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2nd in engine setup?

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  • 2nd in engine setup?

    The other tread on long drive ways got me curious about how other depts setup the 2nd engine if that engine forward lays from the hydrant to the scene.

    We had a house fire about a month ago that was a mess. A little back ground on this dept, this is a part time gig where there is only 1 24 hr and 1 12 hr day person rest are volleys, the 12 guy is at another station. I was 1st in engine the chief got on scene, gave report, called for mutual aid and advised me to come up to the house and the 2nd in could lay the line. The driveway was long but not crazy 800' or so. So.... get up to the house which is a 2 story 2500 sq ft or so about 30% involved but had yet to breach the roof. Chief is dressed out so get him a line on the ground and get water w class A foam in it, pull another line to the rear and I start hitting it from there. So there was a brief span of time where we could have gotten on top of this until....

    The 2nd in engine hooks to the hydrant and lays a single 3" up to the scene gets out and breaks the line, then he runs a 50ft section from his truck to mine?? So I'm guessing that his plan was to feed my truck from his which is fine I reckon. The problem arose when he got confused trying too be to fast and called for water too soon and charged the supply bed, shortly thereafter I ran out of water and we burnt the place to the ground.

    In hind sight it would have been better for me to take the time to get out wrap the hydrant and lay 5 inch up to the fire and the 2nd in could have made the hook up and charged the line. Also double 3s should have been laid being 800 ft long and should have IMO hooked them directly to the engine that was already attacking the fire. We had supply issues with the single 3, we set up a blitz gun but didn't have enough volume to run that and 2 1.75 lines. "" Which that has been fixed, The truck that was 2nd in now has 1000 ft 5 inch.

    So having rambled all that out, Do you hook to your engine and feed the attack pumper or break the line and hook it directly to the attack pumper
    Get the first line into operation.

  • #2
    Even though 800' off the hydrant is going to give you good flow, I think I'd prefer to lay in with the attack engine and hold the 2nd due at the hydrant. If there's a good IC already on scene, he/she will direct the first due to lay in.

    In our case, a pumper at the end of the driveway is mandatory, as we have zero hydrants, so it'll be drafting from the portapond.

    One problem with the second engine coming in is that invariably they'll want to pull a line off that rig, too, rather than pull another line off the 1st due. The beauty of MA and free-lancers. On top of that, they'll expect to connect to the supply line, then feed the 1st due from there.

    One consultant I know of feels there should be preconnects up to and including the max flow of the pump. I don't normally see us reaching that point of deployment at a rural fire, but it's not a bad idea. If you'd dropped the 5" with the 2nd due at the hydrant, and, using our pumper as an example, you'd have been able to pull 2 x 1.75" with fog nozzles (crosslays), a 1.75" with a straight tip (bumper line), and a 3" with a fog nozzle, all without touching a coupling, if you will. And there's enough hose in the bed to set up the Blitzfire, too.

    I would opine that whoever decided to drop a single 3" needs a refresher in hydraulics and fire flows.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.


    • #3
      While first and second engine have some differences, the basic setup is the same. 1500ft of 4in supply line, 2 crosslays, 1 bumper line, 1 'long line' off the bed.

      First due engine lays out.
      Second due engine picks up the supply line and sets up the pond once the first tanker shows up.

      All the tankers have fire-pumps, so if a tanker beats the second engine, they may nurse via the supply line until the second engine shows up to establish the water supply.


      • #4
        Our policy is if you lay a line, the first thing you do upon exiting the cab is set a clamp on the line, no charged beds, no worry of charged line flowing free. I would think knowing it was a driveway, I'd have asked the first due to lay-in. Having the second due lay in may work if your crews know how to quickly supply the first due. Where we are street-side (residential fire) I like the first due come to the scene and begin attack from the booster tank, the second due then either reverse lays (where >800 ft) or forward lay for lesser. This allows the engine to pump the hydrant for longer lays or just put the 5" direct into the first due's intake on shorter lays. I don't see value in having to pumpers side by side being supplied via the same line (ie: forward lay second due receives and pumps to first due?) just more mechanics between the supply and the firestream. We do forward lay to our tower ladder which has no pump and needs the pressure boost.


