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  1. #1
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Lines off the Platform

    Recently, a group has been conducting an evolution with our aerial platform consisting of the following:

    - Pulling up to our training building and setting the aerial to an upper story window (2nd floor for example)

    - Connecting a 100' line in the platform to the standpipe also in the platform, draping it down the ladder, and charging it

    - Advancing through the window and attacking a simulated fire somewhere on the upper floor.

    I strongly question the logic in such an evolution. In my opinion, you should not routinely commit the aerial device and truck crew to such a task. I don't believe in committing our only aerial device to a window when it would be better off getting a vent crew to the roof, or being ready to rescue a victim/ff.

    I can see using this as a RIT evolution for a downed FF to protect-in-place... or... if you are 6 or 7 stories up, to take advantage of the flying standpipe. But... in your "typical" residential fire, is it smart to do something like this? If it is necessary to get a line in to the second floor, would we be better off throwing a hand ladder and bringing the line up via it?

    I'm convinced that the line in the platform is best used for RIT, overhaul, or as a safety line while venting/opening-up a commercial building. It seems like the engine company is trying to do truck company work.
    Last edited by Resq14; 07-10-2003 at 01:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    For a second floor (and even third floor), I think this would be ridiculous. Higher up floors, maybe. But the situation would dictate it. As you said, you may need the ladder elsewhere and that has be a judgement call at the time. If your confident you don't need the ladder for other uses, then I can see it being helpful possibly.

  3. #3
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    Default ladder

    I agree that anchoring the truck to a lower story window defeats the design of the truck,. Consider using the truck as a hoist tool for a wyed off 2.5 and anchoring that in the window. You can then release the truck to other tasks. If you do this, you must provide egress for the crew you leave on that floor.I'm for ground ladders where they can reach. You can also deploy a large dry attack line up the stairwell and create you own stand pipe to upper floors.150'of 2.5 could easily get you up three or four floors and allow you to deploy in a stairwell.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    If you want to be a smart ***...

    While the Tower is being setup have a crew from the engine grab a 24' ladder, throw it up, advance a line up it, and tell the crew in the bucket that it's OK, the fire's out now when the bucket finally gets to the window.

    If you have taller 4+ story buildings, it's a good evolution to know just in case (might be faster to cut off an extending fire...but the Officer-in-Charge has to balance that his first due ladder is now pinned and can't move to make a rescue).

    Another idea is two go up with stairpacks, a couple hosestraps, and a hose roller and do just what they're supposed to do -- drop the hose out the window, use the straps to hold it in place and the roller to protect it from chafing from edge. You're ladder isn't committed now as a standpipe and could swing to another window in a pinch. Again, size-up is key -- that wouldn't be good if you're above the fire and it vents from a window the hose is passing by!

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    All good points, I would not want the tower tied up either. Used properly it is probably the most versatile piece of firefighting equipment on scene. These ideas usually spring from laziness.. "Hey, we can ride up and only drag 100 feet of hose in!" The only thing I have seen recently that was justified with ours was a small trash fire on the 5th floor of a vacant hospital that needed a little more than the 2 PW cans that were carried up. My feeling is that this is a basic ENGINE company evolution that shouldn't even involve the tower or ground ladders in MOST cases. I think crews should come up from underneath the fire using the interior stairs, assessing conditions as they go. When they reach a safe or convenient spot, floor below the fire maybe, they lower their utility rope and haul the line up into place, once they have enough to make the fire floor they tie it off. Even if the crew is 6 or 7 stories up, your only looking at 2 lengths to make the ground.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    To be fair to those who set this drill up, it is based on a fire we had earlier this summer.

    2 1/2 floor residence w/attached garage, main body of the house fully involved when I pulled up in the tower. Initial orders were to go offensive with the water pipe (as soon as the water supply was in place) via the 2nd floor window on the garage in an attempt to save it (which we ultimately did). Since we did not have a lot of man power, and I was the only qualified operator initially on scene I chose to not use the tower's pump and instead feed the water way direct from the pumper on scene. It was my first opurtunity to use the stick on a low angle water op and I made a serious dent in the fire with 900gpm once the window was cleared. The order was then made to secure the master stream and advance a line through the window to mop up. Since the water and stick were already in place, and we were not going to move the stick and leave the crew inside we pulled the 50' of the 100' preconnect in the basket. There was no need for venting as the fire had self vented (actually, at this point there was not much left to the main part of the house) and no need for the aerial else where.

