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Thread: Standpipe Opps

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default Standpipe Opps

    Just curious how other departments handle standpipe operations in hi-rise buildings.

    Our county SOG is for the first due engine company too abandon the rig, and have the entire crew go to the fire floor. The second due is too supply the system.

    I dont agree with this at all. I belive the engineer from the first due should supply the system while the rest of the crew goes in.

    My thought here is, if you follow the SOG, your putting your entire crew at the mercy of the buildings system. I look at this way, I would rather have 3 FFs on the floor and know I have water then too have 4 and hope I do. Keep in mind, this SOG makes no allowences for buildings with standpipes but no fire pump.

    Am I wrong here? Is this how everyone else does it?

    BTW, we get 4 paid engines on the first alarm to a hi-rise, so a delay due to volunteer staffing is not an issue.
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    Dave,

    Even when I worked in a suburban setting much more similar to your area than where I work now...we still had the first Engine secure a water source and supply the Standpipe system. Even if that meant the Officer and FF(maybe 2 if lucky) were the only two making their way to the fire floor it would mean by the time they were ready for operations they would have water in almost all cases supplied from the Engine. Or the least delay in having a secure water supply from our Engines.

    -Pumps fail
    -Valves have been accidentaly left shut after maintenance.
    -Maintenence can be on going when a fire breaks out.
    -Siamese caps can be seized shut. (thus requriring the 1st floor outlet to be supplied and causing another delay.)

    Supply the stanpipe first for FF safety.

    FTM-PTB

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    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    Our SOP states that the second due engine will supply the standpipe system. Two firefighters and the officer from the first due engine will carry the hi-rise pack to the fire floor. The drivers job is to control the elevators. The first due truck takes up the irons and hooks. We have Knox-Boxes on all of our high rises and we will always grab the keys. There is always a "Master" key for all the apartments.

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    I work on wet & dry standpipes and you should see some of them. I'd never ever put my life on the line expecting them to work 100% of the time. More often than not the new ones we get have not had the required maint on them & if they have it's been half azzed & they are still not operational.

    We just took over a hotel with a dry pipe system in it that's been shut down for several years. No way you would get any water out of them unless a engine was pumping it.

    My .0002

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    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Dave

    Our last highrise fire a few weeks back was on the 15th floor of a 21 story building. Within 2 minutes the standpipe pump crapped out completely ! I mean nothing. Our SOP is the first engine( chauffer,while crew enters the building) feed the standpipe so even though there was a problem with water, it did make it up there. If a pump isn't supplied and fails during firefighting operations the fire can overpower the handline and the interior crew can be burned.

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    Our county SOP on a high-rise is for the 1st due engine to lay out and charge the standpipe/sprinkler systems, then go to the fire floor. The 2nd due engine catches the hydrant and expands the supply. The 3rd due engine also connects to the FDC. Of course, in our county the only high-rises are in parts accessible within ten or so minutes of dispatch by multiple engines.

    Speaking of going to the fire floor, standpipes, etc., here's a question: we have a lot of "open" garden-apartment type dwellings where the stairwells and floors are both open, i.e., the stairwells are exposed to the outside and the apartments open onto wide breezeways. You can see floors above and below you when you're on the stairs. Since everything's "wide" and "open" (stairwells, apartment spacing), I tend to want to bring the standpipe pack up to the floor in question if there's no obvious smoke as I'm coming up the stairs. Doesn't that seem like a reasonable deviation from the rule of connecting below the fire floor?

    BTW, we have a low-pressure Elkhart nozzle on our pack to help deal with standpipe pressure and contamination deficiencies.

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    Speaking of going to the fire floor, standpipes, etc., here's a question: we have a lot of "open" garden-apartment type dwellings where the stairwells and floors are both open, i.e., the stairwells are exposed to the outside and the apartments open onto wide breezeways. You can see floors above and below you when you're on the stairs. Since everything's "wide" and "open" (stairwells, apartment spacing), I tend to want to bring the standpipe pack up to the floor in question if there's no obvious smoke as I'm coming up the stairs. Doesn't that seem like a reasonable deviation from the rule of connecting below the fire floor?

