small fires that allow hydrant pressure to deliver the required flow.
When it comes to the big fires where multiple master streams are
needed, more than likely we need to go back to the old days in
regard to our operations and set up the relay pump operations to
move the required water. The good thing is that LDH used in the
relay will really move a lot of water, especially compared to dual
2½- or three-inch lines used in the old days. As a little side note:
It takes five 2½-inch lines to equal one five-inch line and four
three-inch lines to equal one five-inch line.
The logic for the IC should be not to wait for a water supply
issue to arise. Expect it. Be proactive and immediately start the
resources to set up for large water supply evolutions. Designate
companies to start the reverses to other hydrants and set up for
relay pumping. If the extra water is uncertain at the time, don’t
charge the supply lines; just charge the hookups to the hydrant. If
it turns out that the water is not needed, then an uncharged line
will be a lot easier to pick up. By having the line laid, it will only
take a couple of minutes to charge. On the other hand, if you
wait to lay the line until the water is needed, the time frame for
water is now looking like at least 15 to 20 minutes. Be proactive.
If you agree with the concepts I have discussed and how they
can be implemented, especially on large fires with multiple
master streams working, I will tell you firsthand that freelancing
is not an option for implementing the operation. Can you
imagine individual units trying to set up multicompany
operations that require specific hydrants and specific hoselays? A
water supply or water management officer needs to be inserted
into the command structure specifically to design the hose
evolutions. The water supply officer takes his orders from the
IC in regard to the required flows and appliances to be used and
implements it with the required hose evolutions, which includes
Paul Shapiro has been involved with the fire service since 1981 and served as an
engineer with the Las Vegas (NV) Fire & Rescue for 28 years until his retirement. He
is a certified fire instructor III for Nevada and has served on the faculty of many fire
academies throughout the United States. Shapiro authored Layin’ The Big Lines, a
book on large-flow water delivery. He specializes in the research, development, and
training on large-flow water delivery systems and fire stream management. His
extensive research on large-diameter hose, both as supply and discharge lines, has
been published frequently in fire service trade magazines.
Maximizing the hydrant.