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  • onehotcowboy
    replied
    Originally posted by Dalmatian190 View Post
    Frozen Hydrant = Let the water utility deal with thawing it We just continue laying until a good hydrant is found, you hit the river, or we shift to tankers.

    I beg to differ this. We had 2 engines out of sevice, both froze up en-route, we had to use our tenders to push the engines open

    I have no idea what type of pumps the poster has.

    A 350gpm or even 750gpm front mount pump is going to have a lot more issues then a 1500gpm midship pump. Bigger and more protected the pump, the lesser the problem. We used to wrap our front mount pumps with old canvas bunker coats to help keep them warm during responses...got fancy for the last few years we had them and had nice looking Hypalon covers made for them.

    So issue Granddad had are not necessarily the same as what many have today...and that's where some of the differences in opinion / experience come from.
    We had a 1972 Hale midship, 750gpm, 1,000 gal booster, and a 1996 Pierce Contender, 1,000 gpm, 1,000 booster midship, both had heat pans, avg temp was 30 below, 45 below with the wind chill. Never had a problem with our Scott's freezing up inside, but once you breathed , and were outside, you need to tuck your regulater in your coat. We carry an ice auger on our tenders, for ponds and streams, our tenders have a suction hose that attaches to a PVC pipe that we drop in the hole. Someone mentioned about taking your engine back if its froze, nothing you can do...use your tenders to force water thru your pumps. Some dont have tenders maybe so it wont work then, but if you can get another engine there, that will work. Not to sound disrespectful, but 0 degrees to 32 degrees Farhenhiet, isnt that bad. You start getting below zero and factor in the wind chill...its a whole differant story, the porta-pond has a layer of ice on it almost immediatly, with-in minutes there is an inch of ice on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • rescuedawg
    replied
    We had a house fire several weeks ago. Banged out at 15:20, temp. was about 15 degrees. Within 45 minutes the temp dropped to about 8 degrees. The wind was steady 40 miles and hour with higher gusts. Town highway salted and sanded the scene many times. We didnt have pump problems. We did have a ladders frozen and extended and the hose would freeze faster than we could drain it. We threw the laddders and all the hose on a flat bed tow truck and took them back to the firehouse that way. The frozen Scott packs once we chislled them off the guys went in the pickup. Two hours of defrost and everything was repacked.

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    The bad air supply was definitely a possibility. The incident happened several years ago with an old demand air Scott (thankfully they're long gone). Come to think about it, I've since only really seen them freeze up after getting them wet either by water or breathing condensation, and that's been on the exterior of the structure. Paying strict attention to our SCBA's hasn't hurt us though, and I'll probably continue telling the story to keep the boys on their toes.

    Automatically switching gears and catching the next hydrant is what I would do. Unthawing anything in severe cold weather is very difficult if not next to impossible. Ice plugs in front of pressurized sources have killed alot of people up here in the oilfields.

    Very good points.

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • Dalmatian190
    replied
    SCBA have a tendency to freeze up even inside a nice warm house that is on fire.

    That could be a problem with your air supply.

    I didn't really pay attention to the progress reports during officer's meetings from one of the Lieutenants talking about the air dryer having been discovered to be defective on the compressor when the service guy came for it's annual check-up.

    Until I'm pulling a ceiling and air stopped flowing.

    Our entire air system had been contaminated by unacceptable moisture levels. Compressor was in the process of being repaired, then the cascade cylinders were sent out to be dried (whatever they do following a hydrotest), then the SCBA cylinders all had to be rotated out to them to get the moisture out.

    Mental note...pay attention and ask questions when someone is talking about the air supply in the future...
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 02-14-2007, 02:20 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dalmatian190
    replied
    Frozen Hydrant = Let the water utility deal with thawing it We just continue laying until a good hydrant is found, you hit the river, or we shift to tankers.

    I beg to differ this. We had 2 engines out of sevice, both froze up en-route, we had to use our tenders to push the engines open

    I have no idea what type of pumps the poster has.

    A 350gpm or even 750gpm front mount pump is going to have a lot more issues then a 1500gpm midship pump. Bigger and more protected the pump, the lesser the problem. We used to wrap our front mount pumps with old canvas bunker coats to help keep them warm during responses...got fancy for the last few years we had them and had nice looking Hypalon covers made for them.

