1. #1
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    Default Roof team hoseline

    I've got a question that's been nagging me for quite some time. I've asked several people and can't seem to get an answer that sits very well. Hoping for some help.

    My question is, when a roof team is performing ventilation tasks, why is it that they take a line with them? The department I'm on says to take a line, neighboring departments say take one, and I've seen several pictures on the net and in trade magazines that show the roof team with a line. Is this standard practice everywhere? Why do we take a line to the roof? Several people have given me answers and a few got the look on their face and said "Dunno - always done it - never thought about it". It also seems inevitable that when the structure belches and the gases ignite, the roof team sticks the nozzle in the hole(bad deal) or sprays the flames as they come out.

    Here are some of the responses I got and my thoughts after:

    1) Take a line to the roof to protect the roof team. (If they need protection to do ventilation, get off the roof)

    2) To help with ventilation. (I've done this with a fog pattern and it doesn't seem to make much difference if it is applied or not)

    3) To extinguish the embers as they come out. (Seen this too, didn't do a whole lot of good)

    4) Cool the working surface. (If the working surface being the roofing materials need cooling down to make it easier to work, doesn't this spell a disaster in the making?)

    5) We always take a line to the roof - just because. (I know we always do, I just want to know why.)

    My idea as of right now is to leave the hoseline out of the picture. It may be OK to have one nearby on the ground, but it's just something else for the roof team to carry to the roof. If it takes more people to handle the line on the roof, can we overstress an already stressed roof? The roof team should do their thing, make a hole, and get back off the roof. What do they need to stay on the roof for? If the roof is sagging, soft, or too hot to stand on, stay off the roof.

    Am I on the right track? Right now, I don't see much argument for taking one to the roof. If I'm wrong please correct me soon - I'd hate to be responsible for sending someone to the roof and something bad happen if a line is not in place and should be.

    Thanks for the input.

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    The only use for a line on a roof is to extinguish a parapet fire.

    I've seen guys hit fire comming out of a hole so they could finish the vent hole.

    Truckies shouldn't have a line with them on the roof.

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    [this isn't my truck, so the number's are rough]

    Our tower ladder has a standpipe in the bucket with a bin of 100' 1.75" preconnected hose. For us, it serves two purposes:

    - Safety line on the roof: if anything bad ever happened, and a line needed to be stretched to protect a downed FF. We don't stretch them proactively or beforehand... it's simply packed away "just in case."

    - Flying Standpipe: advancing a line from the tower ladder into/onto a building for fire suppression. I'm really not a fan of doing this as it commits the ladder to one position. If you can safely say that this one ladder can essentially be taken out of service to act as a standpipe, then go for it I guess. I think it would be a bad idea to rely on it as a typical fire attack procedure, where rescue and ventilation might also be taking place.

    As far as routinely spraying water into a vent hole, I've always had it drilled into me that was a bad plan because we want hot gases to come out, not keep them in.

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    Here it is about 50-50 as to taking the line to the roof. Some say take it for protection but it will usually end up in the hole once it has been cut defeating the purpose of vertical ventilation unless the crew is very disciplined and experienced. One thing i hear that don't make sense is we do not need to add anymore weight to a roof than we have to so we do not send "extra" personnel to the roof, only the minimum number to accomplish the task. If we take a hoseline: 1. We add at least 1 person to operate it 2. The weight of the hoseline and water is added to the roof. Most fires in residential structures will have a backup line positioned near the entrance point, could this line not be quickly moved to protect the roof crew (even directed from the ground could by them time to get away from a sudden flair up). It should be up to the roof crew to determine if the situation requires the deployment of a line or not. Like stated in the above post, if it is that unsafe why are you there to start with? I perfer not to tak a line with me for most operations but I still have that option given the need. Remember in our profession we have to think on our feet and pick the "tools" to fit the situation. No one thing is right for each situation.

    This is just my opinion

    More food for thought: What is the groups opinion on using roof ladders?

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    Default Defensive ventilation

    One reason to take a hoseline to the roof is when the vent team is making a trench cut for the purpose of defensive ventilation. One tactic is to use a roof top hoseline (from the unburned side of the trench) directed into the trench cut to stop any fire that is advancing through the cockloft. Of course, it should not be used if interior teams are trying to get the fire from the top floor (underneath). This application requires both discipline on the part of the roof team, as well as good communications/coordination.

