Thread: Hitting Plugs

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    Default Hitting Plugs

    How many departments allow the first in engine take their own plug on confirmed working structures. If not attach, to it just lay a line in. Yes the question being now the road from that direction is blocked by hose, or their might be rescue etc. But I am trying to introduce the concept to my dept to prevent having the d/o hand jack 300' of LDH to catch a plug. Any Comments.

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    SOrry double clicked the thread button

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    I guess i will clarify: reintroduce the concept. A number of years back we had a coupling catch a turn table which resulted in a broken tib/fib. Since then the concept has been abandoned. Like most thing we are reactionaly instead of learning from and moving on. I figure to prevent a back injury or worse yet a code. I will research the concept again and try to get at least one of the three rigs to lay a line in to the scene. This will be tough due to the previous incident but moving forward is a concept i like.

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    Too many factors to consider for pretty much anyone to offer solid advice without a lot more info...

    How far out are your 2nd, 3rd due engines? How big of a tank does your 1st due have? Are you talking a room and contents fire, a well-involved structure that's autovented, or fully-involved? Big fire needs big water...and if you're flowing 300GPM off a 2.5" line, or even 800ish GPM from a master stream, your tank water isn't going to last long--300GPM with a 3k gallon tank will last ya 10 mins...but how many pumpers carry 3000gals with them? Hell, we have big engines, and their max capacity is 2500gals.

    Another factor to consider is how long is your lay-in going to be and how good are your hydrants? You may need to relay just to get sufficient water to the attack engine.
    If your 2nd due is 3 mins behind you, it shouldn't be that big a deal to work off tank water for a couple mins, particularly if you have a large tank and are working 1.5"-1.75" handlines.

    Most areas of the cities in my county are pretty well-hydranted--you rarely have to go further than 200 feet or so to find one, and they're damn good-flowing ones, too. But if I was in an area where the hydrants were sparser, I'd stop at the plug, toss my drops overboard, and lay-in to the scene...assuming of course there was actually smoke/flame showing...I'd have the 2nd-in snag the hydrant and connect to my supply line and relay to me.

    Of course, until you can get your dept SOPs changed, you should follow whatever your dept says to do.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Whether or not the 1st due eng catches its own hydrant depends on a few things for us.

    1. How far away is the closest hydrant located. Is the driver able to hand jack his own line.

    2. How far away is the 2nd due eng?

    If there is a hydrant in the front yard or with in about 100'-200' of the house then most of the time the 1st driver will get his own line. We don't have a set policy. It is the 1st due drivers decision on whether he wants a line laid or if he wants to catch his own.

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    Our standard operating procedures allow for dropping a line if there is a confirmed working fire. And in my opinion, any volunteer operation that has manpower problems during the day (whats that- about 90% of volunteer operations?) that DOES NOT allow for the first in engine company to drop in needs to have their heads examined??

    -How much fire is there? Are you confident and proficient enough to hit it and knock it down on your 500 or 750 gallon tank?

    -How many Firefighters are on the first in piece? Can you afford to waste the driver as a firefighting resource? Lets say you have a 4-man company. D/O, Officer and 2. One FF catches the plug. Rig drops to the address, not forgetting to stop short allowing room for the truck company. Then the other FF and the Officer pull a line and the irons to the front door, force it if necessary, and begin the initial attack as soon as the D/O gives them tank water. Then he prepares to receive the supply line by breaking it and connecting to the inlet. Make the switchover from tank to supply line, and then assist the plug FF stretching the backup line to the front door.

    Driver then checks his pressures and engine gauges, dons his turnout gear, then grabs a 6 or 10 foot hook and starts taking out windows opposite the nozzle if it has not already been done.

    Anyone who is first in, and does not drop in (IMHO) is tactically stupid.
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    Our officers have the option to, and are generally encouraged to, drop a LDH supply line any time that they feel it would be advantageous. It doesn't have to be a confirmed working fire, a simple report of a fire will often result in the supply line hitting the ground off the first-due engine.

    Our SOG's dictate that the first-due engine officer has the responsibility of handling water supply assignment. That could mean that he has his driver wrap the hydrant, or have the 2nd due engine lay into them, or reverse out. That being said, the first due engine still lays out 95% of the time.

    Our engines carry 750 gallons (no foam, unfortunately), so we're able to sustain our own until the 2nd arriving engine is able to put us on the hydrant.

    As for blocking the other apparatus, that is something to be careful of. Lay to the opposite side of the street to give the truck (and other apparatus) room, or, as we often do, give assignments enroute that the truck company approaches from the opposite direction (when possible), so they won't have to worry about the supply line...
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 03-25-2007 at 05:50 PM.