    Should we have brought a hand line in from the ground? It would have to be a 200' line from the pumper that was supplying us (and all thier preconnects were in use already). Were we lazy? Maybe, but we were also shorthanded, had been on scene for about 20 minutes, and it was quite hot, so the sooner we could get done the better. To throw a ground ladder, lay out 200' and then drag a charged line into the 2nd floor, yeah call me lazy, but we got the job done a lot quicker with the basket line.

    The problem we ran into is how do you deploy a handline, charge it, and advance it from the basket. You can't just drop the line in the basket, and you don't want to enter w/o protection then charge either.

    The intial purpose of the drill was to figure out the best way to make use of the hand line should we have to pull it. Unfortunately, some people have begun to think using the hand line is a front line tactic.

    Still, the drills have proven usefull, we now know you can lay the line in the ladder, down and back, and pull it in fairly easily. Its not something I will jump to in every situation, but I know how to do it even quicker should the need arise again.
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  7. #7
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by Fire304
    Unfortunately, some people have begun to think using the hand line is a front line tactic.
    Yeah, that's what I was referring to. I wasn't second-guessing its use at that call (wasn't even there), just the reasoning behind some of the drilling that has been taking place.

    If it's being used as a mop-up line, the line can be advanced dry and then charged. I know it can be charged prior to entry, but it's definetly not the safest thing to do. I'd much rather see people take the line inside, then charge it.

    I posted here to test the waters and get thoughts from people who might have experience with such an evolution. Just wanted to broaded my horizons a little.
    Last edited by Resq14; 07-31-2003 at 01:11 PM.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Yeah, I kinda figured that was the tack you were taking with your post, you know my opinion of quints; if I had it my way there would not be a single hand line on that truck.

    I just wanted people to know that this drill was not an out-of-the-blue let's see if we can do it, but rather based on a real problem which we encountered on the fireground. I am glad we ran these drills, now we know we can lay the hose down the ladder and charge it before going in.

    The problem is that some of the people who were involved in the drill and were also not at the fire have come away with the wrong message.

    Kinda reminds me of the Battle of Vis in 1866 between the Italian and Austrian navies. A huge brawl, the first of its kind with iron clad ships, but the gun crews were horrible aims and when they did hit the balls bounced off the sides of the armor. Finnally after about 12 hours of battle an Austrian ship rammed and sank an Itailian battle ship. In the end (14 hours) only 2 Italian ships were sunk (the other by a fire) no Austrian ships were loss.

    Lesson learned...
    Train you gunners better? No.
    Develope better guns? No.
    The lesson which was taken to heart right up till WW1 was the use of rams on ships, which slowed them down and reduced their manuverability and were never to be again used in battle.

    I hope we have simular results with the basket line, never use it again.
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  9. #9
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    I can see why Tom Brennan dislikes the gated outlet in the bucket of a TL. Handlines for upper floor fires need to be advanced through interior stairwells to protect the building occulants AND us. Maybe using the line from the bucket for overhaul is OK, BUT to use as an attack line, that's taking a $750,000 or more piece of VERY usuable fire apparatus and turning it into a VERY expensive standpipe. Maybe a good drill, but they would be better off practicing their stretch's from a pumper.

  10. #10
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    I agree 100% with FDNY99. A Tower Ladder has so many more things it could be doing rather then putting handlines in service from the bucket.

  11. #11
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    In reference to Dalmation 90's reply, it's a whole lot easier to make up a rope with clips and stuff it inside an empty Clorox bottle and use that to stretch a dry line up from the ground, then to take up roll ups , a hose roller (come on are you kidding me the hose we use now in the fire service can be used in a situation like this with out the need for a hose roller) and do it that way. If you use the clorox bottle and rope to stretch from the ground, you will NEVER have to worry about stretching short, because your hose supply will ALL come from one place! But this WHOLE discussion should be a moot point! The line should be ALWAYS stretched up through the interior to protect US and the OCCUPANTS! There should be NO exceptions to this rule, upper OR lower floor fire! The quicker the fire goes out, the faster we go home, and the faster the life hazard is eliminated!!

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