    BTW, we have a low-pressure Elkhart nozzle on our pack to help deal with standpipe pressure and contamination deficiencies.
    There is a reason the rule is a rule and it is in place. Don't cut corners and don't take the easy way out. Sooner or later you will get bit on the azz! The FDNY used to allow the Engine company officer to decide on whether or not to use 1 3/4 or 2 1/2 hose. After a couple of fires where we had memers killed and injured they changed it. 2 1/2 mandatory and never use fog tips. Both fires that I recall were both in the far outter boroughs(not midtown Manhattan) and weren't large high rises by anyones standards. (approx-10 stories)

    Always practice like it is the real thing. Just because smoke isn't evident at first doesn't mean the door is sealed really well or the smoke is blowing out the back at night and you don't see it. When you open things up to interpretation that is when Murphy and his book of laws will catch up to you. There are plenty of guys who are no longer with us because they (their Depts) cut corners and failed to take appropriate safety measures.

    The buildings you mention sound like they are non fireproof and there is no way to isolate the fire from extending. This would make me think twice about advancing from the same floor, hallway as the fire.

    ALWAYS assume the worst and hope for the best. Take that expensive nozzle that is trying (poorly) to mirrior the performance charateristics of a smoothbore and chock the wheels with it. Why would you by a nozzle that costs more and attmepts to mimic the performacnce of a smoothbore? The smoothbore is cheaper and has minimal mainenance as compared to the fog tips. And best of all...it always works and won't clog! I formerly worked for a dept that used fog tips as well on our "hi-rise" packs. Looking back it was the most foolish thing we ever did.

    You say all your highrises can have multiple engines on scene within 10 minutes. That means you shouldn't have a problem getting a line into operation and moving them from the floor below. So why be lazy and cut corners when you can be safe?

    JMO.

    FTM-PTB

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    Back to the original question...

    Our 2nd due supplies the system...I like this because our second due is usually there pretty quick and our 1st due is usually more familiar with the interior of the structure. By the time the 1st due makes it to the floor below the fire, the 2nd due is hooked up and ready to go anyway.

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by kayakking
    Back to the original question...

    Our 2nd due supplies the system...I like this because our second due is usually there pretty quick and our 1st due is usually more familiar with the interior of the structure. By the time the 1st due makes it to the floor below the fire, the 2nd due is hooked up and ready to go anyway.
    The problem is the "usual" part of your statment, which is what we deal with. Its all fine and good if the next due is available and not on another call, out at training or what have you. Thats where its going to cause a problem.

    As I said in my first post, we have some buildings with standpipes but no pumps, so if an engine isnt on the FDC, no water. Yet our SOG still says first in crew goes to the fire floor. Lot of good thats going to do if the second engine is delayed...
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    Point taken...and our SOP's do allow any officer flexibility. If I believe my 2nd in is going to be delayed, I can and should go ahead and secure a water supply and feed the FDC myself...I could then use the 2nd in as my initial attack team when they arrive. The need to do it this way would be the exception and not the rule here, but we could do it that way with no problem.

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    I think the best plan is to have the initial team make entry, and see what they have. I agree with having the engineer on the first in company make the connection and supply the system, pumps fail and with the possibility of the second in company being delayed, at least water is being supplied. The other concern to me would be what if the systam is damaged, without supplying the system right away, this might be taken that valves are open or the systemn is damaged, causing additional manpower issues with a crew being sent to search for the cause. At least with water being supplied, the entry crew would be more assured of having pressure on the fire floor and if they did have low pressure, they would make more sound decisons. Hope this helps, I guarentee I'm no expert on high rise tactics, just my thoughts.

