1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Help With Hoselines?

    I need your help on what I think is a fairly common problem. Training and high turnover rates! I am not sure, but I think I have the only fire station that is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year with only volunteers(if you know of any others let me know). The station, located on a college campus, is staffed with students who have completed the Fire Fighter 1 Academy. As they complete additional courses they move up through the ranks to Engineer and Lieutenant. Since I am using students from the Fire Technology Program, the longest someone can stay at the department is about two and half years. While working a standard "Kelly" rotation most of these students are completing 18 to 30 units of college level courses and working an additional part time job.

    Clearly, KISS principle training is the order of the day. I would like to simplify my hose loads and at the same time get the most "bang for the buck".

    Our response area includes the following;
    1. Large un-sprinklered buildings on campus (all but two are single story). Hydrants flows and pressure on campus are not great and some of the lays are pushing 800 to 1000 feet. Once at the building, distances between the engine and the center of the structure range from between 200 to 500 feet.
    2. Residential structures off campus in areas with and without hydrants. Some of the off campus hydrants have excellent flows and pressures, others are similar to on campus.
    3. The regular vehicle and trash fires, etc...
    4. Wildland and Interface areas (but the hose loads for these fires are already taken care of).

    I am looking for hose, nozzle and appliance combinations which have worked well for others. These hose loads need to be easy to learn and multi-functional if possible. If possible these loads need to be standardized between all of the engines. My engines are older style 1000 and 1250GPM structure engines and 500 GPM wildland engines that have to do double duty as initial attack structure engines sometimes(minimum 500 gallon tank size). I am interested in both the supply and attack side as it relates to your experiences. I know this is a big request, but based on some of the responses I have read from other questions, I think most of you have done this already(no need to reinvent the wheel).

    Keep Safe!

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    How is it going, have a quick question, it there a town called Mt Shasta close by.

    For the long distances you might try taking a 2 1/2 or 3 inch line and put a wye at the end of it and strech it out, then hook up the attack lines to it. I have done it with my old volly dept, when we could not get the truck near the barn that was on fire, and it worked good.

    All of our city trucks has 4different lays, #1 is a 1 3/4 line 150 feet long, #2 is a 1 3/4 line 200 feet long, #3 is a 2 1/2 line 150 feet long. #4 is a 1 3/4 line 50 feet long for trash fires. All of the lays are done flat.

    On the water side of the question, if we dont have any hydrants near by we will call for the local volly dept to send tankers and lots of them.

    Hope this helps.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Local 3905

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Your questioned intrigued me. But first I have questions for you:

    1) What size attack and supply hose do you use?
    2) Are you looking to change that?
    3) What nozzles and appliances do you currently use?
    4) Are you looking to change that?
    5) What is the size and location of preconnects on your 2 engines?

    I have several ideas for you but would like to know at least some of the information above. If you will answer them I will try to answer you.

    Stay safe.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hammerhead338, yes there is a Mount Shasta and a Mount Shasta City, Shasta Lake City, Old Shasta, Shasta Dam, etc...

    FyredUp, For attacks we have 1 1/2 and 1 3/4. For supply I have 2 1/2 and I also have 2200 feet of donated 5 inch in storage (waiting for adapters). For nozzles we have or can get just about anything.
    The 500 GPM engines (ICS type 3) have a front bumper line and 2 cross lay pre-connects; one 150' 1 1/2 and one 200' 1 3/4; they also have 2 1 1/2 rear preconnects. If need be we would be willing to build cross lay beds for the normal 2 1/2 pump outlets.

    The structure engines are the same with 2 crosslays and 2 rear pre-connects.

    I am very open minded and would be willing to change anything as money permits. If you need more let me know.

    Thanks, Ron Marley

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a couple long structures...the big hazard being a State Correctional Center (600 inmate medium to medium-high security in the new building...and they are reopening the old county jail portion parts of which date to the mid 1800s and can house 200 inmates)

    Needless to say, we have limited entry/egress for the structures (basic idea is we go in from one side, and the inmates are evacuated out the other side), and we operate off our hose lines rather than standpipes.

    We also have our town school complex, and some big agricultural buildings that are similiar.

