This question is for my fellow Urban Firefighters.  What is does your High rise kit consist of? The Pros & Cons of your High rise kit?    The reason I ask is that we have started to change over to the Denver system, it seems to have more cons than pros from our current kit.  Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. 

  Thank You.

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Our hose consists of 150 feet of Ponn Conquest 1 3/4 inch hose with a 1 1/8 inch tip.

The highrise bag contains a 42 inch section of 3 inch hose, with a zip-nut female adapter with an inline gauge and a gated wye.  There is also 2 spanner wrenches, a small pipe wrench, a short piece of rebar, some door latch straps and some wedges.

It works, the entire set-up could be lighter.  I suggested 2 inch hose, and at one point we were looking t going to 2 1/2.  

The Denver system is a very intense system. They don't wear their gear on the way up the stairs. Their helmet is hooked to their bunkers to keep it out of the way, they are carrying an extra bottle, high rise pack of I believe 100' of 2" hose and the high rise stand pipe kit. This training is not the easiest to use and if your not well versed in the concept, and well trained you can lose your first due crew due to exhaustion.

In my department we have three hotels. One is a 7 story, the other two are 5 story. Not true high rises, we call them OMD's. (Occupied Multiple Dwellings). We use the FDNY high rise pack of 4 50' lengths folded to FDNY specks. One has the smooth bore on it (15/16"). for the greatest water flow and knock down with 180 GPM w/ 50 psi at the tip. In the high rise kit We have a in-line pressure gauge, wire brush for the threads of the public stand pipe, (1) back up smooth bore nozzle, 2 spanner wrenches, and an "F" tool. The "F" tool is to help break loose the wheel if stuck, and 2 pipe wrenches in case of a missing  wheel on the stand pipe. And of coarse typical fittings that apply to our first due area.

One thing our county added to the set up was a break away combination nozzle if extra hose has to be added to the line to extend it. The gated wye has a adapter for 2 1/2 hose if a larger line is needed.

At one point we had a 2 1/2 set up as we call it Stand Pipe Pack to go with the 1 1/2 now 1 3/4 pack                                                                                                                                             . Today we have a canvas wrap with velcro straps and compartments for tools to hold it all togather. We also have a extra hose roll for extention of the line. We use to use seat belt straps to hold it all.

This is a great question, however, before your crew changes the nozzle in your high rise kit from straight to fog and the hose from 2-1/2 to 1-1/2 you need to have a meeting with your fire prevention and life safety engineers first. Make sure they know what you want to do with your H.R. Kit.  If you live in an old city, you may find that the pressure reducing valves in the older buildings are set way-way-way to low for your state of the art fog nozzles and 1-3/4 attack hose.  In old buildings I have found 40 year old PRV's and PRD's in stairwells that have never been tested or adjusted since the day they were installed.

There are several "LINKS" at my web-site taken from fire engineering magazine on Standpipe Operations:

Please visit:

Here is a portion of one article that will help put the fear of God into your high rise pack !

Developing the correct minimum pressure into the FDC requires more calculation by the pump operator based on the length of hose to the FDC, the vertical height to the fire floor, the length of attack hose off the standpipe, and the operating pressure of the particular nozzle. National standards once required a standpipe to deliver 65 psi at the topmost hose valve in a building. That 65 psi was based on the belief that the attack hoseline would be 100 feet of 2½-inch hose with a smooth bore 11⁄8-inch nozzle. The tragic One Meridian Plaza fire brought attention to the problems associated with using smaller hoselines with automatic type nozzles and incorrectly set pressure-regulating devices on the hose valves. The lessons learned at this fire led to changes in the national standards for standpipe systems, including a minimum of 100 psi delivery to the topmost hose valve in a standpiped building. That change, however, had no bearing on any existing system; today, there are some jurisdictions that still allow standpipe systems to be designed for 65 psi. The current building code in New Jersey even allows a standpipe system that does not meet any residual pressure requirement when installed in other than a high-rise building that has an NFPA 13 type sprinkler system. These design allowances under the building codes demand that immediate and complete support of the anticipated hose streams be provided by the responding fire apparatus before any interior attack is staged. If an attack hoseline is provided with only 20 psi or 30 psi under a building code allowance, it is absolutely useless, and the appearance of a functional standpipe system in such a building can lead to tragic results if a prompt and reliable water supply is not immediately developed.



