So we had a very in depth discussion about this at a drill last night.
When is the best time to charge the line?
Some people say charge it at the front door, some say outside the door to the fire room, still others say once the pump operator can't see the hose team, they should charge the line.
charge it at the front door, 2 of our brothers were badly burned in a flashover that occured 2 minutes after arrival.... I'd rather hump some heavier hose than get caught short were the fecal matter hits the rotating osscilator......
Where are you taking the line? This drives your answer my friend. Do you have a fire in the attic in a 2.5 story wood frame? Good luck humping that charged line upstairs with only 3.
Now if the first floor is on fire... then yes, I expect my guys to flake and charge the line it in the yard to advance and attack.
Rule of thumb, charging a line before entering (or) advancing to the fire floor is a good rule of thumb but you must train everyone to understand the concept and be ready to listen for the call of water...
Let me ask another version of this question . An old firefighter told our VFD group that since we all do not have radios ,if we lay a 5" supply line out of site ( say around the corner) the person on the hydrant should wait 3 minutes and then charge the line . I have never heard of this tactic, operation and I have worked in this job for 30 years can anyone comment on this instruction?
From My experience & training (ova the yrs) the best time 2 charge the hoseline is when a bunch of conditions have been met. Typically (1)we gonna make sure tht the line is totally flake out by the hoseteam, usually takin a min or two. 2. this team is going to be ready to enter the structure to begin their primary search & look 4 the seed/ seat of the fire (standing at the enterance to the stucture). and (3) if the driver/ pump operator is not sure if the line is flank out or the crew is not not ready, usually he is within sight distance to see if the fire officer is giving him the "green light" 2 cut the line on. On a typically (yea wht's really typically???) working, 1 story residental house fire, we r not goin in w/o tht charge line. So we will wait outside the front/ back/ side door, til tht line is charged. Also with the way We train in the Air Force (My Second unit), they WILL NOT let U in the structure w/o a Second line already charge, with a back up crew on it.
I learned through My yrs/trainning/ experience's, jst like n e else, that sometimes tht U hav to let the situation dictated itself. I've been trained tht if u go into a multistory building , U gonna hook up to the standpipe or flank ur line up to the floor, below the fire floor. If U hookin up to the standpipe, U can go ahead & pump n2 it as along as u have a supply line flowing. The line team will hav a wye to open and close their line. If they r humping the line up to the floor below the fire, they will notify U by comm's when to cut on the line. This is something tht I havent experince yet, but thts how we been taught in case of this scenario arisies. 2 -3 story Apartments are the same way, We are going to flake that line all the way out, up the stairs wait at the base of the stairs, get on the radio to give the "green light" 4 water, then begin our attack into once we have the enough pressure/ water on that line.
If the line goes off of the Lt's side, I begin charging the hose when the last of it clears the bed. Then bring it up to pressure. If it comes off of the Engineer's side,(able to see the whole picture), I'll either wait on the order or charge it the same way. When I've been on the nozzle the Sgt. has done the same and it works well for us. We have always had the line charged B4 entering a working fire.
Well we charge the line as soon as the attack team calls us on the radio and says its ready typically outside the house.Every person has a radio and if none of them are working then they just don't go in. Exterior attack only they will have to wait the 1-4 min. before the next truck gets there and can give them theirs.