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  • beneifit' of useing a dump tank

    ok so the topic at the fire house what are the beneifit's of using a nursing set up and a dump tank setup. Some of our department around us are using a nursing set up instead of putting a drop tank on the ground. The old timers say we are wasting our time setting up a nursing system that we can have a dump tank set quicker. what is everybodies opion on this,

  • #2
    Depends on the situation for us. If we need big water then we drop a tank or two. It allows our tankers to drop a load and go after another. They dont sit there waiting for their water to be used before they go after a load. If it is a small fire that we can handle with less than 6,000 gallon of water then we just set up a nurse line. We roll four engines and a tanker on all stucture fires. Our county has a Tanker task force that has the county divided into three divisions. We can activate one, two or all three if we need. Each department in that area responds with a tanker. Works pretty well for us, we can move a lot of water.

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    • #3
      1500 is right it just depends on the situation. We have some homes in our rural area that we have to do both. First engine sets up to fight the fire and the second is out on the road as a nurse pump with dump tanks for it to pump. We have quite a few places that will only allow one engine in because of space.

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      • #4
        As said before, for small operations a nursing tanker will work. If you need big water, dump tanks can supply more over a longer period of time.

        I generally use a nursing tanker setup for a room and contents or smaller. Bigger than that, I start thinking about setting up tanks.

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        • #5
          Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs

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          • #6
            Depends.. as always, these issues are not always cut and dry.

            Some areas of our state use 6000 or 8000 gal tanker trucks (Tractor drawn). They tend to nurse and by all rights it should work fine for most of their fires.

            My area, it is mostly tanker shuttle using 2000 to 3000 gal tankers and drop tanks. Works for us and it is expandable.. need more water, call more tankers and drop another tank or two.

            Couple of things to consider:
            • What kind of mutual aid tankers do you have
            • How big is your tanker?
            • Do you have a lot of water sources are they spread out?
            • What kind of fires do you typically see? Small SFDs or Larger homes or commercial/industrial?


            I don't think you can go wrong either way, but it should be part of a bigger strategy based on where you are, what you have and how you use.
            I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

            "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

            "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rescueraver View Post
              Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
              There are reasons why this may not be the best option.

              Is that nursing tanker now blocked in? Will it be able to turn around and then do water shuttle? Or is it just fire and forget... and then rely on mutual aid tankers for more water (think travel time and the loss of a tanker in relay).

              It really doesn't take that much more time to drop the tank and dump the water then to nurse if you practice. It does take another engine (typically) and not having that might be the real issue that makes you go right to nursing.

              IMO: Any rural engine should carry 1000 gal... so if you got your first two engines on scene, you got a nice rolling start on the water supply.
              Last edited by ChiefKN; 05-10-2011, 12:03 PM.
              I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

              "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

              "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                There are reasons why this may not be the best option.

                Is that nursing tanker now blocked in? Will it be able to turn around and then do water shuttle? Or is it just fire and forget... and then rely on mutual aid tankers for more water (think travel time and the loss of a tanker in relay).

                It really doesn't take that much more time to drop the tank and dump the water then to nurse if you practice. It does take another engine (typically) and not having that might be the real issue that makes you go right to nursing.

                IMO: Any rural engine should carry 1000 gal... so if you got your first two engines on scene, you got a nice rolling start on the water supply.
                in our area we are the only fire department to set up a dump tank still everybody around us say's it take up to much time to do it and it's not safe to back a truck up that far lol. Granted we are a very rural department round trip u us some times can be over 10 miles one way for water.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rescueraver View Post
                  Get water flowing and keeping it flowing. The nurse tanker should be the first step in the rural water supply chain. You can use its tank to supply or act as a reserve. Haveing a nurse tanker set up first, gets water down the supply line to the fire. The Engineer can then deploy additional supply lines to act as a feeder lines to accept water from incomeing engines/ tankers, this may be all you need for a house fire. The dump site can be set up while the water is flowing. Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
                  Love it!!! Awesome!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rescueraver View Post
                    Here's a link to You Tube and the Hamden fire dept nurse tanker operation with 17 year old Ms Fern : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-VHjdTSYLs
                    After watching that I'm confused. what's the difference between nurse tanker and drop tank operations? The above looked like a droptank to me.
                    FYI: My area is 99.9% hydrants so it's not something I'm familiar with.
                    So you call this your free country
                    Tell me why it costs so much to live
                    -3dd

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                      After watching that I'm confused. what's the difference between nurse tanker and drop tank operations? The above looked like a droptank to me.
                      FYI: My area is 99.9% hydrants so it's not something I'm familiar with.
                      In the video, the first tanker picks up the line laid by the first engine and pumps its tankwater up the line. There are a few variations, but in this case it appears once the tank is spent, the nurse tanker becomes the draft engine and refills its tank as a backup water supply as well. It will draft from the folding tank as each tanker offloads but in between loads, it can maintain a water supply with its booster tank. A nurse tanker needs to have a decent size pump and a decent sized tank to pump line to be useful in this application.