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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakking
    Back to the original question...

    Our 2nd due supplies the system...I like this because our second due is usually there pretty quick and our 1st due is usually more familiar with the interior of the structure. By the time the 1st due makes it to the floor below the fire, the 2nd due is hooked up and ready to go anyway.

    Coupla' questions.....What happens in the event that you need more than 1 line? Who is going to supply that second line? Does 1 engine supply all the firefighting teams including sprinklers? Do all the members of your companies bring up thier own lengths?
    IACOJ Member

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    Default LDH and Standpipes

    This is a little off the original subject but it seems there are some people here who might have an opinion. What are your thoughts on large diameter hose for fire department connections? Obviously if you have systems you pump over 185psi you need to go to LDH that is rated for the higher pressure our community has no buildings that are pumped over 150psi. My thoughts are this KISS a single 4" storz connection is going to be much easier for a single pump operator to make than 2-21/2" lines. The LDH will provide more volume with less friction loss between the pumper and the FDC, I know it doesn't sound like much but it could make a big difference if you are flowing the maximum into the system because something bad has happened. I did post this on another forum but didn't get many responses.
    Mark
    PS most of our systems are combination standpipe, sprinkler systems
    Last edited by mwtetreault; 02-01-2006 at 07:51 AM.

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    DAVE: Doesn't the 600 series SOP's have someone assigned to check and make sure that the fire pump and or all OSY valves be in the open position? I think with your manpower this is a very importnat item. I forget if it's the 2nd or 3rd due engine.

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    In my township, the first engine goes to the front of the building, second engine to the FD connection, third engine to the hydrant.

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    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwtetreault
    What are your thoughts on large diameter hose for fire department connections? Obviously if you have systems you pump over 185psi you need to go to LDH that is rated for the higher pressure our community has no buildings that are pumped over 150psi. My thoughts are this KISS a single 4" storz connection is going to be much easier for a single pump operator to make than 2-21/2" lines. The LDH will provide more volume with less friction loss between the pumper and the FDC, I know it doesn't sound like much but it could make a big difference if you are flowing the maximum into the system because something bad has happened. PS most of our systems are combination standpipe, sprinkler systems
    We use 4" for the standpipe connection, but:
    -All our buildings over 3 stories have fire pumps and sprinklers
    -Only one is more than 9 stories, and we have an SOP for that building that requires 2 1/2" for that connection.
    -smoothbore nozzles on high rise packs.

    Most of our standpipes are combo sprinkler/standpipe systems.

    We also send the whole first crew to the fire floor. With only 3 man engines, it's the only way to get enough equipment up to safely investigate. The second due hits the connection. Our second dues are usually a minute or two behind. However, the officers are supposed to keep an ear on the radio for the second dues report before getting a line in operation.

    In 14 years at this dept, we have not had a fire bigger than a chair in a high rise. We've been asking for high rise equipment for about the last 11-line guages, lighter hose, etc-the fact that we haven't had any fires and the buildings are sprinklered have made it a low priority.

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    Ok so let me ask this. If presented with both a standpipe and sprinklers, which do you want the pump operator to hit first?
    B Holmes

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkholmes
    Ok so let me ask this. If presented with both a standpipe and sprinklers, which do you want the pump operator to hit first?
    Do a search...there was a very lengthy debate on this about 6 months ago.

    FTM-PTB

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    Default Sprinklers or Standpipes

    That is a tough one, without specifics but I think given the choice I would hit the sprinklers first since they are likley getting water on the fire. Although I think you have makde a good argument for combination systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwtetreault
    That is a tough one, without specifics but I think given the choice I would hit the sprinklers first since they are likley getting water on the fire. Although I think you have makde a good argument for combination systems.
    Standpipe first....I want to make sure I have water for us first. Chances are you will find out real quick that the system has failed and correcting it.....ie the need to shut off at either the PIV or OS&Y.....and then it gets creative.

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