Come on Ben, have I said we won't use anything but a reel or a 38mm? We use what needs to be used for the job we have. It just seems that the smaller lines do the job very well for most of our fires, if we were to see that the small line won't work, we would use the larger line and use it first. The last time my own Brigade use a 64mm as an attack line was about four years ago, we don't have many large structures in our area and we do have a good, and safe, record with our methods. Perhaps Michael H's FD has a similar risk profile to my area?
Also, I will stand behind what I said about the London Fire Brigade - they do pretty well and in size I think they come about number three after Tokyo and FDNY. They use HP reels and they use large lines when needed. As do we and other Fire Rescue Services in Australia. Horses for courses, use what needs to be used.
Charleston? I read quite a lot about what happened there. The 1.5 inch hoses can certainly be seen as a contributing factor in that disaster. I wasn't keen on the way they used those lines, just as I wasn't keen on the way they did other things. It's not always what you use, but often how you use it. (No need to go into any detail about that fire, if anyone wants to they can find and read the reports.)
I'm still trying to keep the peace in this thread, and I still think that Michael is allowed to answer the original post with his FD's view of the question posted. Nik asked for opinions; Michael has one, you have one, I have one.
I don't know Capt, I think a few people have been pretty strong in effectively saying that he and his FD aren't allowed an opinion. Yes he's being a little defensive, so might I be if I really felt that my organisation was being attacked. Perhaps I'm more used to people saying that we don't know what we're talking about here simply because we don't do things the way they are done in North America.
I agree with walking away from this thread, or any other thread if it starts getting out of hand. It's the simple and effective way. Continuing to argue tends to gain nothing except bad feeling.
Bottom line is that standpipes are designed to be operated with 2 1/2 inch attack line thats how the fire protection engineers designed them.....we supply the FDC with 2 three inch lines or 1 5 inch line depending on the age of the building and the connection present( we have some buildings that utlilize storz connections for there FDC and others that use the standard siamese)
Here is a link to series of videos that may prove my point.....these tests were conducted by the RIchmond Virgnia FD as part of the Metro Virginia Regional High RIse Program....it shows the lack of flow through 1 3/4 when utlizing them in a stand pipe operation and the benefits of 2 1/2 inch hose.....enjoy
To follow up on McMansions - many are being built with 1st floor open floor plans, to make entertaining easier. The lack of walls on the 1st floor is going to allow for even quicker fire spread, so you're gonna need the higher GPMs of a 2.5 to overcome the fire spread. You may need 4 guys to man a 2.5, but you may need 9 for 3 1.75's (2 on the fire, 1 covering the exit).
Of course, if you have that kind of fire on the first floor of a McMansion, we may want to consider going defensive unless we have confirmed SAVABLE trapped victims, with all of the TGI floor beams and other lightweight construction elements they're building them out of....
I also have something else to add.....People constantly argue that staffing dictates the refusal to use the 2 1/2 inch handline.
I think this is wrong as well. In my FD we have 3 man engine companies (Driver Officer and Firefighter) If we do not make the right line selection the first time out then we are going to loose plain and simple. We do not have the man power to simply "go back and get another one" as someone stated. Some departments can throw man power at fires and put them out using several 1 3/4 lines we can not so we have to make the right choice the first time.
Your opinion is your opinion however this is an opinion that has contributed to LODD and several fires that have been lost. Its simple science fire produces btu's the only thing that puts out btu's are gpms. You have to flow enough gpms in order to overcome the BTU rate if you dont then the fire will not go out until its fuel supply is empty.
Can you PLEASE show me when and where MY OPINION has contributed to any LODD and/or several fires that have been lost. I will be eagerly awaiting that.
Any any line can be effective, or ineffective depending on many MANY factors.
So....apparantly in YOUR fire dept the 2 1/2 as the line of choice, congrats I am glad it works for you. In mine it is the inch and a half and it works for us (I know I know...probably another of my "lies" )
Oh yeah....if your "simple science" informs you that "fire produces btu's and the only thing that puts out btu's is gpm. You have to flow enough gpm in order to overcome the btu rate if you don't then the fire will not go out until it's fuel supply is empty"
Then I would suggest you either pick up a different science book, or get a new science teacher.....or at the very least Google: Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers......Cardox Systems......Halon....just to name a few. Like I said, thats just a suggestion to consider, instead of labeling you a liar.
It appears that this post is directed towards me, if not then I apologize for speaking out of turn.
That being said, MY dept used 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 attack lines ( 1 1/2 for interior....2 1/2 for exterior/defensive/surround and drown...or whatever else it can be called)
2 1/2 inch line was the only size supply line in the American Fire Service for many years (just in case you thought I made that up)
I would agree with you on the statement that, "On the other hand, to insist that 2 1/2" is ONLY good for master streams and supply is not necessarily true." I think that would be a foolish statement to be made by anyone. (I hope that wasn't a gross misrepresentation of any of my statements.....if it was I would kindly invite you to re-read my posts)
Just as if quoting what other depts use brings down the wrath of some people....those people should open their eyes and see what others do...and WHY they do it.
Like I have said numerous times, I understand why the FDNY operates the way they do....just as I understand why they strictly use 2 1/2 in standpipes (and if my dept had 100+ story buildings that produced 50-80+mph winds, and had wind driven firestorms on floors with over an acre of area.....you can bet I (and my dept) would adapt)
Just like I understand why the FDNY utilizes their "reverse attack line" lay and the pumper/engine(or whatever you call it) drives away to find a hydrant......my dept uses a forward supply lay-out and we have preconnected 1 1/2 lines.....because that works for us.
P.S. I NEVER said anything about 1 3/4 lines (till now)......but like I already stated, if the above post was NOT in reference to me.....please disregard this reply.
I know a fire protection engineer that has designed a standpipe for 3/4 inch line, 1 inch line, 1 1/2 inch line.
Bottom line is....if a Fire Protection Engineer designed a system to ONLY be used by a SPECIFIC size hoseline it would or SHOULD be stamped "for use ONLY with _____ diameter hose"....as those above referenced standpipe systems were marked.
Well then again that fire protection engineer is desigining the system wrong....Any buiilding post 1992 is required to have 60 psi flow at the top most discharge....the only way to effectivley get an effective fire stream out of such a low flow is to utilize a hose line that has low friction loss with loiw nozzle pressure....HENCE the 2 1/2 with solid bore nozzle. Ever heard of 1 merdian plaza in Philadelphia if not look it up.....
Your opinon is the opinon of several other firefighters, fire officers, and fire departments, and that opinon has lead to significant line of duty deaths.
I though we were talking about hose line application....if we were then you would know that gpms put out BTU's....if you wanna change the subject to incipient fire extinguishment, preaction systems, and various other methods of fire extinguishment I would be glad to.....but right now we are talking about hose line choice to apply water....which for fire extinguishment requires the proper amount of flow (gpms) for extinguishment.