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                      • #12
                        This is how we set up our apparatus for our own coverage area. The engine lays in to the fire leaving the portable pond at the end of the lay. The tanker hooks up to the LDH. It can then supply the tank water (2,000 gallons) to the enginer (1,000 gallons) while setting up the engine's portable pond as well as the one carried on the tanker. Additional tankers from mutual aid will then dump and head to water supply where a mutual aid engine has established. Because this was our intent, we matched pumps (1,500 gpm) and practice this with a power siphon.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MG3610 View Post
                          In the video, the first tanker picks up the line laid by the first engine and pumps its tankwater up the line. There are a few variations, but in this case it appears once the tank is spent, the nurse tanker becomes the draft engine and refills its tank as a backup water supply as well. It will draft from the folding tank as each tanker offloads but in between loads, it can maintain a water supply with its booster tank. A nurse tanker needs to have a decent size pump and a decent sized tank to pump line to be useful in this application.
                          So the real difference is the size of the "buffer" the unit has to work with in between tanker shuttles. If you're using an Engine then it uses its (relatively small) tank but if you're using a Tanker then it has a much larger tank to work with.

                          Sorry if I'm missing something, but I don't see a difference operationally.. at least not enough to warrant calling them two different terms.

                          Also, with respect to drop tanks is anything done to maintain the draft in between shuttles? I would imagine that if the water level gets too low you need to cycle water back into the drop tank to maintain a draft, right? You wouldn't just suck it dry and try to reestablish the draft once the next tanker drop occurs..
                          So you call this your free country
                          Tell me why it costs so much to live
                          -3dd

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                            Also, with respect to drop tanks is anything done to maintain the draft in between shuttles? I would imagine that if the water level gets too low you need to cycle water back into the drop tank to maintain a draft, right? You wouldn't just suck it dry and try to reestablish the draft once the next tanker drop occurs..
                            Hopefully... you won't go dry.

                            However, we always have a handline or discharge aimed into the drop tank to keep water flowing. That way you can shut down the discharge that is supplying upstream and not lose draft.
                            Last edited by ChiefKN; 05-11-2011, 03:07 PM.
                            I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                            "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                            "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                              Sorry if I'm missing something, but I don't see a difference operationally.. at least not enough to warrant calling them two different terms.
                              They're actually very different. A little background information on our operations in order to explain...

                              We get three engines and three tankers dispatched on the report of a residential fire, four if it's commercial. SOP is that the first arriving engine will lay a line up the driveway, the second arriving engine will supply the attack engine from the drop tanks, and the third engine will generally never even see the scene, as they will establish a fill site (generally from one of the 72 dry hydrants we have).

                              The first arriving tanker (which 99% of the time arrives ahead of the second engine) will nurse the attack engine while the tanker's drop tank is pulled off and set up. Once the tanker's tank water has been exhausted, it takes off to the fill site. The second and third tankers will use their quick-dumps to fill the drop tank, and if the fire is large enough, their drop tanks can be set up as well. One they dump, they take off for the fill site as well.

                              In this scenario, the only nursing that's done is from the first tanker to the first engine. From that point forward, it's a tanker shuttle operation.

                              We live and die by rural water ops, so our engines and tankers are set up for effective RWS operations, including low-level strainers preconnected to the hard sleeve, front and rear suctions, large side and rear square dumps (which off load water much faster than round dumps, we've researched it), rear direct tank fills on the tankers with Storz connections for faster fill times, taking wheelbase into consideration when spec'ing tankers (easier to turn around at fill and dump sites), and other factors.

                              Remember, it's better to have the water sitting stationary at the scene, NOT the tankers!

                              EDIT: ChiefKN is right - the idea of a good tanker shuttle is that you DON'T have to worry about running out of water in the tank(s), but setting up a recirculation line is always a good idea.
                              Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 05-11-2011, 10:03 PM.
                              Career Fire Captain
                              Volunteer Chief Officer


                              Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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