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To lay in or not?

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  • To lay in or not?

    Water Supply

    To lay in or not. That is the question we always hear during our coaching sessions. The answer is a simple yes, well most of the time??. let me explain.

    Establishing a water supply is critical for any working fire. In the fire simulation portion of the assessment center, it is often a critical failure for those who forget. Why is this the case? It?s simple, running out of water on a fire because the officer ?forgot? to establish a water supply is inexcusable. How would you feel if your parent?s house caught on fire and the local fire department ran out of water?

    So, to avoid the danger of running out of water, it is advisable for the first due engine to anchor to a hydrant. While that?s the simple reason, it goes much deeper than that. Let?s examine the OSHA CFR 1710 regulations. They state that you must establish two out and you must form an attack team of at least two people; - two members must remain outside of the structure when anyone enters an IDLH. Additionally, an entry team must consist of at least two members.

    This is the federal law (and your department policy). If you are assigned to a three-person engine company, there is no way that you can legally make entry until another company arrives on scene. Since you cannot make entry, we recommend using your time wisely and establishing a water supply.

    If your incident action plan (IAP) includes having the second due engine bring you water, you are delaying making entry into the structure. Assigning the second due engine to bring you a line will take at least a couple of minutes to accomplish. Since fire doubles every minute, the fire that you encountered on your initial arrival is now significantly larger. Time is of the essence!

    Things are different with a 4-person engine company. It is possible to make entry with the first due engine and still establish two out. Remember though, CFR 2910 does not permit both the IC and the pump operator to function as two out. To comply, the most common deployment has the officer and a firefighter making a two-person attack team while the pump operator and the second firefighter remain outside and form the two out.

    We would not recommend laying in if there is a confirmed rescue. In these instances, the two out may be suspended until the rescue has been made. In this instance, we do not recommend laying in as time is of the essence and every second counts. Most engines have at least 500 gallons of water. The IAP would include pulling a line to search for victims and using tank water until another engine could bring water to you.

    Follow your department policy regarding water supply ? policies range from requiring the first due engine to lay in whenever smoke is showing to having the second due engine laying to the first.

    Confirmed rescue is defined as credible information that there is a person trapped. A car in the driveway or an illuminate porch light does NOT constitute a rescue exception.

    Water supply becomes much easier if the driver is able to hand jack a line to the nearest hydrant.

    Chief Lepore
    AspiringFireOfficers.com
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  • #2
    I think a lot depends on the expected ETA of the second engine. If there will be a significant period of time that passes while awaiting the second engine, then the first engine should take on the responsibility for water supply. If the second engine is expected to arrive soon after the first it should be acceptable to have the second engine take on water supply responsibility.

    Why is this under "career advancement"? Habit?

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with captnjak ... It's all dependent on the ETA of the second due engine and, I would add, the size of your booster tank. That 500g engine has a lot less room for error than the 1000 or 1500g engine, which is generally the case here in my neck of the woods. That being said, the areas that have hydrants tend to have them much farter apart than urban areas. Not uncommon in this area to have hydrants 1000 or 1500 feet apart, often requiring the LDH of 2 engines.

      IMO, I am a believer of the first in engine laying in unless there is some type of a mitigating circumstance.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #4
        What the hell is a hydrant?

        The closest municipal hydrant to our town is over a mile into the next town- and it's only good for 500 gpm. For those with the luxury of having water pipes underground, establishing a water supply is an easy task once you are done arguing over who should be hitting the plug.

        We, however, have to worry about a more complicated dance- where is there adequate surface water (especially this year since it's been so dry) the shortest distance away, and how can we quickly and safely route tankers to and from the fire scene. A huge step in this is we have over 10,000 gallons being called on our first alarms, 4,000 gallons of that shows up on our own trucks. I've said it before and I'll say it again- if we can't put a stop on a fire (or at least a huge reset on it) with what shows up on our first alarm, chances are it was a lost cause from the beginning.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dfelix22000us View Post
          What the hell is a hydrant?

          The closest municipal hydrant to our town is over a mile into the next town- and it's only good for 500 gpm. For those with the luxury of having water pipes underground, establishing a water supply is an easy task once you are done arguing over who should be hitting the plug.

