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Real Fire Training - Hose Reels


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Speculative question/idea here:

We all know that firefighters often make an initial attack with a hose reel. Many brigades are now utilising 22mm hoses that deliver up to 230lpm (sometimes!)

LFB's policy is that all compartment fires should be tackled with a 45mm jet, while the latest 2 day BA course has a statement from LFB stating that as firefighters we should be making our own weight of attack assessments, e.g. if we go in and its flashed already and filled the room we should be backing out and grabbing a 45mm or more (which is logical)

However ALL our training is with a 45mm always.

My idea here is that the brigade recognise that a hose reel will often be the first weight of attack implemented, so on real fire training a hose reel should be an option to use. 

By doing this you can demonstrate the use of a hose reel in a compartment fire and be able to show at what point a hose reel becomes ineffective.

It would also be helpful for recruits in training also. As you only ever train using a 45mm, going to a fire and entering with a hose reel can be an unnerving situation at times.

Do any other brigades/FRS do real fire training using a hose reel?

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So we'll almost exclusively use a hosereel in training and it'll always come out on a job. We don't yet have the 22mm hosereels so it's 100lpm for us. Naturally it's up to the IC and BA team to pick their media correctly, and recognise the best tool for the job. If anything I find it more unnerving with a 45 as they are a bugger to manage at the best of times and we perhaps don't practice with them enough.    

Edited by Keith
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Our current appliances use standard diameter hose reels, new appliances using 22mm. All hot fire training is done using a HRJ. As mentioned, down to IC or BA crews to assess the need for anything larger.

We are also able to use the 22mm as a covering jet.

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We use 19mm HRJ (115lpm) for training in hotboxes and on jobs, unless it is obvious 45mm is needed. 2 lengths of 45mm jet are out for a covering jet as per SOP, so we can easily back off and re-enter with the appropriate media.  

Small fire - small hose, big fire - big hose. 

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I will always be a fan of 45mm - low pressure, less stress on the pump/engine, very efficient.

If anyone is mad enough to use 19mm Internally or allow a team to use it if they are the IC then take a 5p out of your pocket.

The equivalent diameter of which is all that’s providing the BA crew with water and keeping them ‘safe’ inside a burning compartment or one in which the fire gases are acknowledged to be flammable (and explosive given the right conditions).

No, No and No.

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Must disagree. We are professionals and different situations require different media. Sometimes we have to use a 45, sometimes a 19mm hosereel, and sometimes just an extinguisher. If a fire is small then a 19mm is perfectly adequate, and is a much more rapid attack which can save life and/or protect property. If you're sticking a fan in then that speed is more important. But if I need a 45, I'm taking one. 

Edited by Carl
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  • 4 weeks later...

Update to this post:

As part of the End Point Assessment for LFB's apprentices FF, you have to demonstrate competent gas cooling techniques in the yard (safety and long pulse) which is performed on a hose reel (totally against LFB policy as compartment fire fighting is to done with a 45mm jet as a minimum - but let's not go down that rabbit hole!)

I as a result decided to go and practice this in the yard and found that when set to 230lpm and 40 bar, you have to stretch out the whole hose reel and keep the branch open for at least 30 seconds for you to actually get 230lpm barely showing on the flow data (the minimum specified for a compartment fire)

More worrying was the pulsing. To get a useful droplet size and effective safety cone or long pulse you had to keep the branch open for roughly 10 seconds. This is to allow the pump to compensate and up the revs as they drop while the branch is closed. 

In effect this means you cannot give an EFFECTIVE safety should you need it. Not to say you can't give one, but you will likely steam the life out of yourself!

How do other brigades appliance pumps work in this regard? Whether they maintain the required pressure regardless of if the hose reel branch is open or not?

I'm starting to see why a 45 should be the default attack in theory 

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Which pump are you using? Our's don't idle if you shut the branch, they just bullhead the water regardless.  If this is pump related, then the results would be the same(or similar) on the 45, it would take the pump time to up the rev's. We also we don;t have fancy things like flow meters on ours 😀

Edited by Carl
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The mark 3 mercedes LFB are now using. It's a godiva 3010 pump (I think) but I've never had an issue with a 45. There is a slight drop in pressure if not used but it's far less noticeable than if you try and pulse with a hose reel

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Guess it's taken from different sides of the pump, so maybe it's happy holding the LP side at lower rev's, but for has to up the rev's again to get the HP side back up to pressure. 

Edited by Carl
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@Rory-495, the pump makes no real difference to be honest, it’s the pump controller that’s attached to it, Godiva 3010 is just the rating (3000lpm at 10 bar)2010= 2000lpm @ 10 bar- you get the picture. So there’s probably something in the electronic Controller set up (You guys have the e controller I think) /command that In simple terms goes something like “if no flow is being delivered in high pressure, idle pump speed” ...however an electronic device does that?
It also depends on the relationship between the low pressure delivery and high As to what is delivered at which pump speeds. For instance in the past you had to physically select (via a cross over lever ) either high or low, now many deliver both, for example ours when delivering 30 bar hp (open delivery) gives you 10 bar lp, (I.e. a one third ratio) which as a pump operator you need to be very aware of if multiple jets off of one pump .You can soon run out of water too , hence we have a 4500l tank which makes far more sense. I haven’t observed our pumps self idling, So I’d imagine it’s not programmed on our controller. (Rosenbauer).

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  • 1 month later...

We use mainly use hose reels in training and as initial attack. It depends on a range of things from MW rating of fire and available water supplies. LFB defaulting to 45mm is great if you have hundreds of large diameter hydrants everywhere. Not going to happen in the sticks 😞. Plus, we now have so many other tactical options including COBRA, Fog-Spike, PPV, wetting agents - not sure one tactical option HR/45mm is the right to default to - you go with the best option for the scenario at the time? 

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