    Other than that application, I haven't seen a big need for a hoseline to the roof for routine vent operations.

    John

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    when a roof team is performing ventilation tasks, why is it that they take a line with them?
    Usually only happens when you let engine guys do truck work. They just don't feel right not havin' a line with them.

    Seriously though, don't screw around with takin' a line. Get there, get it cut, get off da roof. (We've found that trench cut works better when using the line from underneath, not always possible though.)

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    Originally posted by resqcapt


    (We've found that trench cut works better when using the line from underneath, not always possible though.)

    Hence, when not possible, you can use a line from the roof. Not my favorite tactic, but one to keep in the playbook. I, personally, am a big fan of getting it from below when possible.

    John

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    Originally posted by Resq14
    - Flying Standpipe: advancing a line from the tower ladder into/onto a building for fire suppression. I'm really not a fan of doing this as it commits the ladder to one position. If you can safely say that this one ladder can essentially be taken out of service to act as a standpipe, then go for it I guess. I think it would be a bad idea to rely on it as a typical fire attack procedure, where rescue and ventilation might also be taking place.
    I have had to do this once before, when there was no standpipe installed, the stairs were compromised, and most of the building wasn't able to be reached by aerials making defensive/master stream attacks impossible. We were left with two options -
    1) use the aerial to get water to hoselines through the one side of the building that we could get aerial access to
    2) let the fire burn itself out (not a popular option in this case seeing as 3 firefighters lived in the building amongst the other residents).

    Just another tool in the box I guess
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    1. Positioning the tower, dropping a rope for the hoseline and hoisting it is a better option than tying the tower up.
    2. With a trench cut, the only option is to be underneath opening up. The fire will burn where the fuel is, anything you are doing on the top is squirting at fire that already vented and is harmless. There was great live video on a few years ago in the Philly area of this very thing at a huge apartment fire, showed it in graphic detail. You could tell when they finally got ahead of it both on the roof and underneath the fire stopped.

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    one thing that i can think is that of firefighter rescue. a hoseline can be used to pull a firefighter back up that fell through the roof. this can be applied from training in the columbus drill. there might be circumstances where the fallen firefighter might be unconscious or can not get out a door or window to safety.
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    With a trench cut, the only option is to be underneath opening up. The fire will burn where the fuel is, anything you are doing on the top is squirting at fire that already vented and is harmless. There was great live video on a few years ago in the Philly area of this very thing at a huge apartment fire, showed it in graphic detail. You could tell when they finally got ahead of it both on the roof and underneath the fire stopped.
    I would agree that the preferred place to be to provide an effective stop is from underneath, in a postion that is safe and tenable. However, I do not agree that the only option is to be underneath. There will be times when that position is not the best choice, in which case, you need to have another plan.

    John Norman makes refernece to this tactic in Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics, Second Edition, page 260.

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    Originally posted by Resq14
    Our tower ladder has a standpipe in the bucket with a bin of 100' 1.75" preconnected hose. For us, it serves two purposes:
    Not my truck either (technically) but the 1.75 is not preconnected, I think that part of the reason it's not connected is to discourage its use. Last time we talked about it, this line is for mopping up and is not used for offence except in RIT situations. If you need water in a window there's a really big freakin squirty thing on the front of the bucket that will get you all kinds of wet if so needed.

    I've never seen a line taken up to a roof except for chimney fires.

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    If you need water in a window there's a really big freakin squirty thing on the front of the bucket that will get you all kinds of wet if so needed.
    Yep, but it can't bend water around 90 degree corners inside a structure like a hose can (not with any degree of control anyway )
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    No Hoseline on roof is needed. One close-by isn't bad. I have had water squirted into the hole with me underneath, not a pretty site. Makes you want to take the other nozzle and beat someone over the head with it.
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    We do not take a line to the roof in my department, but our tower ladder has a 100 feet of 1 3/4 hose in a storage box on the bucket. This line is used for overhaul mostly. As of late we have allot of condos being built in our district with truss roofs. So now if the need arises we have a piercing nozzle attached to a 10 foot 1 3/4 hose that can be used from the bucket. This is not used to replace ventilation.
    Last edited by XCAPT1; 12-17-2002 at 01:45 AM.

