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  1. #1
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    Default When there are no standpipes

    What do you do when you don't have a standpipe available? We have several local colleges without the luxury of a standpipe system and have been using our fire schools to experiment with different techniques. Generally, we just stretch a 4 inch leader line up to the fire floor, gate it off, and run our high rise kits off of it. It works better than using more engines to stretch lines up, and our preconnects only go so far. What do you do?


  2. #2
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    Not having any 4", and 5" being a little much to stretch up several flights, we would stretch 3" up and then go off with the high rise packs.

  3. #3
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    We run a dead bed of 2.5" connected to a gated wye at the end, and we run our high rise packs and pressure gauges off the wye...kinda like makin our own standpipe...

  4. #4
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    CIFD88,

    The posts above are right on. You just have to make your own standpipe system. As you can tell there are many different ways to do it. Find out what works best for you with the equipment you have, and train with it.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    I am trying to make this a short comment - I see that I am talking to an Explorer Chief? (Is that a high ranking Explorer Troop member?)
    Anyway,
    Do you have no building code where you live? Buildings over a certain height have regulations changed about construction and required internal and external systems.
    Once a building is erected over say (most codes) 65 or 70 feet cellars have to be separated from the living floors by concrete. Secondary enclosed exits are required with access to all occupants AND standpipes are required.
    If buildings are shorter than that and the construction more combustible than found in a fire protected constructed building then it is not safe nor is it good firefighting to NOT protect the stairs to the entrance point by stretching the first and second lines up the stairs from he front door. Some municipalities in the west have outside standpipes in low buildings of 4 stories. They stretch to the pipe and then off the fire escape onto the floor on fire (that they think from original size-up) This, in my opinion is an error.
    Anyway just some thoughts on the subject.
    TB

  6. #6
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    111truck, you are correct. I am a high ranking Post officer, selected by my department. I am required to take the lieutenants test here and pass it. It consists of fire fighter level II material, basic medical knowledge, ICS, and department policies and procedures.

    Anyways...

    The buildings that I'm talking about were built before 1960, around 1953, steel and concrete mostly. Most of them are at or below 3 stories with out the basement, and the ones that we have experienced major room and contents fires in do not have stand pipes. Some were condemned by the State Fire Marshal, because of this and the way they had been maintained. Others will be in use until new dorms can be contructed.

    There are some 70 or 80 foot dormitories on campus, and as required by revised code all have standpipes, as you stated. But the last dorm building that high was comdemned in 1998 by our State Fire Marshal. We use that building as a rappelling tower and a high rise training facility.

  7. #7
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    TB,

    You are mistaken about how some of us out here do our standpipe leads. Our SOP's call for us to lead from the floor bellow the fire. Not the fire floor itself. This way we lead from the floor below, up the central stairs (to protect them), and on to the room or floor involved. Some of us out here like to protect the central stairs as well. We will follow this with large supply handlines up the stairs to supliment the standpipe leads made by the first 1 or 2 companies. Depends on the fire conditions. Again, the central stairs are our main priority, and you never can trust those standpipes 100%, can you?

  8. #8
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    Thumbs down

    111truck says: Do you have no building code where you live?

    engine1321
    You sound like you are doing a fine job of gathering information.

    The building codes aside every department should have a plan to set up their own "standpipe" irregardless of whether a building has one or not. If a structure has a standpipe in it the standpipe can be compromised. As for solutions you will find many and some are better than others. LDH to the front, run lines over aerials, etc. The important thing to remember is that even with the strictest codes, you must be prepared to provide everything for yourself. Good luck!

  9. #9
    41Truck
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    Default

    There are several stretches that can be made in place of a standpipe to save the amount of hose used in the stretch. First of which, and is the easiest, is the well hole stretch. This is done by the nozzleman running the hose straight up between the flights of stairs. If the stairs have no well hole, such as around an elevator or are returns then extra manpower will be needed to assist with the stretch at every turn on the stairwell. Another type of stretch is a fire escape stretch or a window stretch. This are made along the outside of the building and tied off periodically to hold the hose in place entering a window one floor below the fire floor.

    It is important to know how much hose will be needed for the stretch. A typical rule of thumb is this:
    One length from the pumper to the building;
    One length per floor;
    One added length for the fire floor.
    For example: If you have a fire on the 4TH floor of a building then the number of lengths needed in a regular stretch would be 6 lengths. This number of lengths can be reduced or increased depending on the type of stairs (straight, return, well,), location of the stairs (front, rear) and location of the fire. But as a general estimate it is pretty close to dead on.

