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    Question Switching to LDH?

    A question for anybody....trying to get some ideas together for our 2005 FireAct grant application....I was thinking of trying to get some large diameter hose and I need some advice.

    A little background...We are a rural, all volunteer department, run about 300 calls a year. The largest supply line we currently use is 3". Although rural, our area is mostly pretty well hydranted. Our hydrants average in the 500-1,000 gpm range, some a little less, some a tad more, with approx. 70 psi. static pressure. I have some working knowledge of LDH, as I use it at my industrial job. My questions:

    Considering 5" or 6"...which is better? I'm used to 6" at my job, but I think it would be overkill in a rural setting (Mostly single-family dwellings, although we have 2 sugar mills, some industry, and the usual supermarkets/schools/churches etc.). Is the extra flow worth the weight, cost, difficulty to handle, etc.? Opinions? Reasons?

    How much LDH would you generally carry on an engine? (I suspect this would depend on how spaced your hydrants are, but general ideas?) Do you still carry a good supply of 2.5" or 3"?

    Any tips/tricks on how to set it up, what accessories and fittings I'll need? SOP's?

    Do you generally feed long lays directly from the hydrant, or use a relay pumper at the hydrant? We use a relay usually, just to generate enough pressure to overcome the friction loss of 3". How necessary is it with LDH?

    Also, anybody use Turbodraft? Seems like a great idea, just wondering how well they work. We do have quite a lot of static water sources, but can't get an engine right up close to most of them for drafting. Thought Turbodraft might be a good solution, would appreciate your opinions, pro or con.

    Any info is appreciated, feel free to post here or e-mail me. Thanks.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Considering 5" or 6"...which is better?
    We use 5" and have never had a problem with not enough water.

    How much LDH would you generally carry on an engine? (I suspect this would depend on how spaced your hydrants are, but general ideas?) Do you still carry a good supply of 2.5" or 3"?
    We carry a 1000" of 5". We carry 300' of 3" for apartment lays and standpipe opps.

    Any tips/tricks on how to set it up, what accessories and fittings I'll need? SOP's?
    We flat lay it, and it is set up for forward lay. As for accessories, we have hydrant adaptors, 5" spanners, 2.5" and 3" storz to NST adaptors and a 5" storz to 2.5" gated wye on each unit. We dont have any SOPs on, as its the only thing we use as supply line.

    Do you generally feed long lays directly from the hydrant, or use a relay pumper at the hydrant? We use a relay usually, just to generate enough pressure to overcome the friction loss of 3". How necessary is it with LDH?
    Anything over 1000' we relay pump. Sometimes less depending on the hydrant flow.

    Also, anybody use Turbodraft?
    Not here, we dont draft.

    Dave
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    Thanks for the info and quick response, Dave....Just the kind of info I was looking for.

    We flat lay it, and it is set up for forward lay.
    Do you have Storz couplings on your hose? How would a forward lay differ from a reverse, in that case?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Do you have Storz couplings on your hose? How would a forward lay differ from a reverse, in that case?
    It wouldn't, really; just don't forget to take an adaptor to the hydrant if you need to convert it to the stortz when reverse laying supply line.

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    Pretty much the same as the others, we finaly converted from 4" to 5" on all our trucks. We store it flat, and carry around 1000'per truck with 2.5 also. With stortz couplings you dont need to worry about forward or reverse lays past taking the hose and adapters with you if you do the reverse lay. Works great and has low friction loss.
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    Don't forget large intake valves on the truck itself. Usually they are piston-intake, but ball-intake is also available. I've never been around a ball-intake valve. I don't know what the pros/cons are for each type either.

    Some departments also use 4-way LDH manifolds that you connect directly on the hydrant. It makes possible to add a relay pumper at the hydrant without interrupting the current flow.

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    First: Allow me to apologize for the length of this post.


    We use 5" hose. We have for 20 years. It offers the best combination of low friction loss, high flow, and mobility. We cover 23.2 square miles of mostly suburban territory, but only 70% or so is hydranted. Our hydrants are all 500ft apart.

    Our engines are set up like this:
    Engine 1:
    2,000 ft of 5"
    1,000 ft of 2.5"(200 ft of it is attack hose)

    Engine 2:
    1,000 ft of 5"
    500 ft of 2.5"
    500 ft. of 2"

    Tanker 1:
    1,000 ft of 5"
    500 ft of 2.5"

    Tanker 2:
    1,000 ft of 5"
    500 ft 2.5"

    2.5" hose is VITAL for standpipe or short small scale nursing operations. You should always carry it or 3". Our LDH has storz couplings, flat loaded. We use a humat valve(aka 4 way valve) when we make our lays. That way, we can get a relay pumper on the plug if necessary without interrupting flow. Just be sure to charge the line from the relay pumper to the valve before switching the valve from the attack engine to the relay engine. It limits/eliminates the interruption in flow especially during firefighting operations.