    Our main attack truck has 200' 2.5" and 300' 3" preconnects. We can stretch either of these and place a gated wye at the end, which we then stretch 150' 1.5" hi-rise packs from. The gated wye allows us to use 2-1.5" and 1 2.5" lines off the end (which is why I like to feed it from the 3"!). Of course, if you don't need 300', you can always break the 3" line down shorter.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    stick a water thief on the long 3" line..it goves you added flexibility of haiving a 2.5" discharge far away from the engine.

    The opinions and views expressed herin are solely mine and not on the behalf of any department or organization I belong to.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I worked a 48 over the 25th and 26th. But now here goes.

    As far as the 5 inch goes....get the adapters and put it on the rigs. You will not be able to beat the flow. I'd divide it between your 2 main pumpers. There is no sense in putting that on 500gpm wildland pumpers.

    Attack lines:

    Remember these are my opinions only....There may and will be other ideas. Pick and choose and use what works for you.

    1) I'd lose the 1 1/2" off your main attack pumpers. Use it on the wildland engines.

    2) Standard nozzles on all hoses of the same size. It ends confusion and simplifies pump operations.

    3) The first step to nozzle selection though is quite simply this. Decide what you want to flow and in what form you want to deliver it. Then you can specifically pick nozzles that meet that.

    My nozzle choices....I prefer a break-a-part nozzle. My choice for tips would be a low pressure high flow combo nozzle backed with a smoothbore slug tip. Best of both worlds. With 1 3/4" hose a 200 gpm at 75 psi nozzle and a 1" or 1 1/8" inch slug is a nice combination. We have used the 200 at 75 and initially underpump them to a flow of around 160 gpm at 55psi nozzle pressure.

    For your 2 1/2" lines....again I would go with a low pressure high flow nozzle. In this case maybe just a smoothbore. If so no smaller than 1 1/8", but preferably a 1 1/4" tip. If you want a combo nozzle there are low pressures on the market that flow 250 at 50, 250 at 75, and 300 at 75.

    I like the low pressure nozzles. They work well for us. Others will make equally valid cases for other nozzles. We tested them side by side with other nozzles and the troops picked the low pressure nozzles.

    We use 2 inch attack lines with a 200 at 75 combo tip backed by a 1 1/4" slug tip. It works well for us. The flow of a high out put 1 3/4" line as well as the flow of a 2 1/2' out of one line. It eliminates the mistake of grabbing too small of a line.

    4) Hose bed configurations. I see no difficulties with your preconnects of 150 and 200. If they work for you.

    As far as comining off the back....I agree with the guys here who say go with a long 2 1/2" or 3" line with a wye or water thief. Have 150' of 1 3/4" hooked to at least one side of the wye and strapped for easy carrying. Figure out your longest lay into a building and have at least that much 2 1/2" or 3" in the bed before the wye. To agree with e33, the water thief does allow more tactical flexibility. You can hook
    2-1 3/4" lines and a 2 1/2" line to it with out having to make another long stretch.

    To finish out the back bed. A 2 1/2" preconnect of at least 200'. The other rear discharge, if a 2 1/2", put a wye on it and add another 1 3/4" line, maybe 300' long for some of your in between stretches.

    5) As far as specific hose loads...We use the minute man and bundle packs. It depends on the hose bed layout of the specific engine. The minute man is loaded with 100 feet of hose to be shouldered. The rest of the bed is to be cleared by the backup FF or MPO. The bundle pack is a flat load with the last 100 feet bundled with velcro. Again the backup FF or MPO clears the bed of remaining hose. The advantage to either one of these loads is the hose is carried not dragged and the hose being carried ends up where the nozzle operator wants it.

    If this isn't what you are looking for let me know and I'll try again.

    As always the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the production of this posting and all work was done by a union crew.

    Stay safe and have a good "00"!!

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Another reason to stick with low pressure nozzles for your operation (Regardless of Brand!) is that by using low pressure nozzles you will be able to operate with less engine pressure or accomodate longer hose lays, Your choice.

    Stay Safe

    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

  9. #9
    D. Anderson
    Firehouse.com Guest


    First let me tell you that I don't want in any way to be considered an expert on this subject(I only have four years on), but we load one of our beds in a way that may be helpfull to you for some of your longer lays.

    Our standard hosebed configuration is as follows, 1000 feet 4 inch LDH (we're a city department with an excellent hydrant system so we only have four inch), 900 feet 2-1/2 inch with wye and 100 foot 1-3/4 bundle, and 250 foot 1-3/4 preconnect (some companies have 300 feet on them because of large three story non-sprinkled apartment buildings).