        • #5
          First due lays in if smoke or fire showing on both of my current FDs. If nothing showing go in and investigate, second due can forward or reverse lay depending on distance. We do not have 2 rigs next to each other operating off the same line at the scene.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
            We do not have 2 rigs next to each other operating off the same line at the scene.
            We shouldn't, but it happens with overenthusiastic MA departments.... It's gotten better.

            Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

            Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.


            • #7
              Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
              We do forward lay to our tower ladder which has no pump and needs the pressure boost.

              I think this is a good and important point to bring up. Our MA company runs with a tower ladder w/o a pump that requires its own dedicated truck/water supply. Just another reason (in my opinion) to have 1 rig on scene with its own dedicated line.


              • #8
                First off, I'd NEVER lay a 800' 3" supply line. At the most, we may supply another nearby piece (100' or so) with a 3" line. I'd have laid in the 5", and let them supply water to you. As for using a clamp, other than a closet in a firehouse, I've never seen one actually used in this area. As soon as the supply line is broken, it's hooked to the inlet. Most everyone around here has been using 5" for some time now, only one has 4".
                In the city, typically the second engine's job is water supply, unless they are coming from quite a distance away, or it's already a large fire calling for master streams.


                • #9
                  L-Webb: Let me start by saying that we have NOT used 3" (with 2 1/2" couplings) since the mid-1980's. When we did use it, it was loaded in a split bed of 800 ft. per side, and you always (SOP) laid duals. We never adhered to the "Secure your own water" philosophy, because we were operating three stations with an engine out of each station. This allowed us to work like a "Two Section" engine company with attack and supply duties. 750 gal tanks allow an initial hit from the exterior, and then advance on the seat, while the supply is being laid. Using this technique minimizes the free burn time, and makes the initial hit in as short a time as possible. Just considering the old fire spread rate of 2x every three minutes, and if it takes an additional 3 minutes to line in, you have just halved your needed water application. Yes, waiting for the second section to lay the line poses a possible safety consideration for the attack crew, but remember some of the line laying and hook-up is now being done simultaneous to the attack lines being advanced. Taking a look at this from the water supply angle. If the hydrant supply is capable of 1,000 gpm, at 20 psi and a static of 80 psi, the 500 gpm point will be at about 60 psi. On a single lay of 3" (2 1/2" couplings) 60 psi would supply 275 gpm (friction loss formula) Dual 3's then would supply 550 gpm. However using the 2 section company with duals, the entire 1,000 gpm would be available by relaying. If something should happen to either engine, the 3rd arriving picks up the failed engine's position, or is used to supply the 4th arrival (aerial) or works the rear of the structure. If you are operating with 4" supply the numbers for the forward lay would be almost exactly the same as the dual 3". For 5" supply 40 psi residual (about 800 gpm) would get you 800 gpm with 10 psi remaining on the compound. Taking a look at needed water ( 1 3/4 = 150 gpm & 2 1/2 = 250) So two 1 3/4's and a 2 1/2 need 550) then with a forward lay of a single 3" you will only have (maybe) two 1 3/4" lines with no back-up. The 3" duals will get you two attack lines and the back-up. A forward lay single 5" will provide two 1 3/4 and two 2 1/2's. The two section with a 5" supply will provide two 2 1/2" lines plus a 1 3/8" aerial stream at 500 gpm. My son has a huge house of 5,800 sq ft, and it only requires about 700 gpm. Most residential fires will not require more than 500 to 800 gpm. Is there a risk with a 2 section company ? Absolutely, and the I.C. will need to control the attack crew until the supply is established, but there are benefits to taking the heat out of the fire. Hope this provides a different view of the problem.


                  • #10
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