1. #1
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    Default 1st Due Engine-To Drop or not to Drop (Supply Hose)

    Need some input here....

    You are the officer/firefighter riding in the front seat of the first due engine. When do you drop supply hose?

    Do you utilize foward lays, split lays, or reverse lays...or a combination of both.

    If you foward lay in the case of a hydrant being in your travel path, what criteria do you use to determine if you are puttin hose down on the way in.

    Would you drop it for a report of smoke in the dwelling (detached single family wood frame)if you have to pass the plug on the way in.

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    As a general rule, we as a department rely on the second due engine for a supply at working fires. It is an operating guideline that our first due engine take up a spot in front of the fire building leaving enough room for ladder company apparatus. The second due engine company is responsible for the water supply, and will lay 2-3" supply lines and find a hydrant. This is as I quoted a "guideline". Obviously if you have a plug close the driver is free to take his own supply. We have an advantage of a large number of companies in fairly close proximity and don't have to wait long for second and third due engines to arrive. We do also work with 1 3/4" as our primary reduced handline, and as such companies are able to work off the tank for a short period of time. If on arrival there is a need for large lines to be put into operation the first due engine has to decide to either wait for a supply engine or find a hydrant. As I said before companies arrive on scene within 1 or 2 minutes of each other a good portion of the time. We rely on guidelines so as to allow for improvisation by the company officer, and to give them some degree of lattitude as to their decisions. This is just a brief description that did not take into account a wide variety of scenarios that could be applied.

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    Generally speaking, the ambulance or utility truck will be the first unit on-scene (since they're staffed 24/7), so they'll give the size-up and often make contact with someone before the first engine even rolls. Thus, the first in engine pretty much knows what they're going to have, and if the situation warrants, they'll hit a hydrant on the way in. We only have a few spots in town where a reverse lay is needed, and the Engineers and Captains all know those.

    'Bout the only fire situation where the first-in engine won't hit a hydrant is a car fire or other early fire (small brush, dumpster, etc.) where they think they can make a quick knock-down with the tank, and that's the Captain's call. In such cases, there will usually be a second engine close behind that can lay in a supply line if needed. House fires though will always involve the first engine laying a supply line.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    MG, the answer to your questions is YES. Yes we put it in the street, every time, one way or another. Straight Lay, Split Lay, Reverse Lay, we use 'em all. The normal thing is that the officer on the Engine looks up the address in the map book. (We make our own maps, because no one else will make them to suit our needs) The normal choice is the last hydrant on the way in to the reported address. This can change due to hydrants out of service, streets closed, and a few other factors. One thing that is rare around here is a hydrant valve. We drop a (or 2 or 3) 3 inch line(s) at the hydrant and lay in to the address. The next-arriving Engine hooks up to the hydrant and pumps the line(s) to the first engine. Third arriving Engine may lay an additional line(s) from the Engine on the hydrant to the address, taking the "Side Charlie" position. The 4th Engine stands by for direction. It is VERY rare to connect a supply line direct to a hydrant, rather, we put a pumper on the hydrant. Most of our hydrants are good for at least 2,000 gpm @ 85-110 pounds. Most of them are on a 600 ft. spacing meaning we do not have to lay long lines very often.
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    I believe, as you have already seen, the type of dept. and number of engines and personnel will have alot to do with the answers your gonna get. We make the decision based on dispatch information and what we can see ourselves during response. Obviously if we can tell from the dispatch info and see a strong column of smoke during response we will take the nearest hydrant to the address with the first in engine. If the officer of the engine thinks the crew can make a quick knock down then sometimes the first in engine will pass the hydrant and have the second in engine hook up or stage. Either way, 1st, or 2nd engine must remember to leave enough room for other responding apparatus to pass the hose and/or get the hose ramps in place.We are a combonation dept. and have an automatic M/A pact with our sister city, for structure fires in either city. We respond our 1st and 2nd engines and they will respond one engine and a truck.


    In these type situations, the IC must keep in mind the responding units from across town, water supply and apparatus staging means everything. We will try to save the " big water" for the ladder, and have one engine free to relay to the ladder if needed, also leaving either of the cities 3rd engines for additional calls.

    Hope this helps...
    Capt. Walker
    South Fulton Fire

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    When I first started out in the fire service, it was not unusual for an engine to carry 250 gallons of water in the booster tank. If you were on one of these engines, you had better lay in if there was any possibility that you were going to fight fire. In some cases, the policy was 500 gallons or less on board - lay in; more than 500 gallons on board - go straight for the fire.

    I've had several experiences where the first due engine did not lay in and trouble resulted. On several occasions, the second due engines were delayed due to trains. This creates real problems since you now are without a supply line and short of manpower. In one case, we were able to get bystanders to hand lay the supply line back to the closest hydrant.

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    The first in engine (900 gal tank) will go straight to the scene and size up. Depending on the building the second out will be either the quint or second engine they will take the hydrant if the first engine hasnt already hand laid.


    Sometimes the second unit is there within a min or two of the first, but there are times where it can be up to 8-10 mins. It is a incident by incident thing.

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    As has been said before, it depends on the situation and where in the first due we are. If I'm in the seat, I try to lay a line either at a hydrant, or drop a line at a convienient spot for the tanker to pick it up. We use 4" supply line and will normally forward lay, although we will split lay, or reverse lay if the situation calls for it. Truthfully, a reverse lay is very rarely used, people are afraid that somebody will steal their fire.

