was set up and flowing FASTER than the port a tanks.///
Dang! I don't know what takes ya'll so long in setting up a dump tank operation. We can have ours set up and in operation in under 1.5 minutes. But of course we know what we are doing!!!!!
01-28-2001, 03:03 PM #13InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Buck, I'm not really sure if you understand what a nursing system is. I'll break it down for you. You have 1 (one) tanker that sits stationary at the fire scene (supplying the attack engines). Then there are 3-6 (three to six) engines that run water back and forth. They are called the shuttle engines. I am under the impression that you are talking about a tanker and a couple of engines shuttling the water. In this post, we are comparing many engines (let's say 6) shuttling water into a tanker against one or two tankers shuttling water into portable folding tanks.
Another question that I have is how can you get a drop tank system started in 90 seconds with the usually amount of manpower that is available? First you must get the folding tanks put together, get the engine prepared to draft (hard suction, strainer) then dump the water, and finally make a way to get the water to transfer between the portable tanks. Compared this to the time it takes to attach a 50 ft. section of 5 in. to a tanker's discharge and to an engine's intake!
I have one other point that you may have missed; something that I didn't pick up until now. With the nursing system, you have the attack engine's plus the tanker's water to get the initial attack going. This adds up to 8,000 gallons of water. 6 shuttle engines have 6,000 gallons of water to dump once they arrive at the scene. 8,000 plus 6,000 equals 14,000 gallons of water WITHOUT SHUTTLING A DROP. If you are flowing 1000 g.p.m. (which isn't often the case) you have 14 minutes to get the water shuttle to start producing water. I don't know about your area, but the fire trucks in my area have a full load of water when they leave the station. Then, if 14,000 gallons isn't going to do the job, the empty engines will have already gone back and gotten water and are ready to dump their next load. Simple!
[This message has been edited by Inferno (edited 01-28-2001).]
01-29-2001, 02:46 AM #14BuckFirehouse.com Guest
Thank you for your synopsis on nursing operations, I just feel so much smarter now!
///In this post, we are comparing many engines(let's say 6) shuttling water into a tanker against one or two tankers shuttling water into portable folding tanks. ///
Ok, Let's compare!
1 engine will shuttle 77.8 gpm in a 3 mile shuttle, we know that is correct because you helped me prove that!
So 6 engines will provide 466.8 gpm in that evolution
Now take two 4000 gallon tankers with jet dumps that are dumping into dump tanks.
Fill time is 4 minutes
Dump time is 1.2 minutes
Drive time for 3 mile shuttle is 10.55 minutes.
4 + 1.2 + 10.85 = 16.05 minutes
4000 gallons divided by 16.05 minutes is 249.2 gpm.
So my 2 tankers can provide 498.4 gpm
your 6 engines can do 466.8 gpm
I am providing more water with less apparatus and you made a comment about low manpower so using 2 tankers compared to 6 engines is 4 extra men to fight fire.
///Another question that I have is how can you get a drop tank system started in 90 seconds with the usually amount of manpower that is available? ///
Like I said, if you ever witnessed a dept operating a water shuttle right you would understand.
We train to operate water supplies with minimal manpower so more firefighters can go fight fire.
We spec our equipment to be user friendly.
///First you must get the folding tanks put together, get the engine prepared to draft (hard suction, strainer) then dump the water, and finally make a way to get the water to transfer between the portable tanks. ///
Time to deploy a dump tank off of the tanker - 15 sec.
Time to dump load off tanker - 1.2 min
Time to deploy Pre-connected hard suction on engine to get a draft 30 sec.
And the main evolution. Drive 200' with tanker and engine. Both units stop, tanker crew deploys dump tank and opens up dump at the same time engine operator places truck in pump gear, exits truck and places to pre-connected hard suction in dump tank. At the same time the fire fighters deploy a 2.5" hand line out to 200' and then the engine operator gets a prime and starts flowing a minimum of 250 gpm out of the 2.5"
All of this takes place in under 1.5 minutes. Most of the time it can be accomplished in 75 seconds. This is the same evolution that ISO will want to see when you do a rural water supply grade.
Now when the next tanker comes in, it deploys it's dump tank and makes a simple connection to the tank already in place and dumps it's water and all of that takes place in 1.5 minutes.
///Compared this to the time it takes to attach a 50 ft. section of 5 in. to a tanker's discharge and to an engine's intake! ///
There is one very important thing you are forgetting. Where I can dump my 4000 gallons of water in 1.2 minutes you are having to pump your 1000 gallons through a 5" into the tanker. I just pull up and hit a switch in the cab. You have to get out and make a connection. At best you can empty in 1 minute.
///With the nursing system, you have the attack engine's plus the tanker's water to get the initial attack going.///
Duh! you can have the same thing with a dump tank operation.
///6 shuttle engines have 6,000 gallons of water to dump once they arrive at the scene. ///
The key word is ""ONCE"" they arrive on scene. That's nice, you have 6000 more gallons. And guess what? When 2 more tankers arrive on scene I will have 8000 gallons. you will always have more water on scene when more trucks show up.
