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  • Remote Hydrant Valves

    I saw in FAM that TFT has introduced a new Remote Control hydrant valve. Am I just close-minded or is there really no use for these things? I cannot see how these would possibly improve operations, other than make things more expensive and failure-prone:

    http://www.tft.com/productsearch/pro...product=AU6R1T

  • #2
    Being a heavy machinery mech for many years, I'm a firm beliver in the good ole "KISS" saying. Any time you add more variables to the situation, the more chances of something failing. Last thing you would want to do is hook this thing up on a fire ground and have it fail when you really didn't need it in the first place. I say a waste of money since I can see no huge benifit to it.

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    • #3
      It is a great idea. But some things are better left fail safe with a person.
      Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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      • #4
        The thing I don't understand is in what scenario they could actually even be useful:

        Scenario 1: Hydrant FF gets back on engine
        The firefighter gets out, wraps the hydrant, and jumps back on the rig. The remote hydrant valve is useless here, because there isn't time for the FF to dress the hydrant, open it, etc - they're just getting right back on the piece.

        Scenario 2: Hydrant FF stays at the hydrant
        The firefighter gets out, wraps the hydrant, and has the engine driver layout while he stays at the hydrant. He removes the caps, dresses the ports, opens the hydrant fully, flushes it (depending on SOP), arranges the hose, and charges the line. Still no use for an automatic hydrant valve.

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        • #5
          How do 4 AA batteries open an close a valve against a 40-90psi water main??
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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          • #6
            The only reason we got interested in this, was due to our very limited staffing. Especially, with long lays, to have the plugman be part of the initial attack crew is very critical for us. Also, to allow the engineer the flexibility of either charging all that line on ground or not was a really big deal. Our initial concern of this piece of equipment had a lot to do with the electronics. Having seen a demonstration and the ability to operate it as easily in a manual mode, we all felt more confident. Would we use this and change our hydrant operational guidelines….yes. Having that extra hand up at the fire scene and allow the engineer to control his water supply were both very key benefits for us.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FireFuss
              The same way a 9 volt battery shocks the **** out of you in a taser. Capacitors and what not.
              I don't think so. The concept and what the electricity is doing is just a little different.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BenFireFan View Post
                The only reason we got interested in this, was due to our very limited staffing. Especially, with long lays, to have the plugman be part of the initial attack crew is very critical for us. Also, to allow the engineer the flexibility of either charging all that line on ground or not was a really big deal. Our initial concern of this piece of equipment had a lot to do with the electronics. Having seen a demonstration and the ability to operate it as easily in a manual mode, we all felt more confident. Would we use this and change our hydrant operational guidelines….yes. Having that extra hand up at the fire scene and allow the engineer to control his water supply were both very key benefits for us.
                Ben, can you please explain to me how you would operate with this? Is the FF getting back on the apparatus after he wraps the hydrant, or is staying there to open and dress the hydrant?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
                  Ben, can you please explain to me how you would operate with this? Is the FF getting back on the apparatus after he wraps the hydrant, or is staying there to open and dress the hydrant?
                  The process we intend to use we believe will look like this:

                  Have him dress the hydrant with our bag, rope set up to hold the hose (includes a smaller 2 1/2" gate valve on a side discharge port), charge the hydrant, flush quickly out the 2 1/2" valve and ride the rig to the initial attack position.

                  A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BenFireFan View Post
                    A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.
                    I think this logic is sound and well thought out. The GAIN is the guy would have to stick around at the hydrant waiting for the engine to be ready for it is no longer wasted there. The longer distance does make the guy's time be wasted in this case.

                    So, I think what you should consider here is what happens if the thing doesn't work? Will there always be a second due engine or someone coming down the road that can hit it manually in a minute? Or do we need to now lose an interior team do one of the guys can run down the road and override the piece of crap?
                    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nmfire View Post
                      I don't think so. The concept and what the electricity is doing is just a little different.
                      They have a crane load release that can support 25 tons and will release with a solenoid powered by a 9 volt battery. The hydrant valve would be a non issue. It could operate with a screw drive, hydraulic assist (water) from a solenoid valve, a spring with an unlatch solenoid, etc. All of which require little power and little force despite the weight being held back. Clearly they found a way to do it reliably or the product would not be on the market.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WD6956 View Post
                        They have a crane load release that can support 25 tons and will release with a solenoid powered by a 9 volt battery. The hydrant valve would be a non issue.
                        Two completely unrelated concepts.

                        Originally posted by WD6956 View Post
                        It could operate with a screw drive, hydraulic assist (water) from a solenoid valve, a spring with an unlatch solenoid, etc. All of which require little power and little force despite the weight being held back. Clearly they found a way to do it reliably or the product would not be on the market.
                        Yes, clearly they found a way. Which is why I asked. I want to know what that way is. The valve can open and close which is a significant task order for a few AA batteries and I think wondering how it handles it is a rather valid inquiry. Peoples lives can depend on those AA batteries.
                        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can see how this could be beneficial BUT it comes down to the peas and carrots of cost vs times used....granted it could be the greatest thing since sliced bread and prove beneficial but as stated in other posts peoples lives are depending on this piece of equipment, and we all know how electronics like to fail at the worst possible time... I am also confused as to what you mean by the pump operator deciding if he wants to charge the supply line or not

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BenFireFan View Post
                            The process we intend to use we believe will look like this:

                            Have him dress the hydrant with our bag, rope set up to hold the hose (includes a smaller 2 1/2" gate valve on a side discharge port), charge the hydrant, flush quickly out the 2 1/2" valve and ride the rig to the initial attack position.

                            A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.
                            I guess that explains a lot. I cannot IMAGINE delaying response of the first due engine company by a minute and a half (or more) while somebody dresses a hydrant. If it takes one of my guys 15 seconds to jump out and lay out when I have fire blowing out of a building, it seems like forever.

                            Tactically, our first priority is to take steps to establish a permanent water supply. But at the cost of a 90 second delay in putting water on the fire or making obvious rescues, I think your tactical priorities may need to be re-thought in relative terms.

                            Three questions to help get a better picture of your situation:

                            1. How far out is your second company (or even a chief, ambulance, or POV) behind the first engine, typically?

                            2. How many gallons in your tank?

                            3. What is your average hose lay and/or total amount of LDH in the bed?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
                              I guess that explains a lot. I cannot IMAGINE delaying response of the first due engine company by a minute and a half (or more) while somebody dresses a hydrant. If it takes one of my guys 15 seconds to jump out and lay out when I have fire blowing out of a building, it seems like forever.
                              I have to agree here. If I was inclined to trust these valves I'd at least want to drop the hydrant firefighter and lay out leaving him to hustle to the scene after making the connection. This way the line could be pulled and a wrap taken, then the apparatus could proceed. Then the firefighter could dress and flow the hydrant before connecting the line. The time gained from current ops would be whatever it takes to set up the engine and request water.

                              Of course anytime you layout without opening the hydrant you run the risk of being totally f***ed if the hydrants dead for any reason.The other part to this is still the trust factor in relying on these valves, because when one fails (and it will as do all mechanical devices) it could be a significant issue.

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