You’re first-due at a residential occupancy for a report of a fire on the number two floor. Sure enough, it’s pretty obvious upon arrival on scene, you confirm a working fire. Observations validate that you have heavy fire on the number two floor; Alpha-Delta side with the likelihood of extension. This is more than just a residential occupancy. The structure is in fact a multiple occupancy, it’s a late Saturday morning and you don’t have a good feeling about this.

You have a four staffed Engine Company, with a mixed crew of seasoned and new personnel, with the second due engine coming in right behind you. (this is a good day..) The first-due truck company has yet to call enroute. As the first-due officer, what’s your size-up and risk profiling of the building, the fire and the incident action plan (IAP) needs? Let’s categorize some of strategic and tactical mission elements for discussion;

Risk Profile and The Size-up

·         What is the Construction Type and characteristics? Describe the building.

·         How would you characterize the degree of observed fire involvement and its expected behavior?

·         What does reading the smoke tell you?

·         What is the probability of fire extension; where, when and how?

·         Occupancy Load Projections?

·         Fire Load Projections?

·         Survivability Profile for trapped or distressed Occupants?

·         Survivability Profile for your companies?


Incident Action Plan

·         Describe the basis for you Incident Action Plan (IAP) Real Simple-What are you going to do?

·         What needs to be done first-Strategically; What, why and where?

·         Resource Needs?

·         Time Considerations?


Tactical Objectives and Tasks

·         OK, you’re the Company Officer on the Engine Company; YOU know what the engine company’s function and responsibilities are. So what are you going to do from a Tactical perspective?

·         What can you do with the resources immediately available ( Two Engine Companies; Eight (8) staffed personnel-some new, some veterans, with a hydrant picked up at the corner upon arrival)

·         What is the projected fire flow needs for this size fire, based upon a street side five minute deployment time to get line(s) in place?

·         What else do you need in a timely fashion? What will happen if you don’t get it when you need it?

·         Describe the challenges to the Engine Company crew related to stretching lines into occupancies such as this and how you expect the lay out to be? What’s typical of these building types and occupancies.


Address any or all of the questions posed. Time’s a wasting, the fire isn’t going

to go out on its own..ohh by the way, that rookie looks like he’s ready to pull an

1.75 line off the rear bed…..


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I'v only used 1 3/4 lines for jobs like this and they tend to do the job just fine. Its surprising how much fire you can knock down with a little amount of well placed water.
Here we would use a 1 1/2" line and I don't see a problem with all. The next engine company would also use one it first due can't get the knock alone.

I know this video has been posted a lot, but look at what two 1 1/2" hand lines can do to a structure that's much more involved than this one.

A 2 1/2" really isn't needed. Hitting it from the outside first would probably just make things worse. Aggressive tactics can make a quick knock on this fire and stop it before anything bad happens.
Ten Minutes in the Street: Stretchin’ the line on the First Due

as an engine officer
you should be looking for a water supply - hydrant to fire or fire to hydrant or tank water.
do your 360.
order your line.
make sure you have a constant water source.
order 2nd in for a back up line.
use the reach of the nozzle to cool down and extinguish fire.
constant checking your company...fatigue, burns other injuries...
take relief
check your company
pack up
wash up
and critique the job.
The driver would be pushing the fire back into the hallway and onto his crew. By the time the driver actually gets on top of the engine, adjusts the monitor, and flows water, the crew should already be at the fire room. It isn't a big house and it should only take a minute from arrival time to get to the fire floor. Our 1 1/2" would be fine for this bread and butter fire.
Not necessarily. It takes 30 seconds or less for our drivers to climb the steps next to the pump panel, aim the deck pipe, and flow it.

It is very unlikely that a crew is going to be able to mask up, zip and clip, advance the line to the 2nd floor, do any required forcible entry, and hit the fire in only 30 seconds.

The driver won't push the fire anywhere if he or she uses smoothbore tips and hits the fire with short bursts.

Then there are the potential issues with damaged interior stairs, interior obstructions, or other things that can slow down an interior attack. If any of those happen, the line isn't getting in play in a single minute, no matter if every firefighter exits the engine dressed for interior attack and runs the line straight up the interior stairs.
what about your class A foams do any of you use those as an alternative to big water.
I'm not sure how you can say the line won't be in place in a minute. It's really not hard to do with a good crew. It should take less than 15 seconds to mask up and that still gives you 45 seconds to stretch a line.