///I don't know about your area, but the fire trucks in my area have a full load of water when they leave the station.///
Yep. It is pretty much the normal practice across the country to have a full tank of water in your truck when you leave the station.
By the way what is your ISO grade in the 15% of your district that is not covered by hydrants?
Your profile says you are a student, so why are you having such a hard time learning a better way to shuttle water. We all know that 10,000 gallons is usually enough to handle most residential fires, but there are situations that are going to require 3000 or 4000 gallons per minute and for long periods of time.
ADSN said no one should allow non sprinklered commercial to be built. I agree with that whole heartedly, it's just not a reality. They are being built daily across the country(except Nevada and cities that have codes). And even if they had a sprinkler system there may not be a water source. So large flows are a reality.
We, like other depts that give a damn have figured out water supply in all of our 280 sq mile district.
Pre-planned every commercial building and how to get water there.
Plotted every water source in our district.
Developed SOP's to do rural water supply
Designed our apparatus to maximize operations.
- 6' squirrel tail suction with low level strainer on front bumper.
- Can switch from tank water back to draft and back with out ever losing prime.
- Total standardization through out dept.
- 20' squirrel tail suction on tankers.
- Every tanker carries 6000 gallons worth of dump tanks.
- Tankers can dump and extend chutes from cab.
- Tankers can dump off either side or rear.
- Every eng and tanker carries 2075' of 5"
- Every eng and tanker carries a Turbo Draft to access distant water sources.
Every fire fighter is trained to be proficient in every job of every evolution.
In Magnolia, TX we take water supply serious to ensure to best protection available to our citizens.
01-29-2001, 04:48 PM #15Nick SBFD 6Firehouse.com Guest
OOOHHHHH!!! BUCK YOU'RE SOOOOOO SMART!
Well, it's obvious we are talking about different areas and different circumstances. In our town where the 15% of the town without hydrants has a hydrant no further than 4 miles away and all of our engines carrying 1000 gallons, we have a grand total of 6000 gallons on scene within minutes of any fire, now when the lead engine pulls in the 3000 gallon tanker nurses it, so when the next engine pulls in look! 1000 more gallons! it empties and heads to the hydrant to fill up just in case. but 9 times out of 10 it just sits on the road full. It has worked for us for ever, I have no doubt your system is great and works the best for you but this works for us and we nor any one else should be belittled by the self proclaimed GOD of water supply!!! Have a nice day.
01-29-2001, 08:13 PM #16InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks Nick! You fully understand the point that I have been trying to explain to one belligerent person for this whole time! This is my last post on this topic hoping that the name calling will soon quit (yes, I am also guilty.) I have come to the conclusion that either of the two ways to supply water are equally efficient in the big picture; although if you use the drop tank system, your department becomes the self-proclaimed world leader in firefighting tactics. Yes Buck, I am just an immature, unknowledgeable student who is incompetent to learn and I will hang up my coat and helmet forever since I will never be the brilliant fire scene logistical engineer that you are. I have failed society and have ashamed the fire service. I'm sorry that you see me as such an idiot just because I havenít yet achieved a doctorate degree in advanced water supply. I bow to you.
[This message has been edited by Inferno (edited 01-29-2001).]
01-30-2001, 03:58 AM #17BuckFirehouse.com Guest
I apologize if you took offense to my writing. I assumed that you wanted your questions answered and were open to feedback since you posted a topic to be discussed on a forum. Let's not forget that a forum is a place to talk, discuss, debate and present ideas.
I did not realize that you would be offended by a person that writes with a little flare and I took no personal offense from yours.
As for being called "the self proclaimed GOD of water supply" I took no offense to that either. Different firefighters usually end up specializing in one particular field of fire fighting, mine happens to be water supply. I have spent a lot of time studying and practicing water supply and I feel that I am more advanced than most firefighters in that field. I read with great interest in the U of Extrication section because I have not specialized in that field along with many other fields. I read them quite often and I respect what people have to say in the category that are specialist.
I was just debating with you the efficiency of the different way to supply water. Next time I see a post of yours I will try to remember your sensitive nature and be more friendly.
02-02-2001, 03:27 AM #18cherryvale1Firehouse.com Guest
I would not get into this discussion but to say one thing.
By using a tanker shuttle 2 years ago, the county I am with battled a plastics plant fire. We had 7 tankers, three dump tanks set up supplying three engines, and one ariel truck. By the end of the day we had shuttled 238,000 gallons of water and never lost water supply to any truck. The water had to be moved a little over one mile so it was not a great distance but it was enough. It has been proven that this type of program can set up at a lower cost per gallon of water moved than any other method.
The tankers were 1600 gallons
(fill in 1.5 min -- dump in 50 secs)
The dump tanks were 2000 gallons
Try it using engines and 8000 gallon NURSE tanker.
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