High heat output of modern fire is very high. Should we hit the fire with Large Caliber Steams while stretching interior handlines? Than shut the L.C.S.s down and then attack the fire with interior handlines as we always have. What are your experances? What are your views?

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Respectfully disagree.

There was a lot of discussion between myself, the Training Captain and the Deputy Chief (Operations) about the 1 3/4" with a 1" tip v. the 2 11/2", and it was decided that the 2 1/2" was the best option for us given the higher flow. That being said, we will be coverting one of our 2 crosslays to a 1" solid stream tip in the near future from a combination nozzle, so that option will be open to the first arriving officer or senior firefighter for the initial outside hit if he/she chooses the route.


That being said, we do belive that the 2 1/2" will provide an effective attack as a lone firefighter can easily deploy 100" of 2 1/2". The pump operator, after supplying water will begin strteching a 1 3/4" crosslay. If additional firefighters arrive, they will assist the pump operator and begin forcible entry if needed.


While we have yet to use it on an actual incident. we beleive, based on training that this system will work for us quite well. 


I'm not sure how busy your department is, but I come a house that ran about 9,000 calls last year. If this works for you then go for it. I'm just not use to starting on the exterior and moving in after knockdown. If I had a large fire, then this may be an option, but not routinely as my first option.

The only reason I would pick the 1 3/4 is because it delivers almost the same GPM as a 2 1/2 and manuverability. One person pulling a 2 1/2 can't move a charged 2 1/2 without help once you start flowing water. A 2 1/2 line in most cases will be left in the front yard, where as a 1 3/4 can go anywhere.

Like I said if it works for you then do it, just not the way I would attack. 

this study is probibly going to show that while enabeling quick knockdowns there are some of us that will say it pushes the fire or anyone who needs to be rescued are going to suffer.

being a student of fire science, i hope there will be scientifc tests to evaluate the effectiveness of this tactic because i'm sure there will be a straight vs. fog nozzle question for the exterior attack

i welcome this study because anything that enhances our ability to fight fire better

My #1 POC FD uses 2 inch hose with a break a part nozzle that has a combination tip flowing 200gpm at 75psi backed by a 1 1/4 inch tip flowing 300gpm at roughly 42psi.  We will underpump the combo tip to get 160gpm at 55psi.  So essentially with one size of hose we can flow the normal 1 3/4inch flows AND a higher gpm flow than most people flow with their 2 1/2inch lines.  We move this line around with 2 or 3 people.

Wedo not carry any 2 1/2 or 1 3/4  inch hose at all.

Honestly, if one firefighter can't layout 200 feet of 1 3/4 or 2 1/2 by themselves there are bigger issues than the size of the fire. 

My VFD is a very small primarily rural department with about 12 active members, meaning an average initial response of 3-4 and an average total response of about 6-8. We do have a career engine that can give us 3-5 personnel plus call personnel inside of 10 minutes if avialable.


Because of the limited initial response intiial operations on the interior are not always possible, so we wanted one person, pluis a pump operator to be able to give it a heavy initial hit until additional members or the hieghboring city's engine arrives on scene with additional staffing.


The idea is that will not be a moving line but a static line for a quick, short hit from the exterior.

Don point well taken. One one man handline stretch is possible. But add a long stretch or a complex layout to the path of the stretch and it can be very hard for one man to do. We are required in most fire departments to operate in pairs of firefighters inside the fire area, areas  "Imediately dangerous to life and health" In rough terms 2 in 2 out requires teams of firefighters in most cases. I agree we need to consider training and firefighter fitness issues or as you said we have bigger issues than the size of the fire.

Bob we really should not be thinking about operating alone at fires. In addition to the FDNY I have been a Volunteer Firefighter in Chester N.Y. for over 30 years. I've been to fires where it was just a driver and myself to attack a working house fire. If something went wrong I was in a very dangerous position. Now the law says we need 2 in and two out in N.Y. State and OSHA State. The only time we can go in alone is when human life is known to be in immediate danger. When no one else is in the building the firefighter/s are the only life hazard. We must not overly risk human life without clear reasons. Risk vs. Gain must be our primary consideration. Capt. RRR

Cap, I don't think Bob is talking about conducting a solo interior attack.  I believe he is discussing having the single firefighter stretch to an exterior location where he can conduct the initial exterior part of the Transitional attack, then going interior after they get enough manpower on scene to commit to the interior.

Yes I'm sure he is talking about one FF streaching to an exterioir location and not to the interior. I've seen this done but, but I think the whole idea of exterior streams is to get large amounts of water on a serious well advanced fire. The better way I feel, is to properly position a appratus and have that one firefighter use a deck gun/stang to really put alot of water on the main body of fire. My fear is also is that an exterior line stretched by one fireifghter has a way ending up in the fire building before safe maning level are reached at the scene. Capt RRR

Transitional attacks are not just a way to get very large amounts of water on a well-advanced fire.  They are a way to get water on ANY fire that is showing to the exterior, cooling the fire, and slowing the progress.  This is especially effective for departments that don't have enough manpower to make an interior attack with the first-arriving engine.


Deck pipe transitional attacks can work - I've used them and commanded fires where I ordered them.  However, there are a lot of things that can make hitting the fire with the deck pipe unworkable.

Rural fires where you can't get the rig within deck gun reach of the structure.

Planned communities and/or urban/wildland interface communities with large setbacks and narrow, winding driveways can cause the same problem.

Obstacles such as privacy walls, tree landscaping, or no vehicle accessibility on the side from which the fire is showing can also prevent deck pipe use.


Rural fires with no hydrants that give you less than one minute of water at 500 GPM even if every drop makes it through the window.


Getting water on the open architecture construction now common in the southeast is an advantage of the hand line transitional attack.  Some of those SFDs have multiple example of the problems I listed above.


And remember - if the exterior part of the transitional attack knocks down the fire, it buys time for additional manpower to get to the scene, and it also reduced the pressure for the first crew to get inside without adequate manpower.


Most importantly, it takes personal and organizational discipline to correctly carry out a transitional attack, by whatever method is chosen.

The difference that I'm used to is that we usually will either move or extend the initial line for the interior component of the Transitional attack. 


That is why the 1-3/4 line is my choice for some of those fires - it gives us the option of the more mobile line.

That's why we are a 2 inch hose department. 2 firefighters can move it almost as easy as a 1 3/4inch line and flow up to 300gpm out to 300 feet.  Farther if we use the apartment line set-up.

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