    The hose on our pumper is set up with 6 lengths of 1-3/4 coupled to 10 lengths of 2-1/2. Our 2-1/2" line is 6 lenghts coupled to 10 lengths of 3-1/2" line. This is done to overcome friction loss in the line and to maintain adequate pressure at the SMOOTHBORE nozzle for long stretches.

  10. #10
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    Default standpipe

    I agree with 41Truck. Stretch your line from the outside into the window on the floor below, unless you have a open well stairs. You can stretch a 2 1/2 with a gated wye then do your business from off that. Saves hose by going from the outside then having to wrap around a bunch of stairs.

  11. #11
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    Takling Stretches,
    Given a combustible building! (All building codes change when fire protected or non-combustible)
    1. Well hole is easiest stretch from the street and uses least amount of hose but less than mentioned.
    Figure 1 length from the pumper or more.
    1 length to the 4th floor and one length on the floor below.
    The stairwell only uses 10 feet per story. 4th floor requires 30 feet.

    Next is the wrap stair (elevator or shaft) may take a little more than one length per floor and a little more to get 100 feet on the fire floor or half landing below.

    Next is the sissor or return stair and that takes one length per floor.

    If the building is combustible you will have a lot of frustration if the stair is not protected to he front door with the hose line you stretched.

    But then again you can always do whatever you want.

  12. #12
    Junior Member fire266's Avatar
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    Engine 1321

    Consider this, I was on a FD in VA that covered a large university, this university had numerous buildings with 3 or more floors (most of them built before Fire Codes) and a lot of them had no standpipe. These were large buildings and hose lays on a floor could have been several hundred feet plus the hose going up the stairwell etc… We trained to use our ladder truck as a standpipe, its 100 ft platform has two 2 ½ inch discharges at the platform, now you have to decide if you want to go to the floor below the fire floor near a stairwell and stretch hose up to the fire floor, or go directly to the fire floor a number of windows down from the fire room and make entry with the high rise packs. Some people may not like this but its just an option. If the building is easy to drive around this can work, or if it is tall and each floor doesn’t go along way this can work, one of our buildings was 7 stories and shaped like a horse shoe, you could pull up in the horseshoe and reach any floor and not be too far from any room with the platform. Other buildings had little access and this approach would not work.

    Hope this helps, again its just an option, good luck!
    Michael W. Gorley C.F.P.S.
    SAFETY FIRST! / Certified Fire Protection Specialist (NFPA) /Fire Fighter

  13. #13
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    Default standpipe

    I dont want to bash anyone, but using a million dollar piece of apparatus as a hose tender is a complete waste of resources. Especially in a un-sprinkelered dormitory with a fire of any size the primary concern is having a high life hazard. To tie up the greatest tool you have to effect rescue as a standpipe is very poor tactics.
    If you placed that tower ladder in the horsehoe you can effect rescue to every window in the building facing that side. Tieing up a tower ladder as a stand pipe is not a very good idea.
    Also, this is very important, you never want to connect to a standpipe or go into the window with a line on the same floor as the fire. This lesson was learned at the Athletic Club Fire in Indianapolis, which killed several firefighters(you can read it at the NFA site under technical reports). You always want your hook up one floor below in case things go bad and you have to get out you can follow the line to safety. If the end of the line is still on the fire floor you will be lost and you can very easily lose your life. There are few absolutes in the fire service, but this is one of them.
    ALWAYS, hook up one floor below the fire.
    Last edited by dfd3dfd3; 02-19-2002 at 10:59 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Tower ladders

    Actually, we have 2 tower ladders within 6 minutes of the campus. The first one comes from our neighboring city department, which we can make hose connections to. The other comes from another department in a neighboring township, which also has a college in their response area. We could have 2 more in 10-15 minutes from farther away cities. Hopefully, my department will be purchasing a 75' quint in the next 3 years so our primary tower ladder concerns will be alieviated.

  15. #15
    Forum Member FireStick's Avatar
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    Default Re: standpipe

    Originally posted by dfd3
    You always want your hook up one floor below in case things go bad and you have to get out you can follow the line to safety. If the end of the line is still on the fire floor you will be lost and you can very easily lose your life. There are few absolutes in the fire service, but this is one of them.
    ALWAYS, hook up one floor below the fire.
    Excellent tip to always keep in mind.


