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Remote Hydrant Valves

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  • #16
    Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    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.
    I think we're pretty much on the same page here. However, the way I learned to operate - if fire is evident - is to dress the hydrant, flush, and send water. I have yet to find a firefighter that can dress a hydrant and charge the line faster than I can jump out and throw a hose clamp behind the engine - if not fully connect to an intake. Because of this, I still see no application for a remote hydrant valve - even if they were cheap, simple, and reliable!

    Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    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.
    Agreed - that's the downside of the forward lay. Another reason why a good engine company has more tricks up their sleeve and will (near-)seamlessly adjust their operations accordingly.

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    • #17
      Thank you for the comments. The thoughts about battery life concerned me a great deal, so I did a little research. While this remote control hydrant valve is not a new product, we found a design from some time ago, and it looks like battery life was a problem for the very reason stated. Further investigation into this recently introduced unit shows that its design is a little different using smaller batteries to open only a small pilot valve. Actually, it is the water pressure that opens and closes the valve. And with a manual control of the valve also a consideration, we are a little less concerned. We liked the fact that it provides the hydrant pressure to the operator before even opening the valve. Also, while I appreciate some of the operational considerations offered here, with the long lays we have, and the very limited staffing we work with, it just seemed like a tool we could draw upon when the situation presents itself. Am I just deluding myself because of the cool factor?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by BenFireFan View Post
        Also, while I appreciate some of the operational considerations offered here, with the long lays we have, and the very limited staffing we work with, it just seemed like a tool we could draw upon when the situation presents itself. Am I just deluding myself because of the cool factor?
        Just to be clear - none of my posts have been meant as an attack, simply (hopefully) a dose of realism. How long is your typical lay?

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        • #19
          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...
          Interesting thread. We have not a single hydrant in our district but in our Mutual Aid neighbors, looking to learn.

          As I recall; a recent article in one of the major trade pubs discussed an upstate NY FD that developed similar R/C hydrant valves in the 70s and have been using since. So not really a new concept.

          If hydrant man completes hydrant hookup and then hoofs it to the scene (either afer opening hydrant and water is flowing or or before opening an R/C valve is opened): Wasn't the LDH screw clamp developed so so hydrant man can head to scene before engineer has his pumper hookup complete? That is hydrant man opens the hydrant as soon as pumper stops at the scene and pumper crew has placed a clamp on the LDH. Engineer then completes his hookup while hydrant man is walking in. Seems simple theory.

          Do the LDH screw clamps work (stay put when arriving water hits the clamp)? Certainly much less expensive equipment than the TFT R/C valve. I've talked to several FD that have LDH clamps but none that are actually are using. But none that could tell me why/why not.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by neiowa View Post
            Interesting thread. That is hydrant man opens the hydrant as soon as pumper stops at the scene and pumper crew has placed a clamp on the LDH. Engineer then completes his hookup while hydrant man is walking in. Seems simple theory.

            Do the LDH screw clamps work (stay put when arriving water hits the clamp)?
            This is the way we've being doing it for years and have found that the only issue was with the cheaper LDH clamps. The (sorry I forget the name) newer versions of the tall silver clamps that hinge to the side and have the smaller crank handle move when water is applied. It appears that they used to have a valley cut into the bottom of the clamp that caused a crease, not just a flat spot. The larger red clamps with the long eared handles also have this crease and don't move a bit. When we made the complete switch from 4" to 5" LDH we tested three clamps and bought the more expensive red ones. Again sorry I don't have the name handy.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by neiowa View Post

              If hydrant man completes hydrant hookup and then hoofs it to the scene (either afer opening hydrant and water is flowing or or before opening an R/C valve is opened): .
              One advantage to the RC valve is that the line is uncharged while the hydrant man is hoofing it up to the scene. This means he could move the line to the side of the road before it weighs 32,000 lbs.
              So you call this your free country
              Tell me why it costs so much to live
              -3dd

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              • #22
                Everyones' comments here are very helpful. We are just trying to find some simple solutions to do what the military terms, create a "force multiplier". The remote controlled hydrant valve seemed like a simple way to get one more person into our initial attack crew. I know the comments about holding the rig for 60-90 seconds at the plug while it is being set up are very valid. That is critical time. We have continued to do research into this new valve and are willing to give it a try. Some of the old dudes on the department had some serious heartburn about the electronics, but they got in their trucks, started them and turned on the radios, scanners, and gps. I know the harsh fireground can be much more unpredictable, and the manual override, even if we ignore the low battery warnings, still lets it function manually. Right now, we think it will be a good tool to use. I have a new question though, who is using a hydrant assist valve either on the hydrant to boost flow or in-line in long lays??

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by BenFireFan View Post
                  I have a new question though, who is using a hydrant assist valve either on the hydrant to boost flow or in-line in long lays??
                  We have hydrant assist valves attached to the LDH coming off the back of all our apparatus. The only time it isn't used is when the piece is close enough to the hydrant for a pony length (aka, no hose off the back), or when mutual aid gets assigned to the hydrant and goes "WTF" and takes it off when they get there.
                  So you call this your free country
                  Tell me why it costs so much to live
                  -3dd

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Ben-

                    I see that you're trying to do the best thing for your department's situation, and that is respectable. While you certainly shouldn't ignore any potential options, I would strongly recommend these simple procedures:

                    1. Offensive fire (moderate water is required): Firefighter jumps out, wraps the hydrant, and jumps back on the piece. You arrive with a full crew and a supply line in the road. Begin your attack off of tank water and now anybody can charge the hydrant line. This could be another incoming company, a FD ambulance crew, a chief officer or a firefighter in a POV. Worst case scenario, the engineer can run back and make the hook-up, if necessary (not ideal, but far better than letting the fire grow for an extra 90 seconds before you put water on it).

                    2. Defensive fire (high flows immediately required): Firefighter jumps out, wraps the hydrant, and stays while the engine drives off. The engineer throws a hose clamp on as soon as they arrive on scene, allowing the hydrant FF to charge the line as soon as he is able. The engineer stretches the necessary attack line(s) and charges them while the hydrant FF hoofs it up to the scene.

                    For scenario 2, if you know that another company happens to be shortly behind you, you can operate as in scenario 1.

                    Both guarantee your water supply while ensuring that you do not have to delay fire attack.

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                    • #25
                      i like the idea and approach of the device. but on the other hand im not a fan of replacing man with machine to cut costs and avoid staffing issues. this gives the penny counters one more thing in there arsenal to "downsize" your platoons.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by shott8283 View Post
                        i like the idea and approach of the device. but on the other hand im not a fan of replacing man with machine to cut costs and avoid staffing issues. this gives the penny counters one more thing in there arsenal to "downsize" your platoons.
                        But that's just it - it doesn't! There is very little, if any, practical application for it on the fireground.

                        Comment

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