    We don't have crosslays, our preconnect is in the back because we pull past the address or building and give the front to the first in ladder. Our four inch is shingle loaded.

    Our 2-1/2 inch bed is loaded in a way I've only seen a few other places and is what I think is an idea for you to consider. As I said we carry 900 feet in the bed. The bottom 300 feet is loaded in a standard shingle load. The next 12 sections (6oo feet) is loaded in what is either called "Minneapolis Load" or "Milwaukee Load" and I'm sure other things well before that on the east coast that I'm not familiar with. We actually call it Milwaukee load and I've heard that they call it Minneapolis load, go figure. Its kind of hard to describe without seeing it but basically each individual section of 2-1/2 is started with loops sticking out that get longer as you get nearer to the 1-3/4 bundle and each section of 2-1/2 is able to be pulled out individually by pulling the loop. This way you can pull as many loops as you need for the lay and sack it where you need it, or you can just pull it out like a shingled load or lay out if you need to. It's really flexible. If we get something that we can't reach with the preconnect we sack the hose by grabbing as many loops (each one section) of 2-1/2 that we need. Then you break the 2-1/2 and hook to the discharge. The company laying the backup line grabs another 100 foot bundle of 1-3/4 with a wye and can even tell how many sections we laid by counting the loops that are gone and pull that many or more for themselves. You have to make sure they don't just lay a bundle off the wye for a backup line because obviously this isn't an independent line. Plus then you have two lines at the fire with wye's on them if you need more lines and can lay off the wyes. It works real slick for us.

    I'm not going to touch the nozzle argument with a ten foot pole, but will add that we use Task Force Tips for attack lines and Akron Assault Nozzles for our high fire bundles. I've never used a smooth bore nozzle in a fire situation so can't speak on the pros and cons of them.

    Sorry this is so long! Send me an E-mail if you want me to explain the 2-1/2 bed better or have any questions.

    [This message has been edited by D. Anderson (edited January 25, 2000).]

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We've had good success with loading our primary attack lines in donut rolls so one firefighter can put away their own attack line quickly and easily. We have lots of small frome firefighters and do not have any problems holding 150 foot 1 3/4 inch attack lines at 200 psi pump pressure with TFT's. OUr big lines are 2 inch once again 100 psi tip pressure is not an issue. OUr big lines are one of 3 deck guns and or a pair of 1000 gpm handlines with 1 3/4" or fog tips both in the 100 psi range. Like the folks in Texas, the guys don't even think about reaction, they just pull it and use it.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest



    Hey Larry,

    Nice one, a TFT ad and a shot at FD's who use low pressure nozzles all in the same posting.

    Glad to see your bias hasn't changed.

    If you read my post, no name brands were mentioned, only the operating pressure. And....I don't say it is the only way, just the way that works for us.

    Have a nice day.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Oh I see, you can't mention the nozzle type you use, that is bias. Who's rules are those, yours? Read elsewhere on this board, Spartan, Elkhart, E-One, etc. The department stated with TFT in 1982, I wasn't even around then. Today's tips happen to have IOWA American shutoffs and smooth bore tips, oh no we use Elkhart Scorpions 3 per rig with 150 to 1250 TFT's or 500 to 2000 gpm TFT with 1 3/8 to 2 1/2 sb Elkhart tips and would you believe Akron valves. We use Akron Apollo's not because they work well but because the department has used them for years, standardization. But they too are tipped with a TFT, also standardization.

    There you go another add. The fact of the matter all nozzles are putting fire out some place, our 1982's still work fine, our Turbojets are missing teeth.

    I hear the biac crap all the time. I've helped departments get a little over 30 million dollars worth of apparatus in the last 4 months. Review some of the orders, some of the folks reading this have or are getting apparatus soon. See if there are any trends. Good luck, cause I don't really care, I do make sure they have the bucks to do anything thing they want. I personally go to their fire boards, councils and government leaders and ask for the bucks.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In regard to your first question about 24hr vollie stations, last time I checked Prince Georges County, MD Station 33 (Kentland VFD) is staffed solely by volunteers. In addition, Engine 331 last time I checked was the busiest vollie engine in America

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest



    Good to see you are as passionate as ever.

    You may or may not recall, our little nozzle debate goes all the way back to your days as editor of Firefighter News.