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    Originally posted by XCAPT1
    we have a piercing nozzle attached to a 10 foot 1 3/4 hose that can be used from the bucket.
    Now that's a good idea, I'm gonna bring it up w/ the tower capt.

    Here's a possible further refinement of that idea, hook the 100' of 1.75 to the piercer and drop the hose to the ground, have the pump operator hook into it so you can leave the nozzle and move the stick elsewhere. Used in conjunction with a TIC you could be very effective in the bucket on otherwise dangerous roofs.

    As to getting the water around 90 degrees, just push the basket a little further into the window!

    Seriously, the line is only 100', not gonna get too far with it, and besides, in order to use it you must shut the big valve down feeding the big gun, hook up the line, have the waterway charged, and open the point of use valve once the line is out of the bucket. Once the big valve is closed you cannot extend or retract the waterway pipe. Not very easy to use.

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    As to getting the water around 90 degrees, just push the basket a little further into the window!

    ROTFLMAO!

    Seriously, the line is only 100', not gonna get too far with it, and besides, in order to use it you must shut the big valve down feeding the big gun, hook up the line, have the waterway charged, and open the point of use valve once the line is out of the bucket. Once the big valve is closed you cannot extend or retract the waterway pipe. Not very easy to use.
    We have some 5 story apartment blocks without standpipes on the waterfront. We can only access them from one side due to the water, so if the fire is in one of the apartments that faces the water then taking a line through the window of one of the apartments on the side we can access through to the opposite apartment might be the quickest way of getting water on the red stuff - or it would have been had someone in the specc'ing dept remembered to put a hose outlet on the bucket of the new aerials Now we'll have to run hose up the ladder
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    stillPSFB,

    Instead of tying your arial up with advancing a hoseline up the stick have you ever thought of using a bag of rope to hoist the line up to the floor below the fire then advancing up to the fire floor. This is much faster than using an arial plus you leave your arial free to important tasks such of vent and rescue.

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    We could possibly do that, the biggest problem at the moment is that our trucks are much smaller than in the U.S., and ours is packed to the rafters as it is - at any decent fire our truck looks like a disaster zone as everything is pulled off to get other things out. Damned if I know where we would fit that long a length of rope on the truck at the moment. We are planning to have a nother look at our stowage over the coming weeks to see if there is anything we can remove to allow a bit more room.
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    We keep a stuff bag with 150' of rope in the truck, could keep it in the basket, its standard proceedure to bring the bag on the roof any time you go up, easier to hoise the saw than to carry it up.

    The problem with bringing a line up to a window is that you need a hose roller and some device to carry the weight of the hose once its charged. A 5 story tall charged 1.75" would be quite heavy, you'd need to bring a lot into the window with you before charging if you expected to advance anywhere with it.

    Coming off the tower you would not need to worry about the hose pulling you out the window (althoug hyou'd still need to bring all your line in before charging), you'd know your escape route was right at the end of the hose, and you'd be able to shut the line down if so needed. Of course, you'd commit the stick to that one window until the line was dropped, but if I were going in a window on the 4th floor, I'd like to be sure my escape was staying around and not going off to do other things, which would be a potential if the line were not tied off to the tower.

    stillpsfb, where are you, I looked at your profile and it said nothing about you

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    stillpsfb, where are you, I looked at your profile and it said nothing about you
    Victoria, Australia - Bushfire Capital of the World!
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    Several reasons exist for taking a hose line to the roof: a fog stream can redirect smoke away from the sawman for better visibility, it can protect the sawman and hooks from heat and fire as it blows from the hole and they continue to dice or extend their cut, it can extinguish parts of the roof catching on fire (used horizontally not into the hole). A hose line is a good thing to have on the roof if you have the personnel.