    Our SOPs in regards to water supply are simple. Humat valve goes on at all times. And at all times LDH is laid. Never 2.5" inch because the smoke coming from the structure is light, or because it doesn't look like that RV/tractor trailer is that well involved. Always drop the big line. It's safer and more efficient.

    Any questions, feel free to post!
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Default Re: Switching to LDH?

    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    Considering 5" or 6"...which is better?
    Honestly, I've never been around 6" LDH. But I can tell you that we have no problems with water supply using our 5" hose.

    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    How much LDH would you generally carry on an engine? (I suspect this would depend on how spaced your hydrants are, but general ideas?) Do you still carry a good supply of 2.5" or 3"?
    The worst spacing of plugs that I know of in my city is 600'. My engine carries 1,000 feet of LDH. So, we can skip an OOS plug and still lay in with no problem. We still carry 500' of 2.5" supply line. The only reason it would be used is to extend the length of our handlines in an apartment complex type setting.

    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    Any tips/tricks on how to set it up, what accessories and fittings I'll need? SOP's? Do you generally feed long lays directly from the hydrant, or use a relay pumper at the hydrant?
    Our LDH has Storz couplings. It's set for a forward lay in that we keep a Storz to NST adapter attached on the end closest to the running board. As far as fittings go... I don't know what is standard. I do know that our chief cleared out the warehouse when he ordered LDH fittings. I doubt that we'll ever need one and not have it.

    As far as SOPs go... anytime we have smoke showing on arrival, we lay LDH. Never anything less. I've even used LDH on a car fire. (We were using a reserve rig that had a leaking tank -- any fire required catching a plug.)
    Last edited by cozmosis; 01-03-2005 at 11:42 PM.

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    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    Thanks for the info and quick response, Dave....Just the kind of info I was looking for.



    Do you have Storz couplings on your hose? How would a forward lay differ from a reverse, in that case?
    Yes, Storz. A reverse lay is the same, you just have to remember to grab an extra hydrant adaptor (we carry an extra) or be sure you remove it from the hose before you drop it at the engine your laying from.

    Dave
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    5 inch here we pump anything over 1000 ft as far as the turbodrafts we have 5 of them they are great

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    I think 5" would be the best for your department and setting
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    dmleblanc, I have about same call volumne, mostly hydranted area, some areas we have drafting sites from the river/ocean inlet(yes, salt water). Hydrants range from 500gpm up to 1500gpm and 95% of them are at 50psi. We use 5" LDH and 2.5" although the 2.5" is rarely used for supply, mostly just to top off the tanks or such. Have adapters available and you can lay it any direction, forward or reverse. Just remember, once it's down and filled, it's pretty much going to stay there. My first due piece has 800' of 5" and my second due has 2000' split into 2 1000' loads. We can either lay the 1 long line or 2 separate ones to a drafting point. We looked at Turbodrafts but they were not beneficial to us in our setting as we can reach the drafting points easily and get the full flow, we would have needed 2 turbodrafts in operation to match it. They are good for areas that have long/high reaches to their drafting points.
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    Exclamation

    We have used four inch LDH sine 1985. We looked at the 5 inch but stayed with the 4. We use 20 Ft. 6 inch in on the front suctions. My question, having delt with the 4 inch and tried out the 5, which is also heavy, If you go to 6 inch LDH, do you have enought members to pick the line up and repack it??? It is very heavy.

    We use relay pumping at every 900 feet of 4 inch on long lay outs.

    You may really want to consider this when purhcasing any LDH.

    Good luck.



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    A little wrinkle to the question.

    We have 1000' of 5" LDH on all of our engines.

    We use double jacket cloth instead of the rubber jacketed.

    Not sure why that the way its always been.

    Any pro's or con's to using the cloth jacketed 5"

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    Considering 5" or 6"...which is better?

    What's your fireflows? Unless you need 6" to meet specific needs, 5" is pretty standard in the fire service "big line".

    How much LDH would you generally carry on an engine?

    ET-190 (primary Attack) 1200' 4"
    ET-290 (primarily tanker) ~200' 4" + ~200' 3" in short lengths. These are used to setup fill/dump sites.
    Engine-190 5000' 5" (yes, a mile)
    L-190 1200' 4"

    Next four due Engines/Engine-Tanks to our center area each carry between 1200 and 2500' of 5".

    I like the 5" for laid lines...I don't like filling tankers with it! It's noticeably easier to handle 4" lines when filling/dumping; and you notice a good performance jump v. 2.5"/3" lines.

    We also use the 4" for distribution around the fireground.

    Any tips/tricks on how to set it up, what accessories and fittings I'll need? SOP's?

