I am a volunteer firefighter in rural georgia, and my department has always used our 1 1/2 preconnect as our primary attack lines. But while running mutual aid I have noticed other departments prefer to use booster line. I can see the convenience of booster line, its lighter, more maneuverable, and its a heck of alot easier to load on the truck. but on the other hand, you are sacrificing gallonage that may be necessary in the structure. I know each department is different, and have their own SOGs, so i would like to know what your SOGs say and what you prefer.
I have never seen a dept. use a booster line for an attack on a structure fire. It does not flow enough water. We have them on most of our engines, but they are used for brush fires and sometimes overhaul.
Would love to answer this because I have spent a lot of time with this very thing on my department. First off I am assuming you are talking primary attack lines for structure fires and not wildland, trash, or overhaul. I won't go into a lot of detail unless you or someone wants to know but my department pulled boosters as the first attack line for whatever, whenever, however and then adapted or found something different when it didn't work. Bottom line, guys were putting themselves in grave danger and didn't even know it! Don't take me wrong here but I have a suggestion for you or someone on your department. You may already have people who have but if you find someone who can go to the right engineering class it will blow you away. I speak from experience because I did it and when I learned the engineering side, it scared the crap out of me and guess what. I made a change.
Seriously I could go on about this for like 2 pages and bore you to death, but if you want to know a few highlights I would share them with ya if ya ask. There is a guy from my homestate of Colorado that taught me in a "boot camp" kinda training class and I wonder if there is someone in your part of the US that would do something like that. Seriously I am not preaching I am just telling you that this stuff is cool and I have spent a lot of time with it. Hit me back if you want more info. I will contact my instructor from colorado and see what he has to say about it if you are interested or if he wants me to say a word at all. He might have a video even. I don't know I won't say more till I talk to him or you tell me your interested. Have a good day and stay safe.
Technically, we're not supposed to use booster lines on anything other than outside rubbish fires and brush. However, they are routinely used on auto fires and even some structure fires that aren't really 'structure' fires: mattresses, overstuffed chairs, rubbish inside a vacant, etc. But legitimate structure fires absolutely get the 1-3/4" treatment.
LOL, 'Technically' we are not supposed to do a lot of things that we do on rural departments. Firefighting is like hunting. Even when you have everything right and you are trying you can't do it totally legal.
Hi there, I hope it is useful for you giving an advice from germany. Our SOG says no booster line at interior attack or when in doubt about the gallonage needed for suppression. In 1994 a FF died in Cologne dangling up with a booster line in a basement fire. After this we changed the rules to using the 1 3/4 as a minimum on interior attack. The booster may be enough for 80% of fires in hindsight but you never know when you will approach the remaining 20 when you arrive on scene lol
I would rather go on the safe side and use the preconnect.
We don't even spec out a 'red' line anymore. Too many BTUs even in dumpster fire for that line to be effective. SOGs used to allow the use of them on 'small' fires. This left a lot of discretion up to the Capt. and it got used a lot more than it should.
We use preconnects for structures. We have a 1 1/2 inch hard line on a booster reel with foam for car fires and things like that on our rescue truck. We can use it on structures if need be (read-we can't get the engine up the driveway) and with the foam it works well but it can be messy. We feed it with supply line from the engine at the bottom of the hill. I've been with the dept for a year and a half and never used it like that but it has been done maybe 3-4 times since it was bought in 2005 or so. So we don't use it like that much at all but it is nice when we need it. None of our pumpers even have booster lines on them.
It's pretty simple, every tool and every piece of equipment has a purpose, but when it comes to the hose, your SOG's should specify the correct applications. All Structure, large Rubbish, Material and Vehicle Fires should be fought with no less than 100' of 1 1/2" Preconnected Hoseline, basically any fire that may need more water than a booster line can provide. The Booster lines, do have a purpose to, they should be used for small rubbish fires, they are perfect for wildland fires, they can be utilized while the vehicle is moving and the FF is walking next to the vehicle spraying water, the hard rubber hose will not be damaged as easily as a woven hose would be, it can be maneuvered by one FF through the terrain, easy to clean, the best reason is the low GPM flow. Normally you wont have Hydrants to supply your pumps in the middle of a grass fire or on the side of a burning mountain, miles from civilization, those fires need to use water sparingly, ie the booster lines. Other then that, use Preconnects for anything that may have potential, anything that 35 GPM cant handle.