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    I was always taught that each engine should take their own hydrant. This allows for redundency if one engine were to loose water.

    Where I am at now, it is more common for the 1st due to wrap the hydrant and proceed to the fire. The second due will hook up to the hydrant, and hook the 1st due to their truck, and pump the first due. One engine is always on the hydrant. The problem I have noticed with this, is all attack and back up lines come off the 1st due engine. Loose water, loose your attack. Thats a rear end clenching, uh oh, for everyone. The only exception is if master streams are required. The engine pumping the ladder, or the ladder themself will hook up to their own hydrant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    blah blah blah...stop short...blah...
    Anyone who is first in, and does not drop in (IMHO) is tactically stupid.
    Put me in the "tactically stupid" category since I don't remember laying my own line at any of my first in house fires as a pumper chauffer. I never ran out of water since I scull dragged or had guys showing up who did it for me.

    See, when we wisely realize tactics depend on many factors, we can avoid making asinine statements like the above. Some departments may have the manpower issues that require laying their own lines on all fires, so it would be foolish to not do so. It's also not a good idea when you're going to be pulling 2 1/2 or flowing an 1 3/4 at a higher flow, or if you don't have the *** to scull drag.

    We have pumpers coming in on top of us and they can lay a line quickly enough to keep it from being neccesary to leave a guy hooking up. That way we have three guys to advance the line and make the attack. You can do it with two guys or one, but three makes it faster.

    Question:
    Why stop short of the building?

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    we do have our first piece hit the hydrant most times on a working fire. however usually the truck1 and engine1 pieces come in from different ways, so the hose that's laid in isn't a problem.

    we did have one problem recently where we laid into a fire, and the truck back up over the hose, and broke the hose, and we had to hit a 2nd hydrant. so there are problems that could happen from this

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    sorry for the 2x post, but i forgot to answer the why stop short question.

    we try to have the engine stop short of the house so that the truck and position itself in front of the building. that way (both first due pieces in my town are ladders) the first due truck can raise the ladder to the building. if the engine is directly in front of the building, then the aerial can't be raised, and only ground ladders can be used.

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    Here we usually lay in and drop a FF to make the connection and get water. if the truck is close behind us or the medic unit .....we will 'tag" the hydrant and let one of them finish it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    Put me in the "tactically stupid" category since I don't remember laying my own line at any of my first in house fires as a pumper chauffer. I never ran out of water since I scull dragged or had guys showing up who did it for me.

    See, when we wisely realize tactics depend on many factors, we can avoid making asinine statements like the above. Some departments may have the manpower issues that require laying their own lines on all fires, so it would be foolish to not do so. It's also not a good idea when you're going to be pulling 2 1/2 or flowing an 1 3/4 at a higher flow, or if you don't have the *** to scull drag.

    We have pumpers coming in on top of us and they can lay a line quickly enough to keep it from being neccesary to leave a guy hooking up. That way we have three guys to advance the line and make the attack. You can do it with two guys or one, but three makes it faster.

    Question:
    Why stop short of the building?

    Allow me to re-phrase.....If you are in a known or potentially manpower short situation (many, many volunteer organizations during the daytime) and you are first in to a confirmed job, IMHO, you are tactically stupid if you dont drop a line. You said it yourself- "We have pumpers coming in on top of us and they can lay a line quickly enough to keep it from being neccesary to leave a guy hooking up." My apologies for not clarifying my earlier statement.

    And why stop short? As I said, to leave room for the truck company, of course! That can be adjusted of course, to pull past if your lines come off the back......I just like to stop short because our preconnects come off the side, and it's easier for the Truck to get in without dealing with that 5 inch snake in their way......
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 03-25-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Allow me to re-phrase.....If you are in a known or potentially manpower short situation (many, many volunteer organizations during the daytime) and you are first in to a confirmed job, IMHO, you are tactically stupid if you dont drop a line.

    And why stop short? As I said, to leave room for the truck company, of course! That can be adjusted of course, to pull past if your lines come off the back......I just like to stop short because our preconnects come off the side, and it's easier for the Truck to get in without dealing with that 5 inch snake in their way......
    Or you could reverse lay and nobody has to stop short of anything
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Or you could reverse lay and nobody has to stop short of anything
    Absolutely true. Dump the apartment pack off the tailboard, reverse lay a 3" line with a gated wye, and go at it..... But no one around here thinks that progressively, we're lucky if they remember to leave room for the truck company. Thats why the guys around here look at me like I am from Mars when I say "preconnects are our own worst nightmare." They dont allow most guys to think outside their box of hose tricks.