    Gated Wye, 5", would top my list. Let's you split the supply to feed two trucks -- yes, they may compete...but that's better than having something go wrong with one truck and that take down the one it's feeding (i.e. plugged intake screen, etc).

    We don't, but the department north of us by SOP uses an LDH hose clamp -- and I suppose that's not a bad idea to give you quick control if something goes wrong on the fireground side.

    A Phantom Pumper is nice (5" to 4 x 2.5"), but not necessary -- could adapt down the Wye.

    We have a Humat hydrant valve, not convinced it's super necessary. We do have a couple pre-planned evolutions we do forward lay leaving the hydrant to later be pumpep by a mutual aid pumper to boost the pressure.

    [i]Do you generally feed long lays directly from the hydrant, or use a relay pumper at the hydrant? [i]

    Our standard SOP is to do the same we did before hydrants, and still do in 90% of our area -- Engine reverse lays to water. So it reverses to a hydrant and pumps it.

    Lay may be split -- ET lays a line up a long driveway, Engine grabs it at the road and reverses to water.

    A few high-flow hazards are pre-planned Engine forward lays and hydrant is opened under it's own pressure. Engine then reverses from scene to a second, static water source. A mutual aid Engine or our Tanker can then pump the hydrant later to boost the pressure/flow.

    We use a relay usually, just to generate enough pressure to overcome the friction loss of 3". How necessary is it with LDH?

    Not very necessary -- from draft (so we have 150-180psi discharge) we don't even consider it for under 3000' lays, and the only time I remember us relaying other than during a drill was an 8000' lay with 200' of elevation to also overcome. I can't see us operating off our fairly weak (decent volume, but low pressure) hydrants w/o a hydrant pumper very often though.

    Also, anybody use Turbodraft?
    I'd love too...but can't justify it for my town.

    Not too many buildings need a middling level flow, and we can achieve that with tankers in most areas if needed.

    If we need 1500gpm, we'd need a couple pumpers & a couple Turbodrafts to do it...and in much of the town if there's a poor pond close enough to the fire scene that we'd consider using a turbodraft, we can go another 1000' or 2000' to a better pond and flow the same or better from draft.

    Cat's *** in the right situation...just not ours.

    ---------------
    Probably the most powerful tool in the fire service is a pad of paper and a pencil -- draw out some "sample" scenarios for your town, work out the hydraulics. (If you have Excel, I can send you a copy of my hydraulics spreadsheet FireInfo that includes Angus' own friction loss numbers...mkivela@mortlake.org).

    We have 5000' of 5" on our Engine, and the other company in town has 2500' -- those numbers were figured out pre-1983. Visit us a decade down the road you'll probably see us instead downsized into 2 F-550 class trucks with 2000' of 5" each as the conditions & needs of town have changed.
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    We use double jacket cloth instead of the rubber jacketed.
    Not sure why that the way its always been.
    Any pro's or con's to using the cloth jacketed 5"


    Con:

    You probably have relatively high friction loss for 5".
    FL:
    1500gpm, double jacketed, rubber lined 5": 18psi/100'
    1500gpm, Angus Hi-Vol 5" (stretches to 5.2" when charged): 8psi/100'.

    Single stage 1500gpm pumper at draft, 150psi gets you 1500gpm.

    Can't deliver that through the whole 1000' of double jacketed probably, indeed 150-20psi incoming pressure (fireground side) = 130 psi for friction loss. 130/18 = 700' is your max lay using the "book" numbers -- your mileage may vary, only way to know for sure is to pump it.

    However, with Hi-Vol, you'd deliver it through 1000' easily, indeed you could deliver it out about 1600'.
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    We are a VERY rural department. We carry 1,000 ft of 5" storz LDH on our first due structural engine, and 600ft of 2 1/2 plus various preconnects etc... The 5" is our ONLY supply line. If we are laying supply it is 5" period. The only thing we use the 2 1/2" for is attack lines and the occasional nurse line to fill a brush truck or something, we never pull 2 1/2 for hydrant supply. It did take some convincing to get the rule to stick though. At first 5" hose can be bulky and difficult to handle. A few training drills, some good technique, and no longer a problem. Theres a couple good videos out there on LDH operations, can't remember the names right now....I'll do some looking at the station and see If I can find them.
    Rick Gustad - Chief
    Platte Volunteer Fire Department
    www.plattevfd.com

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    If you go to 6 inch LDH, do you have enought members to pick the line up and repack it??? It is very heavy.
    Yes, it is damned heavy. My job with the 6" hose is at a large chemical facility. So if we ever have to lay a bunch of the stuff, we just leave it there and have a crew of contractors come and pick it up .

    Thanks for all the info, everyone. I do think that 5" would be more than adequate for our setting. It would definitely take a deal of retraining and might be hard for some of the "old timers" to swallow, as none of them has ever worked with it before. Heck, I remember when we first upgraded from 2.5" to 3", everyone thought that was the $hit$... .

