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9201 Independence Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA
(Phone) 818.407.3400 | (Fax) 818.407.3428
• SCBA Bottles
• Oxygen Bottles
• CO2 bottles for
• Halon bottles for
• Halon & CO2
2G SERIES - Electric Driven
• 4,500-10,000 PSIG rated
• 15 SCFM discharge rate
• Quite, only 60 dba
• No belts or pulleys
• 2-Stage and double
5G SERIES - Air Driven
• 4,500-10,000 PSIG rated
• 52 SCFM discharge rate
• Double acting and 2-stage
NUMBER OF REFILLS
up to 50%.
Made in the USA
Available for pressures
from 300-psi to 10,000-psi
I often cite this fire problem when instructing company officers on what is the minimum amount of hose needed for a particular
stretch. All the examples are for the interior of
the fire building only, including the following:
1. You have a fire in a one-story commercial
building that’s 100 feet deep with a center
entry, aisle, and rear wall stairway to the
basement where you have a rubbish fire
near the front wall. What is the minimum number of lengths needed to reach
2. You rope stretch from a window on the
third floor of a five-story apartment
building. The apartment directly above
you is on fire, and the stairway is located
just outside the apartment you’re in.
What is the minimum amount of hose
you would pull into the window to
complete this stretch?
3. Using the previous example, except
your fire is on the top floor, how many
lengths would you pull into the window to reach the fire that’s two floors
above your current position?
You must get the minimums correct for
all your stretches, because they form the
baseline for your operations.
While many stretch from a preconnected
hosebed, the issues remain. In fact, they are
more critical if you choose the wrong bed.
Stretching from a static bed eliminates the
choice of picking a hosebed length. Many
short stretches will be easily covered by
picking a preconnected bed that is well over
the minimum of hose required. The issue
of overstretching is common and brings up
what to do with the extra hose. Extra hose
is okay, but you must find a place for it and
make sure it doesn’t cut down your water
supply because it’s kinked up.
The minimums get you there, but you
should build a bit extra into all stretches to
cover the unknown. Adding to the mini-
mum should fall into the range of one to
two lengths. If you end up doubling your
original estimate, then your minimums
were way off. Practice the minimums for
buildings and apartments to gain better
accuracy when time is not on your side.
All the questions gave hints to the correct
answer, so see how you did.
1. Five lengths is the minimum. To get
there, you use two from the first floor to
reach the stairway, one for the stairs to
reach the basement, and then two again
to reach the front wall. While the aisle
on the first floor was very direct, as were
the stairs, the basement is the area where
you would consider going up a length of
hose in case there was no straight path
to the fire, and to cover width too.
2. Three lengths is the minimum. To get
there, you use one for the apartment
where you pulled in the hose, one for
the stairs going up to the fire floor, and
one for the fire apartment. Breaking this
down, you are already in an apartment,
so you know how much hose it would
take to reach the door and how far it is
from the stairs. The stairway is typically
one length; the fire apartment is where
an additional length may come into
play. While three is enough, you always
want to find out you are covered before
you charge the line.
3. Four lengths is the minimum. Everything about the apartments is the same,
but you are traveling up two flights of
stairs, so that’s how you reach four. I
would pull one more in through the
window so that I had extra in case I
needed the line on the roof or the
apartment was bigger than expected.
Again, more is better, but too much is
Ray McCormack is a 36-year veteran of the fire service
and a lieutenant with the Fire Department of New York
(FDNY). He is a panel member for both the UL Fire
Stream Attack Study and Coordinated Fire Attack Study.
McCormack gave the Keynote at FDIC International in
2009. He lectures on tactics, leadership, and culture in
the American fire service. He can be contacted at Firenyfirstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @LtRayMack.
Practice the minimums for buildings
and apartments to gain better accuracy
when time is not on your side.