    I am somewhat amazed at the smooth bore usage....but then again not really as you are using them for CAFS. Elkhart and Akron and IOWA American? WOW!! I RETRACT THE BIAS STATEMENT. Although, I somehow believe you still have a TFT tatoo on your chest someplace...(Smile its a joke). By the way, I think TFT makes a quality product. I am not attacking that, I just said it didn't fit into our needs.

    If you can tell me how you can convince a small village council to spend the money you are speaking of I would be very impressed. I have successfully managed over the years to increase my budget substantially, but the mere mention of new fire apparatus causes them to bury their heads in the sand. Is this something you do out of the goodness of your heart or do you charge a consulting fee? I am sure that question sounds foolish but if I don't ask how would I know?

    Take care,


  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    ..If you can tell me how you can convince a small village council to spend the money you are speaking of I would be very impressed...

    The key is you can't tell anyone anything. Tonight I was lucky enough to help a town go from a Class 9/10 to a Class 4 everywhere without hydrants. The rigs we used to do it came not from selling but teaching the elected officials of the need and the public voted over 80% in favor. There are least 5 people on this board who can tell you about something in the order of 49 trucks in their areas gathered in the last few weeks. In several states. So no I can't tell you but the book is on the FD website and it is free.

    .. I have successfully managed over the years to increase my budget substantially, but the mere mention of new fire apparatus causes them to bury their heads in the sand...

    Last November we quadrupled one towns budget.

    ..Is this something you do out of the goodness of your heart or do you charge a consulting fee? ..

    Depends what I'm doing when Scott asked me to drop by all I asked for was dinner and a place to sleep I got my own airfare they will get a Class 5 used to be a Class 9 without a water system. I guess it all depends.

    ..I am sure that question sounds foolish but if I don't ask how would I know?..

    Katie Texas, No charge. Kingston NV none, Granbury Texas zilch

  16. #16
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    And that was after I woke him up early - real early - Nevada time on a Saturday morning.

    He has been a temendous help to us - worked to improve our city and rural ISO rating (as he mentioned), worked to increase our county fire protection operating budget (it's now up over 140% of what it was) + we're getting 10 new apparatus this year.

    Plus, his Tricks of the Trade seminars have made life easier on us with new and innovative ways of accomplishing old tasks (by the way Larry, it's getting time for another one!)


    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited January 30, 2000).]

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest



    "Is this something you do out of the goodness of your heart or do you charge a consulting fee?"

    I believe the statement below may speak for itself. LHS posted it on the Vinidicator nozzle post.

    "Who did Seabrook and Crosby go with for a builder? Beats me, I just get the money, I really don't know or care. Who did yuo go with?"

    Im glad that he has been able to assist people in their ISO ratings and increase the number of apperatus for a department. I beleive that a person should be paid for his efforts if thats what his business is. The part that would concern me if I were one of the city fathers is the comment: "I just get the money, I really don't know or care."

    Truth Seeker
    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

  18. #18
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hmmm, is this thread still on helping Chief Marley's department? Or a debate on methods used to get local governing bodies to spend the needed $$ to help lower ISO ratings? They're both interesting topics, but for me, I'll stick to the original topic.

    Chief Marley, as for the turnover, I can't really help much there. In a college environment, it seems to be the nature of the beast. Just be patient and pass on your knowledge to the up and coming rookies, and teach them well.

    Now for the hose loads.

    Supply hose first. GET THAT FIVE INCH ONTHE TRUCKS! If I did the math right, and I'll use 1000 GPM for the sake of arguement here, that 1000 foot lay will eat 80 PSI, and higher on smaller lines. Having the 2nd in pumper reverse out with it's five inch and pumping both lines from the hydrant will improve that significantly (only 20 PSI lost to friction, if I did the math right).

    See if you can get more five inch (donated or what ever) and increase the amount carried. LDH is a blessing, and 5 inch in particular. There's one brand (Angus?) that actually expands when charged to 5.2(?) inches for even lower friction losses.

    As for the attack lines, I recommend a minimum of inch and 3/4, and would prefer 2 inch, with variable lengths ranging from 150 to 450 foot preconnects should cover the spectrum, and a deadlay (either in a HUGE crosslay or off the back) similar to what FF Anderson suggested will cover the bases. I'd recommend keepng a lightweight portable gun back there too, so that you can boost the pressure enough to hit harder than normal handlines flow, and then extend handlines off when the fire is knocked down.

