Thread: portable pumps

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    Default portable pumps

    We are having a discussion at my Dept. regarding the portable pumps that we carry on our front line engines, we (the "new guys") believe that the space they take up could be put to better use, however the chief and the "old guys" say that if we take th portable pumps off the truck we will lose our "class A" status on the truck, I have been in the fire service for 12 years and the only time I heard anyone mention Class A it was either for uniforms or for a brush rig out in CA, the old timers have stated that the reason they like the pump on there is if we are going to a fire and pass a water source we can drop the port.pump and have a ready water supply, that is ok with us however we are not big on stopping to unload that heavy thing. The chief has said if we can prove that we will not lose the class a rating he may let us take it off the front line truck. but it will stay on the 2d out engine, (which is the water supply eng. anyway), we dont have access to the NFPA standards and we were wondering if anyone could maybe e-mail NFPA 1901 to me?. or maybe someone could give us a better reason to leave the port. pump on there than "Because we have always done it that way".
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    Both my engines are Class A pumpers. Neither has a portable pump. We do have one, it's a floatable pump, but it's on our Utility truck, which is third out. Yes, they can be very useful, but rarely needed on a first due engine, at least in my area.

    From what I remember, rating of Class A had more to do with total GPM that could be pumped, some ground ladders, and some type of portable extinguisher. If you have a small GPM pumper, then the portable pump could possibly be to make up the difference there.

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    Default Re: portable pumps

    Originally posted by Firedan38
    the old timers have stated that the reason they like the pump on there is if we are going to a fire and pass a water source we can drop the port.pump and have a ready water supply,
    How big is this port. pump? We have 2 250gpm port. pumps and in no way do I feel they would make an addiquite water supply. Our pumps stay on the station floor out of the way and the most they've been used for were pumping basements. I feel no need to keep a port. pump on the first-out truck as they do just take up space, however having one at your use can come in handy at some time or another.

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    I have to agree with the above. I wouldn't call one of these a structural attack water supply. A turbodraft would make more sense to me if you were in a non-hydranted area beyond the reach of your hard suction.

    I'm trying to get our small portable off our rescue-pumper... it just doesn't make sense to have it on a first-out attack truck. The space it takes up far outweighs any benefit you might get from carrying it.
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    O.K. - Let me play devils advocate (I do love it so ).

    I agree that trying to supply a structural rig w/ a portable pump isn't the best idea and that the best way to use them would be to have it (them) supplying LDH (friction loss) to the attack pumper in which case a turbo draft IS the better option, however . . .

    Lets say you are in a rural water supply operation (beyond the reach of a turbo draft). Instead of committing a truck to a drafting site, why couldn't you drop a drop tank & 2 portable pumps and an operator at the draft site. You now have 500 GPM+ into a holding tank for the tankers to load from. The portables can run continuously if need be to keep the drop tank full.

    *Disclaimer - A very large tanker shuttle will overwhelm this fill site, however in a large scale operation you now have the resources to either upgrade this fill site or establish a second site (preferred method). This is still a great way for a Dept. with limited resources and long M/A times to get a water supply established. The added bonus is that now your water supply truck can now be used to shuttle water rather than being stuck at the fill site.

    I know that was way off topic to begin with. but depending on the make up of your area perhaps this gives you some reason to keep the pump(s) on your second out truck anyway.
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    Hehe, no I'm sure there are situations where dueling portable pumps might be the only solution to establish a water supply. His post hit home with me because some people on my department feel the same way.

    If you've gotta lug portable pumps in to a water source (let's say you were beyond the effective reach of your hard suction, or of a turbo draft), I would have to wonder how much water you would actually be getting at the porta-tank. Sounds like a long stretch of smaller diameter hose from the portable pumps.

    If these portable pumps are only for a few areas in your response district, consider installing dry hydrants so you will have far superior flow and won't need to carry the portable pump.
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    Class A Pumpers refer back to old ISO Classifications. Class A Pumpers could PUMP capacity (sp?) at 150psi, 70% of capacity at 200psi and 50% of Capaicity at 250psi.

    Class B Pumpers did the same at lower PSI.

