Because of another topic I thought I would start a new topic on booster lines, including high pressure and the new ultra-high pressure ones.

High pressure has some what of a jaded past here in the US having been tried by the military in WWII for aircraft firefighting and then used in structural firefighting in the 40's through the 70's.  In the late 70's and more into the early 80's booster lines of all types seemed to lose favor and more and more rigs were ordered without them.  The simple fact was FDs removed them so they would not be used for structural or vehicle fires because many times the flow wasn't close to being enough to handle the volume of fire crews were experiencing.

I am not intimating that booster lines or high pressure for that matter disappeared,  Some FDs still ordered apparatus with booster lines, some low pressure, some high pressure.  But they were not common by any stretch.  I can see the value of a low pressure booster line for brush and rubbish fires, easy to deploy and even easier to pick up after words.  Now, mostly because of a European based apparatus manufacturer, the US is seeing high pressure booster reels re-appear on a limited number of apparatus.  I see this as a dangerous trend especially when these lines are being used for interior attack.  If this tactic was such a dismal failure with legacy style furnishings what makes people believe they will work better with furnishings that are little more than solidified gasoline (plastic)?  Add to that the NFPA calls for a minimum of 100gpm for interior structural fire attack lines.  No booster reel, low or high pressure that I am aware of will come close to that flow.  Even if you are not an NFPA state don't kid yourself into believing NFPA won't be used against you an ignorance of the standard is not a defense.

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I'm with you. 100 GPM is way lower than I'm comfortable with for interior structural firefighting. I don't care what the NFPA says. I believe there is a real problem with inadequate streams being used as it is (based in large part on videos posted on various sites). Booster lines can only make this worse. We should all be closer to 200 GPM. Better too much than too little. Can always add a tip for overhaul if water damage is a concern.

I believe one of the reasons FDNY went away from booster reels was a fire about 30 years ago in which a firefighter was almost killed. The officer had called for "booster water", referring to tank water. Nozzle firefighter stretched booster hose which was insufficient for fire condition. Firefighter ended up trapped down a dead end hallway.

We did away with booster lines on our engines about 15 years ago. We use 2 inch attack lines and flow 160 or 200 gpm through a combo tip, or 300gpm through a slug. I have 1 inch and 7/8 inch tips on order for a test.

I am in complete agreement that booster lines flow an inadequate amount of water for SAFE interior firefighting.

In Europe booster lines are used exclusively for small fires, trash fires, dumpster fires etc.  They are never used for structural fires. Like any other tool in your tool kit, it does the job its designed for and its great for that job but don't expect it to perform well for any other job.



Stephen Duffy said:

:) European FF reporting in front and centre!

happy to discuss (as promised) any Euro tactics you want....

not here to defend anybody's perception of European firefighting, but will answer any queries you may have about the way we fight fires in the UK.

so shoot...:)

Comment on the topic, or don't comment on the topic, but stop playing games.  I did what you requested in the other topic and started one about booster lines and high pressure.  So now instead of commenting you set parameters on what you will respond to. 

Were you Steve Dude over at FH.com?

Frankly Stephen, I have no idea what you are relating to with your comment on European firefighting or Euro tactics concerning my post. I was very clear in NOT mentioning European use of booster lines. 

only thing I have used booster reels or booster lines for is for either wildland or or for decon on hazmat scenes or for after fires and washing down equiptment and personel. But they are only on our wildland apparatus at one department and the other department has them on a few of the older apparatus but are seldomly used, have also seen them used for cooling opperations on car fires to help cool nearby combustables or for use with foam application

 Stephen Duffy

zachary,

you may be surprised to hear we use them internally for single room domestic fires, works pretty well although we do have a hosereel culture here, and there are risks with that.

anything more than a single room domestic would mean upscaling to a main line,

He might be surprised, I however am not. This has been a standard London Fire Brigade tactic for decades.  My understanding though, having spoken to a few members of the LFB, was that a "main line" was required to be pulled along with the reel line just in case the reel line didn't have enough extinguishing power to kill the fire.  If that is wrong feel free to correct it.

I will say that with the fire load, and construction of most American homes, a reel line, whether high or low pressure, would not make me feel confident or safe to send crews in with to fight fire.  I prefer, as does the vast majority here in the US, an interior attack line capable of somewhere between 100 and 200 gpm for a residence fire.  With a properly trained nozzle operator the water damage is not generally an issue because as soon as the fire darken the nozzle is shut off, the area allowed to vent, and any remaining fire is then found and killed. 

I guess I only have one other question for you...Were you "Steve Dude" over at firehouse.com?

 

< Not surprised at all... for the exact reason stated above

Isn't that hysterical?  Stephen Duffy came back and deleted his comment to you Zachary.  If I hadn't copied and pasted it no one would know he had even responded.

Right

Steve Duffy is not Steve Dude - I can solve that one for you as I know Steve Dude.

As for booster lines, it all depends on the pump that is supplying them.  Down here in Australia our booster lines flow 160 U.S. GPM., and they are the first line off at a SFD fire.  The last statistic I saw was that Melbourne (a fairly large city department with about 50 stations) were containing 93% of residential fires to the room of origin.

As always though, if you pull up and the fire is advanced then pull a bigger hose instead - right tool for the job.



Aussie Fire said:

Steve Duffy is not Steve Dude - I can solve that one for you as I know Steve Dude.

As for booster lines, it all depends on the pump that is supplying them.  Down here in Australia our booster lines flow 160 U.S. GPM., and they are the first line off at a SFD fire.  The last statistic I saw was that Melbourne (a fairly large city department with about 50 stations) were containing 93% of residential fires to the room of origin.

As always though, if you pull up and the fire is advanced then pull a bigger hose instead - right tool for the job.

It also depends on the hose size and the nozzle.  Please detail the hose size and nozzle used to get 160 gpm out of a booster line.

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