Monday, January 14, 2013

Estimating the preconnect???????

If you have anything to do with the engine you have heard of the problems surrounding the pre-connect line. But the one I hear and have seen in first person is "not enough hose to reach the fire".
But do you know how to determine what length you will need? You should.
If you get to an incident and you go and pull the 150ft line and you fall short by a length of hose say a 50 footer, its not a good feeling is it. Especially when you have a 200 off the rear of the truck.
That is the point of this piece. Just because you have pre-connects on your engine don't forget how to estimate your stretch.
There are cases out there where pulling the wrong pre-connect has resulted in problems.
As stated in other blogs on Fire Engineering having a selection is the best option but you need to know which one to pull and when to pull it as well as when to switch to a court yard stretch.
Lets say you have the 150 and you cant reach your objective, in the time it takes for you to get another 50ft roll (or 75 to 100 whatever you use) how far along is that fire going to be? It is not going to wait on you is it. And lets say you reach the seat by stream again no good.
We are getting there when it comes to the loads we carry such as 150, 200, 300 then courtyard per say but with this comes the problem of knowing which one is the most appropriate for the situation given.
What kind of obstacles do you have to go around over or thru? How deep is the fire into the structure? How much involvement is there will one line work or might I need more if so will a courtyard be best suited for the job? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves when dealing with pre-connected lines. Those questions are used for static loads, so why do we need them? Simple, estimating your stretch will help you understand which line needs to be pulled off the truck. This is will eliminate that short stretch and over stretch.
Some simple drills that can help you with your estimation one I like is to walk it off for instance take a building in your first due you can walk thru and such. Then before walking the route you would take with your hose estimate just how much hose you will need for that stretch  so lets say you pull up to a Dr office and you need to go to the break room say 200ft will work. Now walk it out the way you would stretch your line and see what you get. This not only works on your estimations but it also allows you to basically pre plan so your killing two birds with one stone so to speak
Lets look at it like this. We have to asses the situation as to picking the correct line (2.5, 1.75,etc.). Is it any different regarding length?
photo 1

photo 2

Look at Photo 1 what do we see? we have shrubs and a porch wall to deal with on this stretch. Or what if its on the charlie side?

Photo 2 shows how they have ample hose ready to reach the base of the fire. Making sure you pull the right size line is crucial in this aspect. To short you wont reach to long you end up with knots.

Photo credits to Bill Strite, Cincinnati, OH.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Techno aged fire service

So on this piece we are going to go over the new age in fire training and whats out there for us.
In today's world of technology we have found that it is now easier than ever to get information on all aspects of the job. We have groups such as UL and NIST that are coming out with all kinds of information from wind driven fires to basement fires. We have access to LODD reports by just clicking on a link! And we have simulators that can replicate a fire by using a computer or smart phone!!
As you read this keep in mind I am not trying to solicit a product. Rather explain what I have found out there that can help us in the service.
Simsushare is a program that allows the user to take photos of anything and everything then "make it a fire building" from gas line fires to auto ignition fires. Smoke ranging from slow moving lazy smoke to pressurized turbulent smoke. Its a very easy to use sim that is super easy to use and is very easy on your check book.
What I really like is how I can use my android to create these drills.
Your out in your first due take a photo with your phone and then you set it up for a drill. FLASHOVER, low banking smoke, smoke reading it can do a ton of things.
You can get it for your Droid, iPhone, Mac, or windows platform.
Check them out at
So why do we need these technical programs? We need them because we are seeing a decrease in fires in today's world and with that a lack of experience is resulting. Now with this tool we can visualize a scenario go over all the works from our stretch to forcible entry challenges. Then we need to hit the drill field and practice those skills. This program will help teach us what to do but we still need hands on to know how to do it.
I want to go ahead and say I am sorry for not getting anything published sooner. I had surgery early on in December and with the holidays I have been super busy.
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