    They havent been around since the 50-60's

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    Talking Dueling

    We have two high volume low pressure portables.Flows in excess of 1200 GPM very real and realized.On numerous occasions we've used the portables to augment or replace shuttles or extremely long lays(we have the hose & technology to pump close to 2 mi. of LDH)That being said,these "portables"aren't too portable,I don't think you would want to lug them a mile.But if you have a burning seasonal camp with the lake nearby they are the ticket when you can't get the pumper to the lake.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-02-2003 at 05:47 PM.

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    I think I may not have been as clear as I should have been before. In the example I was trying to illustrate, you're not using the portable pumps because of a accessibility problem but rather to free up a truck which could them be used to shuttle water rather than sit in one place and pump.

    I'll use my Dept. equipment to illustrate
    Example 1
    Engine 3 - 1000Gal / 1000GPM - Attack truck responds to scene.
    Tanker 3 - 1500Gal / 1250GPM - responds to scene drops porta-tank - dumps water for E3 (Future plans call for E3 to carry it's own drop tank so theoretically it's up and ready when T3 arrives)

    Pumper 3 - 1000Gal / 1000GPM - locates nearest water supply point & set's up draft

    Brush 3 - ~200Gal / ~350-400GPM Skid - May also respond as water supply depending on source.

    In this example you have 1000Gal of tank capacity being "wasted" by being tied into one place.

    Example 2
    Engine 3 - Attack
    Tanker 3 - Establish dump site on fire ground & begin water shuttle
    Pumper 3 - Drop pump, tank, and operator at fill site, proceed to scene as water shuttle
    Brush 3 - respond to fill site & augment the portable pump in keeping the dump tank full.


    In Example 1 we have 2500 Gal of water on scene and a 1500 Gal shuttle capacity while awaiting M/A (which is a MINIMUM of 10 to 15 minutes away)

    In Example 2 we have increased both the on scene & shuttle capacity by 1000 Gal by not tying the truck into the fill site.

    Assuming the 2 portable pumps are only pumping 500GPM into a 3000Gal drop tank - it will be full and waiting in 6 minutes. The first truck to the fill site would deploy it's hard sleeve and self fill from the drop tank. (More than likely the way our current trucks are plumbed they will never fill at or above 500 GPM anyway so these smaller pumps should be able to keep the tank pretty much full.)

    Granted this is not the ideal situation, however it's going to take time & $$ to upgrade to better plumbed and equipped trucks and right now this is one "trick" to make the best of the situation.

    Also - in the cases where we do have dry hydrants, we would then have to commit a truck to this site for the simple fact of intake / discharge fitting sizes. (no 4" to 2.5" adapters . . . yet)

    Hope that better illustrates what I'm talking about. I know this scheme has worked for us. Depending on your response area and equipment, your mileage may vary
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    Talking No problemo

    N2,See my above post.Understand if it's volume you're after you're going to TRADE OFF pressure.These new large portables are capable of flows approaching 750 gpm if properly equipped.But at low pressure.They will run for quite a while on a tank of gas,and if you make your quick connects the same you can switch gas pails without running out of gas.No problemo my friend!T.C.

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    Default portable pumps

    the reason i started this thread was for some information wheather a portable pump is required on an Engine per NFPA 1901.

    Some information on the dept. in question:
    E112 1995 Pierce saber 1500gpm 1000gal
    E117 1982 ford Pierce 1250gpm 1000gal
    T124 2000 S&S 500gpm 3000gal
    T123 1982 Chevy 500gpm 1250gal

    these are the first trucks to respond on structure fires in the district, we also have a very good M/A network and we can have an additional 5-7 tankers responding in 5-8 min. our water supply areas are hydrants and ponds and a river, if no hydrant with in a mile of fire scene we will fill from pond or river and we will place the portable pumps at the fill site, however if the portables are on the engines at the scene, then we have to lug them to the fill site, which is time and labor intensive, we would like to maybe place them on the tankers or on the utility truck to haul them to the fill site if they are needed but it is a big fight at this time. we were hoping to have some documentation to back us up in our arguments.
    thanks for all the input.
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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