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”.