    The enigne I'm normally on carries 1000 gallons, and we also run our pumper/tanker first due at non-hydrant areas, so it's comming with 2000 gal. Those tanks give us a little time to work if we need to.

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    Our Department has no hydrants in district at all, so this question is purely "theory", but thanks for the insights We tank all our water with us, and usually MA for additional tanker assets as required.

    I am interested in seeing what anyone else has to add here. Keep it roll'n guys, and thanks again.
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  10. #10
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    Thumbs up How we do it.

    SAFD uses the "double attack-supply evolution" for structure fires.
    The theory is to hit the fire with at least 1000 gallons of water as rapidly as possible, which will knock out a majority of sfd fires or at least put a large dent in them.
    How it works is-

    -1st due Motor (engine) pulls up in front (leaving room for the Truck of course) and pulls the 1 3/4 preconnect to start hitting the fire
    -2nd due Motor pulls up behind 1st and catches in tandem, pulls their own preconnect and advances it wherever needed
    -3rd due Motor catches plug on a forward lay (5 inch LDH), hooks in tandem to 2nd and establishes the continuous supply. Now if more lines are needed they can be pulled from any of the Motors.

    For a sfd fire SAFD sends a 3 Motor, 1 Truck, 1 DC assignment. For larger structures or as needed an initial assignment of 4 Motors, 2 Trucks and a DC is sent.

    This evolution is effective as long as you have the manpower coming to carry it out within a rapid time frame. Just another way to do it -46
    Last edited by SAFD46Truck; 06-01-2004 at 11:05 AM.

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    I work for two departments and they are diametrical opposites. One place drops hose and reverses out on just about every fire. The other pulls preconnects 90+% and lets the second get water to us. (they are forward lay capable)

    For the reverse lay at a single family residence it depends on the extent of fire, if I know it isn't in the structure and is just one room, or a rescue it is preconnect time. Multi family, commercial, industrial I would lead out.

    As for forwarding in, If I had a strong index of suspicion that we had a working fire I would lay in. (heavy smoke or visable fire, another member of department advising a working fire etc.) I wouldn't trust a report from the public or even the PD (too many "fully involved house" that turns out to be a pump can fire)

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    Our dept is like MalahatTwo7's....We have 1 Pumper and 2 Pumper/Tankers....Our other Pumper usually is only used on major fires and it sits at a hydrant.....We rely on tanker shuttles,porta tanks and mutual aid for our water supply..
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    If we pass a hydrant on the way in to reported fire.....oh, wait....*scratcheshead*......I guess we don't need to worry about that (there's a good line for you to pick up on, Cap'n G - perhaps I should have clarified the fact that I meant the hydrants, not the fires).


    Serously though:

    We're in a little bit of a transitional stage right now, so things are constantly changing.

    Current operations:

    -First due engine arrives with 2,500 gallons of water and a Class 'A' foam system - may drop up to 1,400 feet of 5" in single or dual configurations if warranted.

    -Second due engine drops 2,000 feet of 5" in single or dual configuration. Third due finishes lay with 4", if necessary.


    Future operations:

    -First due will arrive with approximately 2,000 gallons of water and CAFS. If heavy volumes of fire are present (large commercial/residential/agricultural/institutional), 440gpm/220cfm CAF blitz attack via remote monitor before exiting the truck. If fire doesn't go out after 4-5 minutes of this 2,000gpm-equivalent attack, drop portable monitors and reverse lay up to a mile of 5" in single to quadruple configurations.

    -Second due: forward or reverse lay with 1-4 5" lines - up to a mile. Third due reverse lay of 5" to portable monitor.


    Needless to say, most SFD fires should be extinguished without a piece of 5" hitting the road. In town, forward lays by the first-due are only warranted if a supply line will clearly be necessary (ie visible heavy fire prior to arrival or command officer on scene) and they pass a drafting point on the way in and/or long driveway situation.



    Hydrant operations (mutual aid) consist of a forward lay with 1 or more 5". Future operations with a two-engine mutual aid response to a hydranted district may yield any number of options, including access to water sources up to two miles away and flows up to 8,000 gpm.


    With a department that has smaller tanks, no Class 'A' foam/CAFS, and a hydranted district, I am a strong supporter of laying in with the first-due engine company on any reported structure fire/smoke in the building - I would much rather repack a dry, un-used supply line on every possible fire than have to hand jack or run out of water when it matters most.
    Last edited by HFDCLanger; 06-02-2004 at 11:12 PM.

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    we usually have the first due engine wrap the plug and hook up to the hydrant. Second arrving is te truck so you gotta make room for them followed by the next engine. If it is a really long lay we will wrpa the plug and have the truck "make" it and then come up.
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    Currently, we only have full-time staffing for one engine. Any additional rigs will be staffed by volunteers or will be mutual aid companies. So, our first-due engine has standing orders to wrap the plug and lay in if smoke is showing on arrival.

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    The BCFD way
    1st Engine leads off takes front
    2nd Engine spots 1st engines plug
    3rd Engine leads off from a different plug takes rear
    4th Engine spots 3rd engines plug
    1st truck takes front
    2nd truck takes rear
    New this year 5th Engine takes RIT and cannot be used for anything else unless designated by command.
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