I was there...we all were.
What’s our job? To put the fire out. To go home safely. To protect life and property. To put the wet stuff on the red stuff. No fire has ever not gone out. They all eventually do. It’s just a matter of time. So....how much time? Do we put it out as quickly as we can? Or do we just stay as long as we need to until we reach full extinguishment. It comes to flow. It comes to water.
The reason for this whole article is to find out what you and your department desires. Put every drop of water on the fire we have as quickly as we can? Or save our water, conserve it, put it out with as little as possible? Do we wait and see what the fire does with a 1 3/4” handline before realizing we need a 2 1/2”? Or do we pull the 2 1/2” off right away for the big fire? It all comes down to flow.
Gallons per minute. It’s stamped on our nozzles. It’s in our brains. It’s an ingredient that we either learn in a class or from our senior firemen. We all need to ask ourselves; What does our organization want us to do in case of fire?
Which of the following do you belong to?
Plugs numbers in a math calculation and estimate based on coefficients (which are different with every manufacturer and hose model).
Use “Rule of Thumb”.
Pump at xxx pressure because, “that’s what we’ve always done it”.
Intentionally under-pump “so we don’t beat up the guy on the end of the line”.
Get the equipment and/or the people involved that can factually gauge and meter your lines to get actual, FACTUAL numbers.
Follow a pump chart made by members past or present based on any of all of the above scenarios.
Go ahead, pick any that apply to you.
Now think about what you just chose.
Lastly, decide whether it is the right choice, or just a way to “get by”.
Do you know what you’re flowing (Gallons Per Minute) Or do you think you know what you’re flowing? Is it based on theory or on fact? Be right. Know your flow. Know what you’re flowing at exactly what pressure your discharge needs to be.
We can help. Our experience and our knowledge is based on fact. We have the gauges and meters needed to get ACTUAL flow numbers based on fact, not theory. We don’t perform a ton of calculations or get the coefficient from the manufacture based on what the hose is at the factory. We get the numbers on what it is when it comes off your rig. YOUR RIG, YOUR HOSE, YOUR APPLIANCES. And we cater the program to YOUR DEPARTMENT. Each rig is different, each section of hose is different and each appliance placed inline is different. Let us develop a pump chart based on YOU, not calculations and definitely not theory.