101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Friday, August 21

You Make the Call...Pump Lever

You are driving the engine today and have been rung out for a reported apartment fire. Blocks away you have heavy black smoke showing and as you pull up the third floor is fully involved. Your crew is gearing up and the officer is radioing in as you switch from road to pump, hearing that tell-tale change in the motor as the PTO kicks into pump. A hydrant is right out front and you parked right at the tires, so your pony supply line will reach perfectly.

The officer calls for the 200 foot pre-connect and he and the firefighter advance the line into the front door, leading it into the lobby and up the interior stairwell.

You secure the door open and return to connect to your hydrant when you hear the officer over the radio call for the line to be charged, they have encountered heavy fire on the stairwell from floor 2 to floor 3. As you pull the valve lever towards you and out of the panel, there is a sudden give and the lever comes out. The cotter pin is missing and your crew is calling for water.

What to do? You Make the Call.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Disconnect the line from it's outlet FAST..........screw it into another outlet and away you go.
They'll be cussing you when they come out and patting you on the back when they see the lever.
Dave0

mack505 said...

It may not be that easy. Most cross-laid preconnects attach inside the hose bed, making them impossible to quickly disconnect.

My department has short 10 foot lengths on the pump end of all of our preconnects. This leaves a coupling right at the operaror's feet and making it easy to change discharges in a pinch. I'd like to say we did it for this reason, but in reality it's to make repacking the loads easier.

In the absense of shorts, you have to attach another length to a good discharge, then go up the dead line 45 feet or so to the first available coupling, break it and hook in. Not easy; not quick; not impossible.

Mack C-85 said...

I agree with what's been said/done so far....But, we heard the order to charge the line via radio, so the "Houston we have a problem" reply needs to go back to the officer so they can cover their butts, while you correct the problem.

Anonymous said...

Yeah our preconnected crosslays have short 5 foot sections at the outlet end which has the first coupling hanging just outside the hose bed which allows for quick disconnects in a pinch.

I'd radio the attack team only if I couldn't make the changeover asap. It shouldn't take more than 20 secs to break the coupling and re-connect it. If I ran into trouble doing it I'd have them back out until I got it.
DaveO

Anonymous said...

Open the access door to interior of the pump, and manually move the valve open. This would take less time than disconnecting the line and switching discharges in our case.

John said...

2:46 Anon,

The panel might not be that easy to open on everyone's rig. We have large intake valves that would prevent that course of action. Like some of the previous posters, we have short lengths on each preconnect for easy repacking/disconnects, and also have 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 reducers on each side discharge.

Good call on the radio sitrep as well.

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, advise the officer of the situation, they are sitting at the fire waiting for water, the fast change over no matter how fast is going to feel a lot longer to them. The officer may have a different solution (stand pipe?). Refer to any s.o.p. or training that your company may have in place. If you aren't familiar with the inside of your pump panel, stay out of it. Switching discharges is the most logical, if you don't use shorts, break the easiest coupling for your situation, and when in doubt add more hose or connect to another preconnect with the nozzle removed. Once reconnected call the nozzle team before charging the line, they may have moved or set something different and not be ready for water now.
Matt

Fire Critic said...

1. Radio them back and tell them it will be a minute.

2. Open pump panel and move it manually

3. Switch over to other discharge if possible.

4. Start pulling another preconnect and tell them to meet you at the front door.

2 and 3 should be done quickly, if you cannot accomplish this then go to 4.

5. Radio them and tell them that you can't get water, have them come out and get another line, or make another tactical decision at that point.

Main point is that they need to know when they will get water!

Michael Morse said...

Send God's Gift to Firefighting in with an extinguisher and pull everybody else out.

brendan said...

Send God's Gift to Firefighting in with an extinguisher and pull everybody else out.

He'd probably say it's a can job anyway, so why not? LOL