          We, however, have to worry about a more complicated dance- where is there adequate surface water (especially this year since it's been so dry) the shortest distance away, and how can we quickly and safely route tankers to and from the fire scene. A huge step in this is we have over 10,000 gallons being called on our first alarms, 4,000 gallons of that shows up on our own trucks. I've said it before and I'll say it again- if we can't put a stop on a fire (or at least a huge reset on it) with what shows up on our first alarm, chances are it was a lost cause from the beginning.
          I can't help but to wonder how much time passes between your receipt of alarm and first water on the fire?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
            Why is this under "career advancement"? Habit?
            Cuz he's not really looking for fact based discussion, just offering "free" interview advice.
            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

            Comment


            • #7
              Bones ..... Such a cynical man.
              Train to fight the fires you fight.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well first of all his premise is 100% wrong. Osha allows less than 2 in 2 out in the case of the need for immediate rescue.

                Secondly, I agree with Captnjak, the need for the first engine to establish a water supply every time is faulty and wastes time. Our first out engine has a 1000 gallon water tank, depending on the flow selected that gives us between 3 and 7 minutes of attack water. If we can knock it with that making a quick attack why wouldn't me? In the meantime either the second engine laid in or the tender is in position dropping the tank and dumping its load.

                That's the problem with trying to create a one size fits all model. It usually doesn't fit anyone all that well.

                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                  Well first of all his premise is 100% wrong. Osha allows less than 2 in 2 out in the case of the need for immediate rescue.

                  Secondly, I agree with Captnjak, the need for the first engine to establish a water supply every time is faulty and wastes time. Our first out engine has a 1000 gallon water tank, depending on the flow selected that gives us between 3 and 7 minutes of attack water. If we can knock it with that making a quick attack why wouldn't me? In the meantime either the second engine laid in or the tender is in position dropping the tank and dumping its load.

                  That's the problem with trying to create a one size fits all model. It usually doesn't fit anyone all that well.
                  First of all, the size of the fire will dictate the likely need for an established water supply, which requires a quality size up by the first in officer. If the officer is arriving by buggie or POV prior to the first in engine, he will have time to make that size-up. If the officer is arriving on the first in engine, he may have to make the decision from the location of the hydrant, which will be tougher. Building knowledge, smoke reading and understanding exactly who else is responding and how long it will take them to arrive will be critical skills in this situation.

                  IMO, it all depends on how long it will be until the second engine arrives, assuming that it will have enough hose to make the lay. In my world (both my volunteer and combination departments rely on a volunteer driver for the 2nd due engine), it could easily be 6-7 minutes (assuming that a volunteer driver has gotten a truck up) until they arrive, plus the time to stop and the hydrant, make the wrap (which the driver may be doing himself) and then have somebody else arrive to make the connection.

                  As you can tell, there are a lot if "if's". Due to that I always prefer to lay in if there is any question about the need for more than 1,000g, unless a 3,000g tanker has signed on the air.

                  I prefer to know that the line is on the ground. That's just me.
                  Train to fight the fires you fight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are some very good points brought here. Thank you all for contributing to the discussion and sharing your points of view.

                    Fyredup, yes you are absolutely correct. You can (and should) forego two out if there is an imminent rescue. I would be very critical if my family were trapped in a house and the first due engine stopped to lay in. This is why we carry water in our tanks. Simply put, fire doubles in size every two minutes and permanent irreversible brain damage sets in in 4-6 minutes. Even if a hydrant is only 250' away it would add an additional 3 minutes to the time it takes for getting a line through the door to begin a primary search.

                    Bones,
                    I have been on these forums for almost 15 years. The truth of the matter is the forum is stagnant. Articles such as mine promote discussion. Feel free to post one and I will comment on it. Your opinion is welcome!

                    Dflex,
                    You definitely have some unique challenges that I am not used to. For the record, this is posted in the career advancement section because these are thoughts that an aspiring company officer should be considering.

                    Chief Lepore
                    AspiringFireOfficers.com
                    Last edited by paulLepore; 10-10-2016, 11:02 AM.
                    Paul Lepore
                    Division Chief
                    Aspiringfirefighters.com
                    AspiringFireOfficers.com

                    Comment

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