    A tactic that we use at times is using a tele-squrt for supplying hose streams in these types of buildings. I realize that not every locality has one, but it works well in some situations. There are many variables, such as being able to get close enough to a window. If it is necessary to stretch up a stairwell, manpower in the key to a quick and efficient operation.
    All of the tactics mentioned earlier in this thread have their place, it is the officer's responsibilty to recognize which tactic is best for a certain situation.

  16. #16
    Junior Member fire266's Avatar
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    Engine 1321,

    I believe dfd3 missed my point, yes a million dollar piece of equipment can be used as a “hose tender” if needed when conditions dictate. Obviously the platform should be used for life safety first, but part of rescue is to put out the fire! If victims are at the window then its obvious what to do with the ladder, but if no rescue is needed and you have to get water to the fire this is one way. Especially if you have more ladder trucks available. AND yes you should hook up one floor below the fire floor, however these dorms have fire divisions with automatic closing doors that break the floor into compartments. Again the best option would be the floor below, someone may have jammed the door opened and smoke will travel into the next fire division. These buildings I’m talking about are Fire Resistive construction (steel and masonry), the fire load is the contents of the room on fire. But it may be very hard to find your way out without a fire hose to guide you so dfd3 has a great point about the floor below. But I still say the ladder truck can provide a quick way to get water to the fire in buildings without standpipes.

    Firestick has a good point that the fire officer has to understand the conditions of the fire and make the call.
    Michael W. Gorley C.F.P.S.
    SAFETY FIRST! / Certified Fire Protection Specialist (NFPA) /Fire Fighter

  17. #17
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    Default

    A few years ago we did a test to see which worked better, hand stretching 2 1/2" to the 4th floor of a building, or setting up the aerial tower as an exterior standpipe (with the aforementioned caveat about using it for rescue first). We fould that given sufficient manpower, the 2 1/2" stretch off the engine was actually faster; if we were really short on manpower, the exterior standpipe evolution might be a better choice.

    As far as built-in protection goes, if you can't get wet standpipes installed, you may want to push for installation of a dry standpipe in these buildings. Many places lend themselves to this type of install - the landings on a stairwell are core-drilled, 4-6" pipe is put in place, with a siamese outside where the stairwell exits. It beats no standpipe at all, but is far less expensive, as no major plumbing renovations are needed. A downside is the valves on each floor can get opened up (vandalism), creating a flood and preventing you from building pressure when you pump into it. Not the best setup, but if the building owner will go for it, it beats dragging hose up the steps.
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  18. #18
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    Question

    To those of you using an aerial device as a standpipe. Some of you stated " if there is no obvious rescue." This can still be dangerous, even fatal. Chances are that the aerial supplying an attack line will have the most optimum positioning of any later arriving ladder companies, that is if any more are on the way. First of all, more rescue situations may develop that weren't evident in the begining. Conditions may also deteriorate to the point that firefighters may need that device for escape. The device may be needed for roof ventilation operations also, which in some instances, maybe necessary
    just for the attack crew to get the seat of the fire.

  19. #19
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    Post

    My career dept. has what we call the "wye set". It has it's own place in the hose bed. The wye is connected to (2) 100' 1 3/4 handlines. This is the only connection to the wye in the bed. Our hose beds are set up with 600' of 2 1/2" on each side of the bed for fire dept. connections. If the truck is being used as an attack truck, then the 2 1/2 may be used for hand lines or the wye. Senerio: The engine will stopp at the water supply. The hydrant man will get off the rig to establish the supply. The engine will then proceed to the fire scene. Upon arrival, the driver will break the 5" and make the connection to the truck to get the hydrant man off the hydrant asap. The captain will begin to make the connection between the 2 1/2" in the bed to the wye which in a sense is hanging off of the 1 3/4 it is connected. Two loops are stuffed down through the wye itself. The driver will grab the loops and the two nozzles and the captain will grab the two loops in the 2 1/2". Both advance the lines to a point where the wye will be at the entry point. The driver then breaks the 2 1/2" line from the bed and makes the connection to the truck. By this time the hydrant man has returned to the rig donned his scba and id on the way to the captain.

    This sounds like a lot I know, but my fire dept. can deploy this set up with 150' of 1 1/2" hose in about 1.5 minutes. That's correct. 3 firefighters 1.5 minutes.

    give it a try
    Contact me if you have any questions!

  20. #20
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    Gee Hobbs that is great a captain, pump operator and 'slave" stretch 150 feet of hose - then what?
    What is the captain's job - #2 back up, bend man, what?
    Now how about stretching up any stairs?
    Oh well.

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