1. #1
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    Default What is your reasoning for 2-1/2" highrise packs?

    It seems like most material written on highrise packs says to use 2-1/2" hose with a 1-1/8" tip. The most common reasoning is the low system pressures in highrise systems.Its my understanding that the OLD codes only required a 65 psi residual pressure based on using the 2-1/2". I am not saying that 2-1/2" isn't a choice but I think people are making decisions on handline choices based on building system pressures only. What about the fact that the FD engines can take a system over and pump higher pressures. In fact codes allow the fd to pump a system up to 50 psi higher than what it is rated at. This is a significant increase in pressure and will allow pretty healthy 1-3/4" and 2" handline flows with low pressure nozzles plus a line that is alot easier to handle. Furthermore the new code after 1993 requires a 100 psi residual pressure. Add 50 psi to that and the smaller lines really become an option. In my town the AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION requires 125 psi. Let me know what you think .

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    I think one of the big reasons we often forget is that if you stretch the 2.5" you've got the maximum you can get from that standpipe. If you stick and 1.75" line on it and find your flow is not adequate, you're basically screwed. Not many (excepting you B.P.) are using lines greater than 2.5" for handlines or interior attack stretches.

    Other issues: As you noted older buildings systems were rated for 65 psi, and while they may have built in an allowance of another 50 psi for us to pump, given the scaling rust and poor condition of older systems, every 1 psi over the norm raises the potential for breaking a pipe. Then there are the systems that require PRV's on lower floors to ensure the pressure is as desired while upper floors get the requisite 65 psi.

    Maybe the 1.75" or 2" can give an adequate flow given well compartmented construction, but throw in a few kinks and it is reduced. Atleast when this happens with 2.5" the reduction is still to a higher flow.

    The only real downside to using 2.5" is the weight and bulk, which is a large factor when going way up, but there's no point at showing up to a gunfight with a BB gun when your shotgun is far away in the truck.

    OK, let me have it. I know you had a point to your question and that you have a much greater handle than most on water delivery from the ground through to the fire.

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    I would like to chime in.

    If you have done some stanpipe ops, you'll find that things do go wrong.

    Dry systems have a few maintainence issues in our town. When they drain them, maintainence people forget to close drains and even the outlets. This will cause alot of chaos when you get the pumper's motor screaming and the psi isn't going up. We can't always trust the mainainence companies.

    When you start off on the street and go up 7 to 32 stories that takes alot of time. What you perseve to be a single room fire on the ground, can be much different on the fire floor. The fire growth IS occuring. Simple fact, fires change when climbing stairs.

    In my understanding, many fd's found a problem when off the ground floor. If windows fail (and they do) crosswinds cause a big problem on the attack. If I recall correctly this is a major reason why FDNY uses 2.5". Wind driven fires have hurt firemen unprepared to meet the fire with appropriate gpm for the BTU's expecially when up stairs in these times.

    I am sure there are more reasons
    Last edited by ffmedcbk1; 06-26-2007 at 09:26 AM.

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    Automatic fog nozzle on an 1 3/4" line - GPM approx. 200

    Smoothbore with 1 1/4" tip on a 2 1/2" line - GPM approx. 325

    Lots more water at lower pressure - easy decision - especially in a setting where the fire probably has a significant head start and it will take longer to get water on it (as compared to a residential fire setting).

    While 2 1/2 can be difficult to handle, if you lay the line out dry all the way to the fire area and then charge it from the standpipe, it will help to alleviate that issue significantly.

    I cannot think of a good reason to not use 2 1/2" line in hi-rise/standpipe operations.

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    Please understand that I am not saying the 2-1/2" should not be used. The smaller line is just an alternative if the situation calls for it. A true highrise fire will have alot of firemen on scene. Bring up booth the 2-1/2" and the 1-3/4" or 2". Hey if nothing else the smaller hose could be used for overhaul.

