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The Numbers Don’t Lie

                How many fires must we go to before we start to educate ourselves on what a difference the use of 2 ½ inch hose line will make at a fire????   This morning my department responded to a house fire it was a 2 story balloon frame constructed residence with fire visible on the A-side and heavy smoke conditions.  The initial crew pulled a 1 ¾ hand line with a fog nozzle and started to go inside due to a report of a person still inside.  Once they got to the 2nd floor it was reported that the 2nd floor was somewhere between 75%-100% involved.  At this point it should have clicked that maybe they were bringing a knife to a gunfight.  

Now I’m a fan of being aggressive but I consider myself “knowledgably aggressive”, and in order to be “knowledgably aggressive I refer to the National Fire Academy’s Needed Fire Flow Formula when determining hose line selection that will deliver the proper GPM’s needed.  The formula is as follows

Length x width  = Needed GPM’s.


Now the 2nd floor of this house was about 30 feet long by 30 feet wide and the as stated before the 2nd floor was between 75% and 100% involved so we will use 100% for good measure.

30 x 30/3 =  300 GPM’s needed for the 100% involvement of the 2nd floor. 

We also know that the maximum GPM’s you get from a 1 ¾ hose line with a fog nozzle is only 150-200 GPM’s.

So as stated in the title of this post THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE!!!!!  Robby did a posting on this subject a few months ago so here is the link for that.  http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/hose-line-selection/ .  Also included on that posting was his you tube video on 2 1/2 hand lines and their proper use. 

Do your homework, be smart, and choose wisely.  We all know how macho it is to go headfirst into the fire, and how much a pain in the rear the 2 ½ can be but as the old saying goes “Dead men tell no tales”.

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