    So issue Granddad had are not necessarily the same as what many have today...and that's where some of the differences in opinion / experience come from.

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    Like someone from Alaska said, keep your SCBA mask warm. Our Chief personally had a mask freeze up solid in a working fire where the ambient temperature was hot and not just warm.

    Cross post from another thread:

    • Constant pump circulation
    • If we get to ¼ tank of water, we shut down and recirculate. I you run out of water you’re going to freeze up
    • Nozzles always either flowing, cracked or recirculated. Ice crystals in the line will plug the nozzles.
    • SCBA have a tendency to freeze up even inside a nice warm house that is on fire.
    • No SCBA masks are put back in service until they are completely dry.
    • Poor footing from to scene and back home again
    • Added concentration on ladders
    • Driving sometimes as slow as 40kph
    • If you freeze up the pump, send it back to the station. There’s nothing you can do on scene that can’t be done faster in a warm building
    • Added caution around high-pressure hydraulic lines. They may not take much of a knock at -40
    • EVERYTHING has a chance of breaking down at -40 and probably will

    Just a few.

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    To expand on this, if you find a frozen hydrant, IMMEDIATELY get out of the way of the discharges. It could let go at ANY time.

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    Originally posted by TFMBob View Post
    Speaking of "ICE"... how to "thaw a frozen hydrant"? With the extreme cold the upper midwest has been experiencing that past few weeks, many hydrants are frozen to the point where it is nearly impossible to open the valve. This is usually because the hydrant was not closed all the way when it was "checked" last summer, the bottom valve is leaking because of a small particle in the seat, or the hydrant is not draining after shut-off.

    An "old timers way" of thawing was to buid a fire around the hydrant with scraps of wood. However, this was time consuming when you need the "wet-stuff on the red-stuff," especially at 3AM, and the engine is of need of water. I recall a chief from the 1950's, who ordered that a pipe wrench w/a 4Ft. breaker-bar was carried next to the hydrant wrench, and this usually opened the hydrant. A faster, inexpensive, common-sense solution is to carry a propane "weed burning" torch in one of the rigs. After the caps are removed, the base at the ground level is heated, and the valve is slowly opened until you get a flow. Replace the caps, hook-up. Weed torches are relative inspensive at nearly every garden/tractor supply center, with little or no maintenance.
    Beware of an ice plug flying out of the hydrant. It could be lethal!

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • TFMBob
    replied
    Speaking of "ICE"... how to "thaw a frozen hydrant"? With the extreme cold the upper midwest has been experiencing that past few weeks, many hydrants are frozen to the point where it is nearly impossible to open the valve. This is usually because the hydrant was not closed all the way when it was "checked" last summer, the bottom valve is leaking because of a small particle in the seat, or the hydrant is not draining after shut-off.

    An "old timers way" of thawing was to buid a fire around the hydrant with scraps of wood. However, this was time consuming when you need the "wet-stuff on the red-stuff," especially at 3AM, and the engine is of need of water. I recall a chief from the 1950's, who ordered that a pipe wrench w/a 4Ft. breaker-bar was carried next to the hydrant wrench, and this usually opened the hydrant. A faster, inexpensive, common-sense solution is to carry a propane "weed burning" torch in one of the rigs. After the caps are removed, the base at the ground level is heated, and the valve is slowly opened until you get a flow. Replace the caps, hook-up. Weed torches are relative inspensive at nearly every garden/tractor supply center, with little or no maintenance.

    Leave a comment:


  • TFMBob
    replied
    ICE and frozen hydrants:

    rellik74: I loved your answer, "move to Texas." I am refered to as an "ole dandie" living not too far from away from you, and a few years older...imagine that!

    Getting back to the "ICE" issue...which we agree is not problematic here, however I still have a few friends living in the NE where they have experienced over 3 weeks...below freezing temps. I remember very well, an ole chief from the 1950's, that when the temp. got below 32F. for only a few days, the standing order was; "make sure the 36in. pipe wrench and 4ft. breaker-bar is on the tail of the No. 1 engine...right next the hydrant wrench." If the hydrant was frozen...and the hyd. wrench would not open it...the pipe wrench w/breaker-bar did!

    Now, the water company who owned the hydrant's didn't approve of this procedure, but "the wet-stuff" on the "red-stuff" was needed...NOW, and the hydrant could be repaired when time permitted...after the fire was punched-out.