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    Come on RFDCMO2 , The only thing I attack is fire and my wife because se is so fine. I am currently teaching the stuff we are talking about and searching for more info. I believe I am on the right track but want to know what else is out there. I understand the reasoning based on old systems and there reliability. However there are alot of newer systems out there where smaller hose could be an option. Case in point. In my town(VEGAS) we have a retro sprinkler code that requires all buildings, I believe above 3 floors to be sprinklered. One of the options was to sprinkler hallways and one head at the point of entry to the condo or room. We had a Meth lab go up in this condo creating a fully involved unit fire on around the 15th floor. The sprinklers stopped it from going further then the front door and for some reason it did not lap to the floor above. I am not sure of the time from from fire ignition to extinguishment but I would guess that it was at least 15 to 20 minutes. Engine 4, my unit, Brought up the 1-3/4" highrise pack with a low pressure nozzle and got a knockdown quickly. This building was from the old pre 93 code so it had a 65 psi SP residual pressure requirement flowing 500 GPM. The flow from the attack line was about 120 GPM so the residual was actually higher than 65 psi. I am going to guess at about 90 to 100 psi. Any way the re went out. Would they have been wrong to bring up a 2-1/2". No sir. In fact it might have been better to based on the fire load as it appeared from the outside.The system got pumped at the max which was 50 psi above system pressure and all was well. In hine sight maybe both the 1-3/4" and 2-1/2" lines should have been brought up together and decide when they got up there. I can tell you that if they would have chose the 2-1/2", they would have had to wait for more manpower based on the training we have. I have not had the FDNY/Denver highrise 2-1/2" training yet so I dont know if that would have worked with three firemen using the 2-1/2" line.

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    here is some flow tests we did on a 150' X 1-3/4" attack line with low pressure nozzles. The hose was Snap-tite Ponn Conquest which is actually not 1.75 diameter, it is 1.85 or pretty close to that. The line was 150' long. The pressure range of 50 to 100 psi represents low system residual pressure most likely provided from system pressure only. The 120 psi and 150 psi numbers represent a system that was most likely taken over by FD pumping apparatus. The hose wieghed 5 lbs less per 50' than the 2-1/2" we also tested which isn't alot for carrying up to the fire floor but when charged and advanceing is was considered to be alot lighter.

    NOZZLE STANDPIPE RESIDUAL PRESSURE
    15/16" tip - 50 60 70 80 90 100 120 150

    GPM 131 147 155 168 180 189 212 240

    VINDICATOR
    HEAVY
    ATTACK
    GPM 184 211 233 255 269 288 240 278

    Again I say choose your weapon but the bottom line is to get the quickest knocdown as possible based on safety and efficency.

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    The colums were straight on this end. I don't know what happened. I hope you can read this.

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    Paulie,

    Nice to see you back again, you kind of dropped off the radar for a while.

    Okay, plain and simple due to friction loss, potential for massive fire loading and its head start, crap, garbage, and scale and rust the smoothbore nozzle is the best choice for standpipe ops. Does a combo nozzle have a place? perhaps for overhaul, not in the initial attack.

    2 1/2 and smoothbores are the weapon of choice of many FD's that routinely fight highrise fires and all of the reasons above are why. My feelings and based on MY experience the automatic nozzle and 1 3/4 hose are absolutely the WORST choice ever for high rise standpipe ops. Higher friction loss, higher nozzle pressure requirements (Please don't get me going on that wonderful invention the emergency low pressure switch), susceptability to clogging because of the design of a combo nozzle and the other parts of an automatic nozzle. 2 inch hose has merit, lower friction loss that 2 1/2, and similar flow. If you supply this line with a 1 inch or even a 1 1/8 inch smoothbore tip it has excellent fire killing power.

    Either 2 inch or 2 1/2 for stnadpipe ops, and really the only reason for 2 inch is manpower. The 2 1/2 is the best choice for maximum flow at the lowest friction loss. Smoothbore nozzles because of the ability to pass the garbage that may be in the system.

    Stay safe Paulie and welcome back.

    FyredUp

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    Thanx fyredUp . Your points are well taken. My expierience has been in the new frontier,Vegas. We have the codes in place and reatively new systems. I need to remember that there are still tons of old stuff out there especially the further east you go. some not even having building pumps. Just a little side note. If my memory serves me correctly the First Interstate fire in LA utilized multiple 2" lines for there very sucessful operation. I am sure they also used 2-1/2" lines as well. What I am not sure about is there nozzles. I think they had combo nozzles at least on there 2" lines. I will be visiting those boys soon so I will find out for sure.
    Take care

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG PAULIE View Post
    I can tell you that if they would have chose the 2-1/2", they would have had to wait for more manpower based on the training we have. I have not had the FDNY/Denver highrise 2-1/2" training yet so I dont know if that would have worked with three firemen using the 2-1/2" line.
    Huh? You have shown the rest of us how to flow big lines with only one person, but they don't listen too you in your hometown? Well, as usual no one is an expert in their own dept. But, really I agree, sending a line to the 15th floor is a labor intensive job and regardless of the size of the line, I'd want a few extra guys (truckies) there for whatever came up: victim rescue, forcible entry, or just to help hump the line. Luckily for us we'd have to stack two buildings in my 'burg to have the same type fire. While we have no true highrises, we have a few standpipe systems.

