I am looking for a good source for advancing a line to the 3rd floor of an apartment building. I work in a Dallas suburb where we have many 3 floor apartments. I need to develop training that addresses the issue of efficiently advancing lines to a 3rd floor.


Any help would be appreciated. I have surfed a few online fire sites but havent found exactly what I am looking for.

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True enough. I prefer to ask fairly open ended questions to get a wider range of answers. Most of our apartment have open stairwells, which makes it quite a bit easier.
We avoid pre connected lines in this instance. We will either pull past or stop short and stretch a 3 inch leader line equipped with a water theif (two 1 1/2 discharges, and one 3inch discharge) We then add whatever hose to the end of it (1 3/4 or 2 1/2) that is needed to combat the fire.

I like this technique for a couple reasons.

1. It leaves the front of the building for the Ladder company which when dealing with a multi family occupancy is a must.
2. It creates options. It allows you to go with larger lines if needed, and allows for the operation of multiple 1 3/4 lines without adding apparatus.
3. Pumping the 3 inch line is alot less stressful on the pumper. The pump pressures for a 400-600 ft 1 3/4 or 1 1/2 line are alot and could prevent you from pumping additional lines. This mean adding additional apparatus to what is already cluttered.
4. Again the pumping thing we like to maximize our water and allow our pumpers ot flow as close to capacity as possible. Pumping long small diameter lines typically raises the RPM, and PSI above the max GPM flow rating. While I do realize that nto every fire requires the pumper to pump at max capacity when dealing with multi family dwelling fires and small access we have been the only pumper able to make access to the scene several times and found our selves pumping multiple hand lines and supplying a ladder truck. Ideal absolutley not but keeping our PDP within the RPM and PSI requirements for max GPM flow was vital during these times.

Good luck
Oh also not knowing what stairwells your dealing with to ease your stretch in the occupancy try utilizing well hole stretches either manually or via a rope stretch. Again good luck!
Thanks, your posts were concise and backed by good reasoning.
The answer is "it depends".

If we can park the engine within reach of a preconnect (rare) we just stretch the line up the stairs.
Exterior stairs help (garden apartments) but interior ones work fairly well as long as the stairs are near the fire occupancy.

Our most common practice is for the 1st engine company to take their high-rise packs to the 3rd floor.
Our high-rise packs consist of one bundle with 100 feet of 1-3/4 and a combination tip and a second bundle wiht 50 feet of 2-1/2 and a gated wye. Both are bundled in a Milwaukee strap. When the nozzleman gets to the fire floor, he flakes out the line while the backup hooks secures the wye. The backup lowers the 2-1/2 female to the ground, then hooks the 1-3/4 to the wye. The driver feeds additional 2-1/2 to the high-rise 2-1/2 female as if it were a standpipe, then charges the line when the nozzleman calls for water.

This technique works well horizontally in places that have setbacks, marina fires, etc.

We also have external standpipe valves on the 103-foot aerials on our two quints, and we have a lot of buildings with standpipes.

That gives a lot of choices for getting the line upstaris.
I have done the lower the hose out of the building technique as well and it works ok....only thing I would add to that is to make sure you protect the interior stair as well when you do it.

We shy away from the "flying stand pipe" (using the arial ladder to hook up to) mostly becuase once you do that the ladder can not be used for rescue or vent.....we have 20 engines but only 5 ladders so ladder companies are at a premium and we would rather they be utilized for something else.

Using an aerial ladder as an exterior standpipe is generally slower than just taking a line up the stairs or a ground ladder if we're talking about an initial attack.

D. Rockwell's original post didn't limit the technique only to initial attack, however.

In our case, a lot of the stairs are exterior, so they don't need the same level of protection as does an interior stairwell.
This reminds of a apartment fire I was on back oh 4 or 5 years ago on my old department. We ran two guys on a duty shift backed by poc response. Tones drop for a apartment fire. First due engine with two responds upon arrival have smoke showing from a 3rd floor apartment. The policy for the department was stretch the line into place and wait for second crew to arrive make entry sometimes the engineer hail marrying the pump and back his partner up. Well I arrive in our ems expedition to see the line stretched but no water. So I pack up make why too the third floor assuming the engineer was at the panel about to charge the line. I get up there and they start yelling "charge the line"! I radio to the engine cause they forgot there radios. They go no ones there so I had to run down 3 flights of stairs across the court yard too the engine to charge the line! Fire got put out.. Tactics weren't that great. So the line came in the front door straight up 3 floors to the hallway entrance. I go how the heck did you guys manage this? Chief lassoed us the nozzle from the bottom. I go are you kidding me! Nope thats what happened whatever works right. The line was 250 feet of 2inch pre connected.
Darryl, what kind of high rise pack(s) do you guys have set up? if you use the standard 100' 1/34 and 100' 2 1/2 you can add the 1 3/4 line to your leader line and that will give a much longer stretch.
We use a "Leader Line" on our engines. This is made up of a 200' preconnected 2 1/2" with a gated wye at the end. It's packed in a "Minute Man" load. Connected to the wye is 200' of 1 3/4" also in a "Minute Man" load.

In a recent class, I demonstrated how two people can deploy this line, as we ran it from the hose bed, 150' down the street, and to the roof of a 4 story building with line to spare.
Idealy...You should never tie up an aerial device as a standpipe. This limits its use and basically takes it out of service as an aerial device. If someone gets in trouble and needs to bail it would be nice to be able to swing the aerial up to them and rescue them. When its tied up as a standpipe you cant just break away and leave the attack crew without water.

Hose packs are nice. Bundle up 150 feet of 1 3/4" hose with a nozzle and use the hose straps they make to make a hose pack. Advance to the fire floor and drop the line out the window, secure it with a hose strap or rope.

Advancing up a ladder is nice too because than you have a means of egress should things go bad.
At the risk of sounding like a smarta$$, I'd say it's just like advancing a line to the 2nd floor, only it takes more hose and a little more time. Another option could be running a line up an aerial ladder and going directly into the 3rd floor via a window close to the fire.

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