It also takes more than 30 seconds to use our wagon pipe. We have side mount pumps so he has to control it from the ground.

It also just doesn't matter. This is a small bread and butter fire. Why mess around with wagon pipes or 2 1/2". 1 1/2" will easily put out this fire. Look at the link I posted below with two 1 1/2" lines. There is no way my department would even consider anything other than an aggressive interior attack.
Lay out the 3" supply line, Pull the 1"3/4 attack line. Smooth or fog..Pipemans choice. Then get inside and put the fire out.
Capcity, is right. This is a Bread & Butter fire.
Ben just some food for thought, on my engine we have a load that comes off the back that consists of 400 feet of 2 1/2 (dead load / not connected to the discharge)connected to a 2 1/2" nozzle that has a 1 1/8th tip and is threaded and connected to 100ft of 1 3/4" with a Elkhart brass chief nozzle that spins off to a smoothbore 15/16" tip which is what would be used for fire suppression. The 1 3/4 is a reverse horse shoe on top of the 2 1/2 with the 2 1/2 nozzle incorporated into the bundle so when the nozzle man has the 1 3/4 hose he also has the 2 1/2 nozzle with him so they aren’t dragging the nozzle. Also the chauffeur goes to the back of the rig to help pull off the hose which also let's the chauffeur know how much hose is out.  This hose lay also let's your rig get further away to give more room to your truck company. Now with what you had said in that you would have sprayed first from the outside, this load would have been perfect for you from the get go, you can take off 150' of 2 1/2 so you would have had 250' from the get go, you could have broke the 1 3/4 hose from the 2 1/2 tip used the 2 1/2 after knocking it down put the 1 3/4 hose back on and then headed right in.  We pump that at 110 for 150 of 2 1/2 and then also when you connect the 1 3/4 you don't have to change the pump pressure we pitoted the line just the other week so I know that it is where it should be.  We call it the Elkhart load (Elkhart fire Dept) it is a knock off of Chicago's skid load I'll explain that in minute.  But our first due goes straight to the fire unless we know we are the only ones going if the other rigs are on another fire. Normally 4 engines 3 guys per rig, 1 tower ladder 4 guys, 2 medics, 2 guys per medic, and 1 bc with his abc goes to a house fire, that is our standard before a 2nd alarm.  But first due goes to the fire, 2nd gets the hydrant and then RIT, 3rd is back up line, 4th due gets a second hydrant and gets turned around and ready to back up to the tower ladder to lay from the TL to the hydrant and pump the TL. If needed, if they don't pump the all 3 reports to the BC for further instructions but if they do pump then the driver stays and pumps the officer and hydrant man goes to the BC. (that has truly nothing to do with blog since how Chris states how to start out and man power for the rigs but I just figured I would put it in there).  Now Chicago’s skid load is 700 ft dead load of 2 1/2 to a 2 1/2 nozzle now is another difference they have a 1 3/4 gated wye that is connected to the nozzle, instead of a 2 1/2 to 1 3/4 it's 1 3/4 to 1 3/4 fittings, to 100 ft of 1 3/4 and a smoothbore nozzle.  Just an idea for you guys to try out if it would work for your district.  I have used it more than my crosslays so for us it has worked out great.  But good job on your article, I would just advance with the crew I have I wouldn’t have stated spraying outside first that’s just me, but I also believe a 1 3/4 would be good enough, you do have some fire but I believe it isn’t enough to warrant a 2 1/2.  That’s just me.
Be safe.
I thinkbi was able to edit before time was up, but the 2 1/2 nozzles tip is 1.25 not 1 1/8th which is 326 Gpm
Ahhh using my phone is not treating me well today but I did not edit my other post in time but again 1.25 for the tip of the 2 1/2 not 1 1/8th sorry
I believe if an 1 3/4 pulled and used correctly that line is just fine in that situation, that room isn't going to be very big, especially since it's a chopped apartment. I do understand your thinking behind it and a 2 1/2 no doubtedly would work.

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