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    Thumbs down handline for roof ops

    Vertical venting of any type of structure WILL be a task that is performed SAFE and FAST. Crews will take the required tools with them to the site. They will gain access to the roof, make their cuts and egress the roof. The whole point of vertical vent is to remove smoke, heat and gases from within the structure period. Roof ops is not intended to be used as a way to rescue victims or downed firefighters. Nor is it intended to be a way to extinguished fire. When a stream of water is directed into a structure through a vent hole. that stream is passing through the thermal layer. Hence that stream is turning into steam. So what does that do to a trapped victim or a downed firefighter or even a crew working in that space? It will burn them! It will also disrupt that layers of heat, smoke and gases. Before the vent hole was cut those were in their normal state. Meaning they were layered from the roof down to a point in the roof. That point could be up to and including that floor. After the hole is made they will proceed to exit that structure. That is the reason why we perform vertical vent in the first place. But a stream directed into that hole will creat a force, that force will pull air with it. Those that have performed hydraulic vent have seen that effect. So by directing a stream into a vent hole u are now fighting the purpose you are on the roof in the first place. You are forcing that smoke, heat and gas back into the structure.

    So no, a handline has no purpose or use on a roof. As a number of you have said already. If the roof is too hot, get off. DO NOT apply water. If the fire breaks through the roof, get off. That second handline that was stretched off the attack engine (backup/safety line) is now to be called into use. This line is for protection of the roof crew as they egress the roof only. Do not apply a straight stream onto the crew, do not direct that stream into the fire. Apply that stream, as a narrow fog onto the fire or between the fire and the roof crew.

    As for a roof ladder. I am sure if we were to ask a old hand, he would tell us of the days when there was no roof ladder. He would more than likely have a story of two to tell about the time he or his buck Lt or even the probie went through the roof into a burning attic or room underneath. He would tell you that after that fire they all got around and ribbed the firefighter or probie. He would be the butt of many a joke. That is if he made it out to be ribbed. So lets fast forward to the time of the roof ladder. What good is a roof ladder? What exactly is its purpose. Well ask yourself this. While making your cuts the roof suddenly gives way under either one of your feet. Doesnt matter which really. Before the collapse you have one foot planted firmly on the roof between two rungs of the roof ladder. The other is braced against the pickheaded axe. So what happens when the roof collapses. Your foot goes through and the rest of you is still on the roof. Why? The roof ladder of course. Whether your braced foot goes through and you are up to your waist in the attic or dangingly upside down in the attic. Or the planted foot goes through and you are amazingly doing the splits in full PPE the result is the same. The tool man reaches down pulls you up, the three of you egress the roof whether the cuts are finished or not. And for the next few days or weeks you are the butt of many a weight, singed leg hair, or gymnastist style joke. This is all in thanks to a peice of aluminum or wood riding on your engine or truck today.
    Think about the way that story would end if you were on a roof without a roof ladder and where would you have ended up? In the attic above the fire? In the attic with the fire? Or through the attic into a room on fire?

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    Thumbs up Handline for roof ops

    To say that a handline has no use or purpose on a roof during ventilation shows complete ignorance and inexperience. Of course one does not use it to extinguish fire below or to rescue downed firefighters, this is common sense and not the purpose of the hoseline on the roof. Yes, ventilation is meant to be safe and "fast"; however, for example, when ventilating a large commercial building or large center hallway apt. complex, this will not be a "fast" operation. These operations require a minimum of two saws working simultaneously, possibly four saws with two truck companies; it is labor intensive and is not possible to "just cut and get off the roof." If the interior crews do not get relief from the smoke and fire, then the cuts may need to be extended, prolonging the time on the roof. This is why at all times the hooks are constantly sounding the roof and the captain running the roof is keeping an eye on the previous inspection cuts. To say that if the roof is hot, then get off shows inexperience. Of course the roof is hot, especially with an attic fire. This is why we cut inspection holes and sound, validating the roof is stable enough to cut. To say that if fire is through the roof, then get off is too generalized. It depends on how much fire and where; ventilation may still be necessary to provide relief for the interior crews. A hoseline on the roof allows redirection of the smoke from the sawmen and hooks, again allowing better visibility and making it easier to breathe if one hasn't masked up yet, provides protection to the crews extending the cuts as fire blows through. Safety is our number one priority, but so is knowing how and when to ventilate. Los Angeles City Fire Department has excellent training videos which exemplify the above. If possible with personnel, it can be a great benefit to have a line on the roof.

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    A true truckie would probrably never want a line in there hand let alone on the roof. A roof op should be quick-get up do your work get down. It can be a very dangerous operation so you want to minimize time on the roof. A handline makes the operation longer due to stretch time and backing it off the roof. I am sure there are advantages of having it for protection but i feel it is more harm than good.

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