    One thought that concerns me is that none of our neighboring departments use LDH either (one recently went to 4", but no 5"). So I guess we'd have to be set up with enough of the right fittings and adapters to allow them to pump into our line for mutual aid.

    We do have one of those "Phantom Pumpers" at work that someone mentioned....basically a 6" water thief with 4 2.5" takeoffs. Doesn't get used much but good to know it's there, may be useful for something one day.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Since you mention only one of your mutual aid companies uses LDH, if/when you switch to 5", I suggest you make a 'relay bag'.

    In your relay bag I suggest:
    5" siamese with either with 2 2.5" inlet or 2 3" inlet
    Spanner wrench
    2 adapters(either 2.5" or 3" depending on what the siamese is)
    1 4" to 5" adapter

    That way, if they ever have to pump into your line, they can. Just drop the bag right beside the hose you dropped, and make sure that everything's marked. I suggest you do an overview of your mutual aid, find out what the majority/most likely to be backing you up use and equip the siamese for easy use by them and then use the rest of the adapters for the others.
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    My department started with 4" LDH in 1974, and upgraded to 5" about 2 years ago. We run with 1500' each on 2 front line engines. Hydrant coverage in our district is around 90%, with spacing around 500-600' in most places. We run a tanker operation with mutual aid tankers for the non-hydrant areas.

    All of the departments surrounding us are using 4" LDH, so we carry lots of 4" x 5" Storz adapters on the engines. We do not use any siamese adapters. On the few hydrants we have without steamers, we just hook right up to a 2-1/2" port. This actually gives greater flows than the siamese adapters we used to carry, based on actual flow tests. Also, all mutual aid companies have the ability to connect LDH to inlets and discharges, so that is never a problem.

    If you don't have a hose bed tarp, you will need to cover the front 4' or so of the hosebed with either cargo netting or a treadplate hinged cover. The wind tends to lift the top layer of hose on occasion, and at 60 MPH, 1500' of 5" will lay out in about 18 seconds (again based on actual experience, and it takes a lot longer to get it back on!). We are amazed at the flows we get with the 5", with very low friction loss.

    Draining and reloading is also not bad. We had a few outspoken members balk at the upgrade, saying the 5" was heavy, although none of them had ever actually seen a length, let alone lift one! As long as the hose is drained using the vacuum method, it loads pretty fast with a half dozen people.

    All in all, the 5" LDH is a valuable tool for us.

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    Thanks for the assistance, everyone. One more question....has anyone been able to obtain a FireAct grant to change to LDH? That's my aim. Also thinking about getting Turbodrafts (I think I mentioned that) and some Blitzfire or similar monitors for each engine, and of course all the necessary fittings & accessories. Gonna call it the "Big Water" project. Anyobody done something similar with grant funds?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    Thanks for the assistance, everyone. One more question....has anyone been able to obtain a FireAct grant to change to LDH? That's my aim. Also thinking about getting Turbodrafts (I think I mentioned that) and some Blitzfire or similar monitors for each engine, and of course all the necessary fittings & accessories. Gonna call it the "Big Water" project. Anyobody done something similar with grant funds?
    I dont know if it was FireAct or not, but a department in my area got a grant to replace all their 4" LDH, purchase new adapters & couplings, get a few more Jaffrey / B-Fly valves, along with a few master stream appliances I believe.
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    A department in the next county from us got a FireAct grant in 2003 to upgrade from 4" to 5". I know it was 3 Engines and a Quint with all the hose (5000' plus short lengths) as well as all the intake valves, fittings, adapters, etc. I believe they also had enough to replace all their 1-3/4" attack hose and to buy 4 Blitzfire monitors.

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    Just remember, once it's down and filled, it's pretty much going to stay there.
    Thats a great point that I forgot to mention. Once its down and filled, forget about moving it.

    If you do purchase it, make sure you train with your engineers on laying the line along the same edge of the road that the hydrant is on, to keep it clear for any additional apparatus that may be comming in.

    Its not like laying dual 2.5" or 3" lines that you can either move or throw a couple hose bridges over. Ive seen hose bridges for LDH, but they are HUGE and only rated (weight) for passenger cars and not fire apparatus.

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    About the only 'trick' not mentioned is getting some short sections to complete a lay when you are using 100' sections, which I recommend to limit the number of couplings in your hose bed. In Memphis we carry 1066' of 5". 10 - 100' sections in the bed and 2 - 33' sections in a compartment. This is a great help when the pumper stops and the couplings is at the tailboard. Instead of having to pull an additional 100' section to stretch out between the tailboard and intake, just complete the lay with a 33' section.

    If it looks like you have less than 50', use both 33' sections. Anything that looks over 50' we go ahead and pull an additional section out of the bed.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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