A few months ago, a group of Bluffton firefighters was asked to re-evaluate the Bluffton Township Fire District’s “high-Rise Packs”. They were tasked with creating a standardized and cost-effective portable hose pack system that is user friendly, flexible and meets the current needs and future demands of the ever growing and changing fire district.
The group has been busy discussing, researching and testing many hose and nozzle configurations, holding a couple of dealer demos and having a standpipe prop developed for realistic and mobile standpipe training during both research and throughout implementation and ongoing training. We have narrowed down the configurations with the following considerations in mind:
Bluffton typically (99.9% of the time) uses hose packs to extend handlines at large-house fires and brush fires
Bluffton has no high rises as defined by building code. As such, drastic friction loss is not a major problem and Pressure reducing valves are not used (we still considered reducing nozzle pressures and the limitations of fire pumps)
The Multi-story commercial and hotel occupancies that we do have are all built to current or recent code, well protected and well compartmented (usually with block or metal stud walls and concrete ceilings)
Current (typical) hose packs are cumbersome to store and use as well as not very adaptable to our primary needs.
We need a standard nozzle configuration that is user friendly and versatile.
NOTE: The nozzle we are testing is a Task Force Tips Break-apart nozzle with and 200+ gpm @ 50 psi, 1” smooth bore tip integrated into the shutoff and a 150 gpm @ 75 psi fog tip with a separate integrated twist shutoff. This offers standard water for our standard uses and bigger water if you need it. You can also extend the line at the main shutoff and use the fog tip on the extended section.
Recently, the BTFD conducted live fire training and focused on standpipe operations. the crews were encouraged to used the standpipe packs currently in- service on their rigs. Once they finished their scenarios, members of the Hose Pack Committee gave a demo of the leading configuration that we are looking at. Unfortunately some people missed the demo, so the above video is for them and everyone else. On behalf of the hose pack committee, we appreciate everyone’s feedback and look forward to the implementation phase.
Hopefully, we’ll get some video of the nozzle operating and extending lines and post some pics and video later on.
A special thanks to the Hose Pack Committee (Jason Brahm, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Jeff Laszig and Matt McDowell), Carolina Fire Control for the development and donation of the standpipe prop, the Marine Corps Air Station Fire Department for the use of their burn building and to the members of the Bluffton Township Fire District for your dedication.
FTM-PTB and Be Safe
Video soundtracks: “Lowrider” by War, “Sleep now in the fire” by Rage against the machine & “All My Life” by Foo Fighters