I am wanting to start using LDH in our dept. and am wondering if I can convince the majority into changing their thought process. Let me add that we are in a rural area, and no departments that might provide aid uses LDH. Should we make the switch?

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So, what do you do when it doesn't get the job done? Let it burn? Eastern Market? Chain Bridge Rd? Georgetown Library? Adams Mill Rd?

How much easier is it to clean up 2000 gpm worth of 3" hose than 5"?
Our trucks carried, 1200' of 3" and 800' of 5", we laid in the 3" for small fires, but anything working, especially the Target Hazards, got the 5", rule of thumb, you can never have too much water, but you can definitely run low.
Well isn't that why we have our water supply pieces? How often do we really need it and where? For the most part water supply engines are being dispatched on every box except for the 6th and 2nd battalion. For as often as we lay out, picking up 5" hose every time can really be a hassle. I think that the few problems that 3" created, now have solutions. Do you not agree?
I will second that CapCity Love 3inch only thing 5inch is good for is blocking out the chiefs car : )
"How often do we really need it" isn't much of an argument for a fire department to make. I would say DC needs it a couple times a year - when we've laid out 3" and are now short of supply to the front of the building. The public depends on us to be ready for all hazards, and doesn't much care how much of a hassle it is to pick up hose.

The use of two - single lay relayed 3" supply lines has proven to be effective on most of DC's fires. Is most enough? I argue not.

Three inch supply line can be empirically proven to be ineffective at moving the same water 5" can. We have a pumper at every hydrant, but even then, getting rated pump capacity (1250 gpm) from a hydrant is limited to 350' with dual 3" lines (if the first & second due decide to lay dual lines). With 5", it's 1400', more than enough distance to get onto another main, and likely more 5" than we'd carry.

The WS companies will almost certainly be unstaffed sometime in 2011 for budgetary reasons. Why not just put the LDH on the wagons anyway?
I'd say Capcity is right on the money. Here in Indy we lay out 3" line. We call it laying residential. 95% of the time we lay 3" line. We do on occasion lay dual 3s. And if the structure warrents we lay out 5". We fight double residence fires with 3" supply line. And you know what, we put them out.
Our SOP states that the second due engine must lay in a supply line that is equel to or larger than the one laid in by the first due.
The decision to go to a LDH is a decision you need to discuss and do what is right for your department. We live in a rural area with large farms and a lot of grain bin storage and lots of buildings and its easier to lay one LDH instead of multiple 2 1/2 or 3...We carry LDH on both engines , all with stork connectors , and we have a lot of lanes that are fenced and its tough to get tankers up and down the lanes. So we pump from the road up the lane to the other engine.
It has its advantages and also disadvantages , one big disadvantage is once you have water in it you cant move it. But it takes a lot less manpower than to lay numerous hoses for the same flow.
Would be glad to discuss it if you want to...
5 inch can be a BIT#$ to load with a few people.
I'm sure you do, most of the time. Just like DC does. But, I've seen DC lose a house, or, a couple houses, because they couldn't get master streams in service, and were limited by supply line. I'm a strong advocate of the idea of putting the fire out quick, when 1.5" will handle it. But, when you've got to punt, you should have the big hose on the ground for the big water.

So, other than the convenience of reracking the hose, what are the concrete and measurable benefits for 3" versus 5"?
I too am a fan of large diameter hose, to quote Brunicini "a pumper without a secured water supply is nothing more than a 500gal tanker". This being said, we caught a working two story last night and laid 700 feet of 5 inch. It was great having the water supply but with the temperature at a whopping +4 we were not happy campers when it came time to reload. We have 100 ft lengths and carry a 25 foot "pony" length on the off chance that we can catch a hydrant right at the scene.
i just finished reading all the post and caught the question of what iso number you are. we are a class 9/10 and have a firm called NFSO or National Fire Service Office run by Skip Starling in to lower our iso rating. very simply put you lose a lot of points for water either in the city or rural if you don't have 5 inch ldh. it also matters if your auto aid and your second trucks are equipped alike also. for the iso points its not about firefighting but thier math problem to come up with a number between 1 and 10 and its getting harder every year. lowering the iso rating is the only way a fd can make money for the people they serve in the lower insurance rates. I LOVE LDH. even for a trash can fire. you don't have to use it just like you don't have to use the sledge hammer to drive a tack' but its in the tool box when you need it.
I'm not a fan of LDH for rural fire-fighting i also work rural district and we alway's use portable water tank for water supply and use 3" hose with wye and two 1 3/4 hose for for attack lines. LDH is a waste of time for rural firefighting. ( my and my crew thoughts ) Should be carrying more 800 ft. of 3".

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