    The earlier scenerio I presented (first due with Officer, D/O and 2 FF's) was practically an everyday occurrance at my career house- many a time, we were the only piece on a particular County's volunteer box assignments that was guaranteed to show up, and show up with four guys. 75% of the time we were first in. Ahhhhhh those were the days......
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 03-25-2007 at 07:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    Here we usually lay in and drop a FF to make the connection and get water. if the truck is close behind us or the medic unit .....we will 'tag" the hydrant and let one of them finish it.
    Just asking here Doesn't the truck company have it's OWN job to worry about? Is not water supply the function of the engine company? Most places I know, a good ECC will be really upset if a truckie completes his water supply and not his own job
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    My apologies for not clarifying my earlier statement.
    I am a very sensitive person, you know.

    The pumper usually pulls past here, giving me the front of the house. Most of our residential streets are narrow, and they are very big on the 3 sides thing. With guys doing a 360, it's not as much of a factor, I guess. The truck has two great halogens and I can light a scene from the cab quick as anything because of a great idea from our apparatus committee.

    You have 5 inch. We're still laying 4. We have discovered fire and made simple tools out of flint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Just asking here Doesn't the truck company have it's OWN job to worry about? Is not water supply the function of the engine company? Most places I know, a good ECC will be really upset if a truckie completes his water supply and not his own job
    LOL.............we are just not that hardcore here .........when you are POC the truck is next after the first engine..............then you gotta do what you gotta do.
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    Our engine always catches it's own plug unless:

    1. Small/Contained Fire
    2. No hydrants within 500ft
    3. Dead-end lays, or overly complicated lays, i.e. up the side street

    In complex scenarios, they assign the baby quint the job.
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    Hmmm...I dont think an engine should ever hit the plug. It will cause tons of damage to both the truck and the hydrant that will be very expensive to repair.


    Sorry, couldnt resist.


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    Quote Originally Posted by st42stephenAFT View Post
    sorry for the 2x post, but i forgot to answer the why stop short question.

    we try to have the engine stop short of the house so that the truck and position itself in front of the building. that way (both first due pieces in my town are ladders) the first due truck can raise the ladder to the building. if the engine is directly in front of the building, then the aerial can't be raised, and only ground ladders can be used.
    Actually, we try to pull past and not stop short. Gets a good 3 sided view of the building. Also takes away from having to worry about ground ladders coming out of the rear of the truck.
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    Normal here is for the second due to lay a line. Our COs do have the option to lay in from the first due if conditions dictate. We are lucky though as we get 4 pumps in 10 minutes or less and most areas are 500' max between hydrants.

    Oh, and the reverse lay, its a lost art around here. I used to use the tactic quite a bit when I was a CO. I used it during my tactical finale and it ****ed the instructor off as I was the only one not to make a parking lot with the simulator. In a lot of cases, I think it works better then a forward lay.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 03-26-2007 at 10:40 AM.
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    Very situational here.

    Only a very small (probably less than 10%) has hydrants spaced less than 700-800' apart. Majority of the district has some hydrants but spacing can be as far as 2-3 miles, and many of them are low flow and very low pressure.

    If the officer or senior man on the first engine w/ a crew can see the house from the hydrant, they will generally lay in. Otherwise, a later arriving truck will lay if command determines a hydrant operation is worth the effort, as compared to a tanker operation. As a rule we can flow 700-800 gpm minimum from a tanker operation, so in some cases the hydrants are ignored.

    A relay pumping operation may be considered if the fire is expected to be a long duration operation and the flow is worth the effort.

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    Normally, our first due is attack. The officer and two ff's will pull a pre-connect, fly the wye, or make the standpipe. The chauffer will make the hydrant if it is right there, otherwise, the second due is water supply, third in makes a seperate hydrant if needed.

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    Thanks for the input gents. Our sog currently states that until its comfirmed no line will be layed and to prevent injury SHALL be layed by hand. who ever wrote it needs to go back to school. Currently we have 11 guys on shift, running Quint concept, First rig goes to the front, second to the rear, and third will be water. If the third is the airial then who is water. Hydrents arn't a problem unless frozen which occures often in the winter.The argument is if you lay it and its frozen than you have to look to another. Yes that is true but if you drag it and its frozen than you waisted time and energy. I say put it on the ground. better to need it and have it than need it and not have it. Boy is this causing problems because some guys are lazy. Yes most of our fires we keep to R/C but 500 gallons it the tank is not enough if things go to SH--! in a hurry. I also feel the Batt Chief has not allowed the captains to make dissions for them selves. or at least tatical ones (micro managers) this is what I really want to change. we know our jobs, let us do them and run command from your rig. but the hydrent issue is a small step to tatical freedom. thanks again

    Be safe out there.

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