    To put some of this in perspective, you left coast guys tend to have better built, newer buildings than the Northeast. Most of our downtown areas were built pre-1940's and are of ordinary construction and have be renovated over and over. The newer more compliant 4 story and up buildings tend to have much better compartmentalization and fire walls.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 06-26-2007 at 07:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Paulie,

    Either 2 inch or 2 1/2 for stnadpipe ops, and really the only reason for 2 inch is manpower. The 2 1/2 is the best choice for maximum flow at the lowest friction loss. Smoothbore nozzles because of the ability to pass the garbage that may be in the system.

    FyredUp
    My thoughts exactly .... although I would add in the combination nozzle as a tool not to be left on the engine but rather carried as the primary option in the bag.

    PAULIE!! WELCOME BACK BRO

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    We use the 2.5 in NYC cause the 1.75 was partly to blame for a few LODD's. The smaller lines just can not flow the amount of water needed for large open areas. I think Dunn said that one 2.5 line is good for about 2500 sqft of fire. Have you ever tried utilizing a 1.75 line at over 130lbs of pressure? Good luck bending that around corners, or better yet, finding a Engine capable of pumping that pressure at heights above 20 stories. Id rather have larger air cylinders and larger hose lines than the want for them when I needed them!

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    We use 2". Then again, all of ours are residential, our tallest building is 12 stories and all but one is compartmented CBC with open exterior hallways. Most have sprinklers. So for our area and our buildings, 2" is sufficient.

    That being said... If we had 20+ story, open floor plan, city block x city block size buildings of mixed occupancy, we would have 2 1/2".

    I know what the code says, I know what NFPA recommends, but...Your choice should be based on your area, your staffing, types of buildings and construction, occupancy and like factors. The same types of factors you use to decide anything else that has to do with how you operate.

    One size does not fit all...
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    I full well understand the need and benefit for big lines, but what about us guys who dont have the manpower? Our wagon has 200' of 1 3/4 double jacket for the high rise pack. We routinely run a 16 story high rise in our first due, usually good for one or two jobs a year. The hallways are everybit of 200' so you better choose which stairwell you hook up in wisely. Oh yeah, there is only two of us on the wagon most of the time. Believe me, it sucks carrying that highrise pack by yourself, then putting it inservice. I couldnt imagine if I had to hump 2 1/2 inch hose and then go to work. Correct me if I am wrong, but in FDNY, doesnt each man on the wagon carry one section of 2 1/2 for high rise jobs? That is bearable, what about poor schmucks like myself where manpower is an issue? Like I said, I definitely agree on the capabilities of the big line. It would have been nice to have on a fire we had last year in a highrise. We only had our one 1 3/4 line in service because our second due engine had to make a rescue they came across in the hallway, the truck crew was a bunch of fireflys who were to busy burning up their gear. We ran out of air before the fire was out, and the fire was still rocking. No doubt in my mind if we had a 2 1/2 line the fire would have gone out. Also I need to add that I was at a company that luckily had 4 men on it since we werent out on an ambo call.

    Stay Safe

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    Thumbs down

    As far as staffing being a factor for using 1.75" or 2" vs. the 2.5" I'd be equally concerned about wasting time and energy stretching an undersized line. I would think departments making runs into highrises would bolster the response to be able to adequately staff the first line. Think of the danger firefighters are put in when a line doesn't have the GPM to overcome the BTU's. Did the truck start the search beyond the fire apartment? Is everyone behind the failing line? How long will it take to get the approriate line in place now that the first 1.75" isn't cutting it? Going up 15 stories and not bringing your best weapon with an unknown amount of fire? Not a great plan in my eyes. I'd take the time to ensure the 2.5" was brought up even if it meant having the truck's inside team assist. If you're ending up on the 16th floor with only two firefighters to start any offense operations, you're F***ed. While we often say some rural depts have to know their limitiation and stay within the boundries of what is realistic, it sounds as if some suburban and metro's ought to look at their highrise plans.