200 feet 2 1/2

Inline guage

Stack tips 1" (Low PSI PRV) 1 1/8 Fire fighting tip, 1 1/4 for extending or if you are really lucky on PSI

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 enlarger

18 aluminum pipe wrench



BIG markers for sector use. (Write your companies on the wall)

Forget the wyes and pigtails


It is very easy to tell others to not use what they use, but the reality is most often line firefighters have to use what they have.  The answer then is to train with what you have and make it as efficient as possible.

Sorry if my earlier comment sounded too critical.  I like your comment "train with what you have".  I am just saying....... preplan and talk to the guys that don't fight fires but they do write the building and fire codes that will make or break your fire attack in a high rise.

I know this discussion is about a bag of tools called a high rise kit. However the bag is worthless without a contineous and adequate water supply with good nozzle pressure.  The bag we call the high rise kit is not a one-size-fits-all. Preplanning and training is the key.

Your attack line actually begins at the pump panal and ends at the tip of your nozzle.  Everything matters...all the hydraulics, all the fixed systems, all the hose and the knowledge of your pump operator or engineer.  It's all part of the kit !


mike's web site:

Where is the Truckie that started this ? Truck 55 where are you?

 Hello all, for the record I actualy bid into an engine spot a couple yrs ago. I appreciate all the responceses to this post.  How many of you have been on a high rise fire? Are there firemen on your dept. who have fought high rise fires? Over the past 20yrs how many high rise fires has your dept. fought?


  What did your deptartment learn from these fires? What changes if any were made to your High rise SOGs?



One thing our dept learned was not to forget the extra roll of hose. We have a T shaped high rise apartment building in our first due. There was a bedroom fire in a apartment at the end of the hall. The stand pipe was in the middle stairwell and we have a rule to hook up one floor below the fire floor. When the crew got to the apartment door they didn't have enough hose to cross the living room to the bedroom door. The fire had also started to leap frog out the window to the next floor.

The most the crew could do was to prevent the fire from coming out of the bedroom into the rest of the apartment. They had to wait for the next engine crew to come in with a larger line to knock down the bedroom and crews to hit the fire above.

What makes it all harder on our dept is that this apartment building sits on top of the tallest hill in the area and if you take the hydrant in front of the building thats it for water pressue. Other crews have to lay from hydrants on side streets that don't section the driveway to the building and other pumpers have to come in on other streets to pump or hand lay a supply line over the hill to a street below this building.

Only other thing is we have a water supply company with all LD hose but if their ladder truck is dispatch on the first alarm then we have to wait for a crew to arrive at the station to bring the 2000 GPM pumper and the LD hose support unit or just work with what we have..

Yes, a few.

In hind site..... we could have been more prepared and more worried.  Lucky ?  Learned something everytime, even on the very smallest.

Lesson: Big fires at street level are a big enough challenge some times.  Try fighting one above 7 floors !

Lesson: If you don't preplan your access issues, the water supply, the FDC-threads & locations, the elevators, the standpipes, PRV's, command rooms , door keys and your portable radio capabilities, etc etc will pay for it some day, So good luck.

Lesson: was on several small fires in high rise buildings that were not hot enough to activate the fire sprinklers, but became a big challenge with smoke removal from upper floors.

Lessons: Also came up short on length of fire hose (H.R. kit) in a working apartment fire on the 9th floor....resorted to a house line to reach it....concrete cube-style compartments helped convert this quickly.

Lesson: One of our crew members (Heavy Smoke) almost stepped out of a broken window 20 stories up that he did not see.

Lesson: Discovered the importance of dependable and accurate signage (ZONES) on FDC's more than once we found out we should have preplanned....and accurate signage on FDC's.

Lesson: Next door city... 29 died in a high rise hotel (Dec. 1970).  I was a booter that year. Crews on the scene encountered threads on the FDC's and dry standpipes that did not match their hose............ google pioneer fire, pion fire Tucson Arizona.

Lesson: We (our dept) Responded via Air-flight to MGM fire Las-Vegas to help in anyway and observed TV's, chairs, lamps etc....tossed out of windows and onto the street by the hotel guests...just to get FF's attention, for help.

Lesson:  I commanded a fire on the 15th floor of a high rise building that was under construction and all the spandpipe FDC's and several feet of Pipe had been removed fby the contractor at the time of the fire.......we got very creative. 

My solution for brass theft or missing FDC's:


100 ft 13/4", gated wye, smooth bore nozzle and spanner wrench.  We also have several spare sections of 1 3/4" in locking donut roll so we can easily carry additional as needed. Our only hi-rises are a pair of 5 story senior citizen apartment buildings so we dont need an awful lot 

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