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.
We use 1.75 lines.Only booster line we have is on our brush unit.My own belief is slam a fire hard and fast with as much gpm as possible to knockdown.30 gpm out of a booster line just isn't going to cut it anymore with the high fireload encountered these days.
SOME "Oldtimers" might beg to differ with your "assessment". I WON'T spec an Engine WITHOUT a booster line. That being said, Booster lines WILL NOT be used HERE on structure fire attack. But they are real handy for a myriad of small mop jobs,wetting down chimney fire trash,Forestry, tool cleanup and other instances when you don't need a 1.75 with a 200 GPM tip to do the job.Don't know how things are done in YOUR neighborhood but THIS " OLDTIMER" can get either line to the front door in the same amount of time. Two Boosters? 60gpm is still 60 gpm and doesn't have much effect on a hydrocarbon fire( MOST of todays materials)
I know the flak will be coming for this one but here goes anyway. Regardless of whether you pull the "little red snake" or hit it with a deck gun and 1000 gpm, if you don't get the wet stuff ON the red stuff, it's still gonna burn. Coming from an "oldtimer", I've knocked down some pretty big fires with a booster while waiting for the help to arrive to pull the bigger hose. Yeah, maybe it burned a couple more square feet of structure but it got knocked down and controlled by me and booster.
Having said that, yeah, conditions these days are different but that doesn't mean the booster doesn't have it's place. One can put out a hell of a lot of fire with 30 gpm "if" it's applied right. I've seen it done at "training fires" and first-in fires so I know it can be done. If I didn't feel comfortable rolling up and attacking with the booster, we pulled the 1 1/2" or whatever was called for. As for the comment about hunting, a well placed .22 will put a deer in the freezer but I don't recommend it.
If you need more maneuverability, then you need to need an engine with a CAFS system. But that's an expensive add on. GPM's put out the fire. A booster line connected to a million gallon water supply ain't gonna put out a fully involved house until it's in the basement. Keep using the 1 1/2" preconnect, but when you buy new hose, move up to 1 3/4" hose, you'll be surprised how much more water you can deliver. Boosters are still okay if you have grass fires or smaller car fires, but as many have said, it should NEVER, EVER, be used on a structure fire unless it's a Barbie dream house. You should talk with the other dept's. about their use of booster lines and make it clear what you will and will not use and when. Do this BEFORE you have a real fire so there's no discord on an emergency scene.
our 1st and 2nd due engines each have a booster line on them. They are used for nothing more then dumpster fires, brush fires or washing down an accident if necessary, may even use to to wash down blood after a bad trauma; the joke in the firehouse is its the most pulled line!
I got a cool trick we learned. Our fire department used to recharge fire extinguishers, a long time back but we still have lots of buckets of the powder. If you have a hot fire in a chimney take a ziplock bag, like sandwich size, and drop it down the top of the chimney. The heat will melt the bag and the powder will cloud the interior of the chimney. Extinguishes the fire. Then you have to of course check for extension. But we have premade bags ready for chimney fires.
I have been a structural firefighter for goin on two years, so I'm trying to learn everything i can. Any information you have I am willing to take. Once again thanks for replying, have a safe and productive day.
Forgive me if i spelled that wrong, mein Deutch is bad. Thank you for the advice it is very useful. I enjoy hearing from brothers in differnt countries, i would like to know more about the tactics implemented over there.
I enjoy hearing from "oldtimers", because of the experience you guys have, I believe us rookies can learn alot from ya'll. I agree that conditions have changed, with more class Bs and all that other methel-ethel-bad stuff, it can sometimes be a challenge to put the fire out. That said, by listening to people like you we can learn techniques to quickly extinguish the fire with little gpms. Thank you for posting, have a safe and productive day.
I will bring this conversation up at our next mutual aid meeting. As for the 1 3/4 hose, we have it on our tanker but the preconnect on our engine is 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. Once agian thank you for replying, have a safe and productive day.