    We cannot let inqadequate staffing force us to make further sacrifices to our safety when we have data showing what the right answer is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    I full well understand the need and benefit for big lines, but what about us guys who dont have the manpower? Our wagon has 200' of 1 3/4 double jacket for the high rise pack. We routinely run a 16 story high rise in our first due, usually good for one or two jobs a year. The hallways are everybit of 200' so you better choose which stairwell you hook up in wisely. Oh yeah, there is only two of us on the wagon most of the time. Believe me, it sucks carrying that highrise pack by yourself, then putting it inservice. I couldnt imagine if I had to hump 2 1/2 inch hose and then go to work. Correct me if I am wrong, but in FDNY, doesnt each man on the wagon carry one section of 2 1/2 for high rise jobs? That is bearable, what about poor schmucks like myself where manpower is an issue? Like I said, I definitely agree on the capabilities of the big line. It would have been nice to have on a fire we had last year in a highrise. We only had our one 1 3/4 line in service because our second due engine had to make a rescue they came across in the hallway, the truck crew was a bunch of fireflys who were to busy burning up their gear. We ran out of air before the fire was out, and the fire was still rocking. No doubt in my mind if we had a 2 1/2 line the fire would have gone out. Also I need to add that I was at a company that luckily had 4 men on it since we werent out on an ambo call.

    Stay Safe
    You only have two men available to stretch and operate a handline off a standpipe? Is your two man Engine the only one in town?

    What position is left out...no back up man or no one at the outlet controling the pressure?

    FTM-PTB

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    Fred-

    Two men = one riding the seat (OIC) and the driver. If we are lucky and the next in company doesnt have two of their guys out on an ambo call, maybe they will have 4 (driver, OIC, 2 FFs). The first truck will have 3 (driver,OIC, tillerman). Best case scenario, with the 1st 3 companies we will have 6 people to bring up the highrise pack, forcible entry tools, etc. Then thats what we have to put the line in service and do 1st due truck functions. If only our General Orders would take into account our staffing situation........
    There are other parts of the county where staffing isnt this bad, and you may have 4-5 each on the 1st and 2nd due engines, plus 5-6 on the 1st due special service (truck or squad). Unfortunately for me, I am the one riding the seat every other shift have have to do what I can with what I have.

    I know FDNY is very different from down here, you all are lucky to have the staffing you do. Its funny, BC Salka gave a lecture down here last month. He rode with my battalion chief that night and we ran a first due box. This is our one apartment complex that has a long lay, because you have to drop the supply line at the street, and most of the apartments are set back. We actually had a volunteer that night riding in the bucket. After laying out 1200' of supply line, we had to pull our 400' preconnect to get to the building. Me and my shift partner did it by ourselves. By the time I got back to the piece the vollie was just getting off it. It ended up just being FOTS, but Salka got a quick look at our operation. He was a little surprised when I told him how much hose we laid out.

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    If we had to run with two guys we would wait for the rest to show up before we went to work. Pride has nothing to do with you getting burned cause you went into an enviroment with nothing backing you up. You wont get paid when youre dead.

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    Our largest building is 9 stories. Today we have 2 men on the engine and 2 men on the ladder, thats it with out a call back. This building is 1 block from the ladders station and we have been there already today for burnt food. Did I mention this is all elderly and hanicapped housing! Normal ops for this building: the ladder goes to the front and gets the elevator and looks at the alarm panel. Person on the elevator goes up to investigate usualy empty handed sometimes with irons. When we get there on the engine we have a long narrow alley to get to the FD connection and a 1 block stretch to a hydrant. Our highrise packs are 1.75 in and 150 feet with auto nozzles. I have been here 4 years and have never seen the first in rig take the pack in with them. Tell me this isnt a recipe for death. Can you say complacency!

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    You're right Johnny, there is no building worth risking my sorry a@@ for. Normally our next in companies are pretty quick getting here. But even when we all get on scene we have considerably less resources than you guys have. We have learned to work with what we have. It definitely does not make for the safest of situations sometimes. Gorgeous Prince Georges is probably one of the most unique combination systems around. I would venture there is not a combination department as large, diverse, and busy (both volume and actual fires). I have been on both sides of the fence here, career and volunteer, depending on what station your at makes a difference on whether it is better to be a vollie or career.

    Back to the subject at hand, we use what works for us (most of the time). I agree with the necessity for 2 1/2 high rise packs, but it just isnt a reality for what we have to work with. I know of stations that use 2 inch hose with a stack tip for their high rise pack, at least that is a step in the right direction. Did I mention there is almost no standardization from station to station? Since each station is its own volunteer corporation, they each choose how they want to do stuff.