    Furthermore, I doubt if many know "how to thaw a frozen hydrant." I've heard many "ole timer tales" on this, some you would not believe...but they worked. However one that is nearly fail-safe, is to carry at least one Propane "WEED BURNING" torch in one of the first responding rigs. If the hydrant is frozen and will not open...remove all the caps, and heat the area closest to the ground. Slowly open the top-valve, and when water flows, replace the caps and "hook-up."

    A "weed burning" torch can be very reasonably purchased at nearly any decent lawn and garden outlet, requires nearly no maintenance, but...it will NOT be NFPA "approved"...with a FIRE DEPARTMENT APPROVED sticker, have no reflective tape, chrome or haligen flashing lights." Therefore, I imagine this common-sense tool could not be used today.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2andfrom
    replied
    I take my hat off

    To all the postee's thus far-Gentlemen I remove my battle bowler to you all---during my years of service in the LFB we had one or two very cold winters(by our standards) and apart from smashing in a hydrant cover with a sledgehammer-pavement covered in ice and we wanted wet stuff in a hurry.Nothing on the scale you are talking about,I cannot even comprehend your various problems! I think we fitted snow chains on one or two "out stations" on a very few occasions-but thats about the only problem encountered.

    Once again Firemen are cool--or should I say freezing in this instance?


    Of course living where I do at present the only ice and snow is found at the back of the beer fridge here!

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • onehotcowboy
    replied
    Originally posted by Res343cue View Post
    Drain the pipes and the pump? No way...

    The pump casing and the water won't freeze that fast in the time it takes to get back to quarters. One fire that I remember going to in the winter, it was a 45+ minute drive back to the station...These temps were down around the zero degree mark....
    I beg to differ this. We had 2 engines out of sevice, both froze up en-route, we had to use our tenders to push the engines open. Our tenders have portible pumps to re-cirrculate the water so it doesnt freeze. Basicly a pump and roll. Once on seen we can re-cirrculate our engines. It gets down to 30 below here and 60 below with the wind chill. Water freezes instantly in these conditions.

    Leave a comment:


  • doughesson
    replied
    On the Pierces my old department has,there are piping and pump drains.Since the station Captains take their responsibilities seriously,we used those to remove as much water as possible before leaving the station unattended.
    At my old river job which was in Paducah Ky on the Ohio,they drain the gas pumps used to put drinking water on passing towboats.I'd drain it down like we did on the Lower Mississippi in the winter(open both drains and replace the plugs when the water stops flowing),and go with that but they'd act like I was committing murder in the First but not opening both drains,turn the pump over several times and leave the plugs out.
    No,I don't think leaving some water will crack a pump.It'll have room to expand upwards enough to prevent that.But leaving a pump more than half full will crack the casing,ruin impellers and get the engineer mad at you.

    Originally posted by Res343cue View Post
    Drain the pipes and the pump? No way...

    The pump casing and the water won't freeze that fast in the time it takes to get back to quarters. One fire that I remember going to in the winter, it was a 45+ minute drive back to the station...These temps were down around the zero degree mark....

    Leave a comment:


  • Haweater
    replied
    One point to add that I can think of since we have an old International with a front mount pump. We had a cover made for it so when driving in the cold, the wind isn't directly on the pump. Also make sure the pump is drained and dump some plumber's antifreeze down into the pump in various spots to make sure what water might be still in there won't freeze.

    My house burnt in 1999 and it was -35C which is -31F. There were no real complaints until the fire was out!!!! Everyone wanted to stand next to the house while it was on fire for some reason?
    NEVER close a nozzle when it's cold. That's the key advice here, at -31F a nozzle and hose will freeze in less than 2 minutes.
    Cheers,
    Gord

    Leave a comment:


  • RAMFIRE42
    replied
    Winter Equipment

    Here is what we add to each of our rigs for winter;
    1. 2 50lb bags of rock salt.
    2. ice scraper/chisel (like in your pov)
    3. 2 cans spray de-icer
    4. portable torch. 14oz like plumbers use
    5. 6 pack of 14 oz lp bottles for torch

    We have often talked about the heat tape that you would use on mobile homes, however at this point we dont keep them. Also talks of a metal underbody shield to keep slop out of the pump.

    Leave a comment:

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