Plan for Your Recovery

Ray McCormack

At standpipe operations, short stretches can occur. They often occur from an incomplete distance estimate, elongated travel route, or a misjudgment of necessary nozzle reach. If you find yourself at a place that doesn’t provide extinguishment of the fire, and there is no hose left to advance, then you’ve stretched short. 

Stretching short is dangerous because the fire is still active and we can’t do anything about it; The fire attack has now devolved into a holding operation at best. So we need to extend our hoseline quickly to recover and extinguishment the fire. 

There are two locations to add additional hose to your hoseline. At the outlet or at the nozzle. Adding hose at the outlet will require the hoseline to be shut down at the outlet. Additional hose is usually added into the stretch at the outlet location on the floor below. This location typically provides a clean environment for making the necessary connections. The down side is that now we have to advance all of the lengths forward and into position to hit the fire. Crews will be working hard against hose water weight over long distances and up from the floor below. 

Another option is to add an additional length of hose with a nozzle attached at the original nozzle location. Once the extra length is attached, it is often the only piece of hose you need to advance. This makes the recovery stretch easier. The downside to this is that adding additional hose will take place on the fire floor. Poor visibility is common and a physical barrier to keep the fire away needs to be provided. You must shut off the original nozzle and spin off the nozzle’s tip to add a length of hose to it. If the female hose coupling is larger than the shut off threads, an Increaser is needed. Flake out the new length and charge it; Add a hose strap to the bale of the original nozzle and tie it off so it can’t close. The new length has to have its own nozzle. 

If the new length you’re adding doesn’t have a nozzle attached to the line, you must shut down the hoseline at the standpipe outlet. The nozzle is removed and the additional length is added to the original line. The original nozzle is then placed on the new length. Do you need to supply additional pressure for the extended hoseline? If the friction loss for your additional length isn’t high, it’s probably not necessary. Remember, we are trying to fix a distance issue. Now advance again and put the fire out already.

Keep Fire in Your Life

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