    Stay Safe

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    Two reasons: Flow and reach. My feelings are to bring the line for the worst case scenario. Tall buildings by me have sprinklers, but maintenance, fire load, just plain failures can lead to a very bad day. The wind blown fire was mentioned and I have seen it at grade the 1.75 flowing 180 gpm did nothing the fire chased us down the hall, it was the reach and flow of the 2.5" that pushed the fire back. Now we were at grade and the 2.5" was at the door as a back up. If it was 10 stories away the fire would have taken the floor prior to us getting it in place. That is all the motivation I need. If you have 2 person companies call for help early and often. It is not a sin to have 2 or 3 engines teamed up to complete the stretch. In fact another procedure is to have the second engine make sure the first line is stretched prior to pulling a back up or second line themselves.
    So, while we have 1.75 bundled up in a pack for standpipe I will not call for it and bring the 2.5" instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    You're right Johnny, there is no building worth risking my sorry a@@ for. Normally our next in companies are pretty quick getting here. But even when we all get on scene we have considerably less resources than you guys have. We have learned to work with what we have. It definitely does not make for the safest of situations sometimes. Gorgeous Prince Georges is probably one of the most unique combination systems around. I would venture there is not a combination department as large, diverse, and busy (both volume and actual fires). I have been on both sides of the fence here, career and volunteer, depending on what station your at makes a difference on whether it is better to be a vollie or career.

    Back to the subject at hand, we use what works for us (most of the time). I agree with the necessity for 2 1/2 high rise packs, but it just isnt a reality for what we have to work with. I know of stations that use 2 inch hose with a stack tip for their high rise pack, at least that is a step in the right direction. Did I mention there is almost no standardization from station to station? Since each station is its own volunteer corporation, they each choose how they want to do stuff.

    Stay Safe
    Cap and I are at opposite ends of the same County. I have Standpipe Packs with lightweight 2 inch line, and a Combo Nozzle with a Slug Tip inserted. Some guys carry a smoothbore tip in their coat pocket, and all of our Nozzles are the Breakaway style, so a tip can be changed if needed. Tallest building in my area is Ten stories, but we do run some up to Twenty on the Second Alarm. So Far, Our Fires have gone well up on the North Side, as we have, for whatever reason, a lot more Volunteer Participation. A forty man First Alarm is a reasonable expectation up here, nights and weekends.

    Cap - Two Questions:
    1. Were you referring to Crafford Drive?
    2. When ya' coming back North?
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    1) 3001 Branch Ave Last year, I was still at 29 then
    2) No time soon if I can help it

    We were talking about trying something new with our standpipe bags........how do the slug tips work? We are gonna try to 100 foot racks in a new rack. Best way I can describe it is that you start with the nozzle, run the hose back about 6 feet, and then start looping it around itself. Kind of like an elongated donut roll. We just started messing around with it and it pays out really well. The BC likes the idea of everyone having two 100 foot packs (weight and wearing out by the time you get there). He wants to put a stack tip on one rack and a fog on the other. I suggested using a slug tip in line with the fog nozzle instead. That way you have less to do with breaking stuff apart and hooking up. I havent had any experience with slug tips but it seems like a good idea. What size tip do you use 15/16 or 7/8?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG PAULIE View Post
    Please understand that I am not saying the 2-1/2" should not be used. The smaller line is just an alternative if the situation calls for it. A true highrise fire will have alot of firemen on scene. Bring up booth the 2-1/2" and the 1-3/4" or 2". Hey if nothing else the smaller hose could be used for overhaul.
    Welcome back Big Paulie!

    Not all of us have the luxury of having each seat on the rig filled with a warm tush 24/7. At full staffing, we can put 19 personnel on the fireground. Minimum staffing is 13 personnel.

    My FD got a grant from the State for equipment purchases, one of the things we are doing is a revamp of our high rise/standpipe packs.

    We are going with lightweight 2.5" with a break apart low pressure nozzle/slug tip along with a section or two of lightweight 1.75" line to give us the capabilites of both ease of use and "waterpower" in the event of a high fire load in a commercial structure like the Mall (which for all intents and purposes is a "horizontal high rise").
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-03-2007 at 12:39 AM.
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    By AHFD202 in forum Fireground Tactics
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    Last Post: 02-10-2001, 11:15 AM

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