    As for nozzles, my preference is for low pressure/high flow knobs, like what FyredUp describes. I have used them too, and they are nice! If you use fog tips, may I recommend that your department train on the techniques that Paul Grimwood discusses on "Pulsing the Knob". Misting the hot atmosphere withoout creating the steam really cools off the area in a hurry. However, if you stick with the high pressure fogs, no problems there either. Have your crews experiment with all kinds, and not just standing in a parking lot-- make them advance them in a simulation similar to how they would be expected to use them for real. The bottom line here is to know how to use what you have.

    If money is no object, I'd sugest aquiring newer trucks with big booster tanks. possibly even a foam system of some sort. Everyone is singing praises about CAFS, but I would also look into another type of class A foam called Barricade (http://www.barricadegel.com). It makes "bubblets" of water by mixing in some sort of polymer into the mix, rather than using air bubbles. Side by side comparisons on their respective performance would be quite interesting.

    Good luck in your ventures.

    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.


    All postings I have &/or will post are strictly my opinions. I am representing only myself here, not the IAFF, Local 3133, or my employer. No animals were/will be harmed from the production of this disclaimer. Thank you.

    [This message has been edited by Truckie from Missouri (edited February 01, 2000).]

  19. #19
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Running off the original topic for a moment and knowing Larry doesn't need me to defend him, but...

    KEA - The part that would concern me if I were one of the city fathers is the comment: "I just get the money, I really don't know or care."

    Why would that concern you if you were a city father?

    From what I've seen (and how I feel), it's a bonus. If Larry were to recommend they needed a specific brand or product, the first thing that would run through their mind is "he's getting a cut" his credibility would be shot and the department would suffer as they won't get what they need. Especially with the kind of budgets he's getting these guys.

    Think about it - if Joe's Fire Trucks offered him a measly 1% on every sale he get's them, he'd push that brand and would have made over $300,000 dollars in the last 4 months (not to mention, mfgs. would be bidding for his sales service). Again, if a city manager thought anything was going on like that they wouldn't spend the needed money.

    I consider Larry a friend of mine and after knowing and working with him for the last few years on our ISO rating and general improvements of the fire dept., he has NEVER
    specified a certain brand of anything - even when I ask him for a recomendation friend to
    friend he gives me a couple of options to evaluate (I am certain if I was asking about a POS he would tell me it was a POS).

    From what I've seen (and heard from others), he assists the department in improvements by making recommendations as to what they should be able to do, not what they need to do it with.

    And if this attitude/method is a really concern, the fact that it is consistently successful for the departments that implement it should put the city fathers at ease.


  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    S. Cook: >Why would that concern you if you were a city father?>
    I should have been more specific in my post. What comes across negative is the comment of: I just get the money and I dont care. To me it's a very negative statement regardless of who says it. Based on what you have said in his defense it appears that he does care. Thats great. His comment left me with a different opinion. Sorry.

    I don't know LHS nor have I questioned his credibility. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with getting paid for doing a service if thats what your in the business of doing. I just know that if I'm the one paying for it, it would be nice to know the person who I pay appreciates my business. If they don't, I would take my business elsewhere. Thats just sound business practice.

    What next?

    Truth Seeker
    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Gee Kirk,

    "I just get the money, I really don't know or care."

    Could that mean, I just get them the money to buy whatever they please, and don't give a hoot what they buy? Well, that is what I said and what I mean. I'm sorry it bothers you, but you're not a city father, I won't tell the chief what make or model anything to buy, there are plenty of products out there to do whatever they desire. In most cases FD's do not buy the best product, they simply buy from a friend. I don't advertise my services, I rarely take anyone up on the dozens of offers I get each week to help fire departments.

    Barricade gel is not "another Class A foam" Other than structure protection there are no similarities in the two and one could get you hurt if used like Class A foam.

  22. #22
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Larry, great post. I'm sorry that I got something different from your previous post. Had I asked what you meant you could have explained it as you did in this post. My opinion is different now that I know what you meant. Thanks for the clarification. Just another example why assumptions get us in a pickle. In case you missed it, there is nothing wrong with getting paid for services rendered. I think I stated that several times. Go for it.

    I'm not sure what you meant with the baricade post?

    Kirk Allen

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