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Fire Engines Photos

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Fire Engine Photos
No: 30241   Contributor: David Miller   Year: 2011   Manufacturer: ERF   Country: New Zealand

Rear view of the ERF 84PFS (DJ8817) of picture #30170
Picture added on 08 December 2011 at 13:10
add commentComments:
Two double headed standpipes and a two-way collecting head. Rather odd? But plenty of delivery outlets!

Added by Rob Johnson on 22 August 2017.
G'day Rob, back in my day New Zealand always ran with two double-headed standpipes, one a "London" screw down and the other a ball-type for the older hydrants. It appears in this case they have two screw downs as the old ball type would have probably been long phased out when this photo was taken. (And a ball-type are probably as rare as 'rocking horse poo' to come by)? The collector head was normal too, you know the old story Rob, "females to the fire, males to the rear!" So the collector heads had two or three male fittings depending on the requirements of the Brigade in question, and would have had blank caps fitted. I have never seen a pump with six deliveries that I can remember, I hope David can enlighten us Rob. Hope all is well with you, mate.

Added by Pav on 24 November 2018.
Thanks Pav:

Some English brigades had a four way collector and carried only one standpipe at one time - I seem to remember Liverpool even had a five inlet collector! Reverse thinking in the Antipodes...

As for me, I am still poking my nose in where it may or may not be wanted, trying to add a bit of a historical perspective here and there when I think I can...

Added by Rob Johnson on 27 November 2018.
"Two double headed standpipes and a two-way collecting head. Rather odd? But plenty of delivery outlets!". Rob, maybe within those lockers were two "collecting breechings", bringing two lines of hose in to one, before those two lines connected to the two way collecting head.

Added by Andy Fish on 27 November 2018.

Anything's possible, but a four or even five inlet collector would have been a better solution to save locker space and - even more important - reduce friction losses in the supply hoses...

London used quad collectors for decades to compensate for low hydrant flows and/or pressures in some districts, and Liverpool even had five inlets on all their pumps for several years.

The old adage for pumps using 70 mm hoses was one inlet for each delivery, and this has been pretty widespread practice among fire services in most countries that use 65 or 70 mm for hydrant supply.

Here in the US, it is not at all unusual for our standard 5650 LPM pumpers to set into a hydrant with two 5 inch (125 mm) hoses, using a T connector on the hydrant steamer outlet and two of their three or four 6" (150 mm) suction inlets with the requisite adaptors.

(Usually, they have two side, one front and one rear inlet, but individual departments sometimes do things differently.)

Paris - and some other French cities - often use a single 110 mm soft suction line to supply both their 2000 LPM pumps and the 1000 LPM first aid units too. The pump has one 110 and two 65 mm inlets, all of which can be utilized if necessary.

Added by Rob Johnson on 28 November 2018.
Rob, Collecting and dividing breechings are standard inventory on all UK pumping appliances and have been for many years. To give examples of the uses as quoted in the now defunct “Manuals of Firemanship” a collecting breeching would typically be used to bring two lines of hose in to one before the water entered the “ladder pipe” on a Turntable Ladder to supply adequate water for the monitor. A dividing breeching would be used to take a single line of 70mm hose and divide it in to two 45mm lines during damping down operations or at grass/heath fires. Rather than taking up locker space they are multi-functional and worth that space.
As stated in my previous comment another typical use of a dividing breeching was to take advantage of a hydrant which benefitted from a good supply and rather than supply a pump with just a single “soft suction” line give it two instead. Using a twin line actually reduces overall friction loss, this is why all water relay operations should, where possible be carried out with twin lines.
I’m not sure where your “The old adage for pumps using 70 mm hoses was one inlet for each delivery” comes from but personally it is not one that I heard of during my 31 year career. Pump deliveries will only supply the same amount of water that is entering the pump casing. A 1000GPM Godiva multi pressure pump will only deliver 1000GPM if the hydrant/s supplying it can match that amount. If the hydrant that you are drawing from has a poor supply no matter how big your pump capacity is you may only be able to supply a single 45mm line. Unless you can find another hydrant served via a different main you are going to “over run” the hydrant.
One of the few occasions that you can actually pump at optimum conditions is during a water relay, given enough supply. Each pump operator in the relay (excluding the base pump and fireground pump) should strive to keep the compound gauge at just above zero on the positive side, by doing that the pump is basically receiving and delivering water in the same quantity and pressure, with a little extra on the delivery side to combat the friction loss that you mentioned.

Added by Andy Fish on 29 November 2018.
Many countries actually mandate minimum hydrant flow and spacing between hydrants to guarantee adequate LPM for the kinds and sizes of structures in the vicinity.

I have seen examples of this in UK literature, but I am not sure if these standards are legally enforceable, nor whether they are retrospective or only applied to new building developments.

A single 45 mm line with a variable output branch maxes out at around 450 LPM, which can be a bit feeble. In France, hydrants must flow at least 1000 LPM and in Germany there are some variations but the smallest main is 100 mm and the lowest permitted pressure is 3.5 AT which usually gives a flow of around 1200 to 1600 LPM depending on the condition of the plumbing.

Here in the US, the minimum useful flow is usually reckoned to be 2840 LPM.

But - as you point out - in all three cases this means that it is pretty rare for any pumper's theoretical capacity to be satisfied by a single hydrant.

Here in central Chicago, though, we do have large mains at around 5.5 AT and all hydrants have dual 115 mm outlets, which means that our 5650 LPM pumpers can often work flat out from a single hydrant if necessary.

Added by Rob Johnson on 11 December 2018.
Rob, As with much UK law, that surrounding fire hydrants is vague to say the least. Basically the requirement of a water "undertaker" is to provide an "adequate water supply" for firefighting. There is no specification for hydrant volume, spacing or pressure.
That said hydrant use here in the UK is vastly different from your present home in the USA. Here a typical house fire will be dealt with using the 400 gallons of water carried on the first attending pump via one, or maybe two hose reels. Here low volume at high pressure is the name of the game, unlike the US where building construction methods require high volume at low pressure.

Added by Andy Fish on 15 December 2018.
There is no requirement, legally or otherwise in the UK that stipulates hydrant flow requirement. The only actual requirement dealing with fire hydrants is BS750, which deals with the actual construction of the hydrant mechanism itself.
As to “A single 45 mm line with a variable output branch maxes out at around 450 LPM, which can be a bit feeble.” That, of course depends on the fire loading you are dealing with. 450LPM used on a typical UK living room fire would be overkill on a massive scale. However, in a typical US timber built house, especially of the “balloon” construction method, it would be seen as desirable.
And this is the issue. Firefighting techniques vary Worldwide to match the diverse nature of such things as building construction methods. In my now numerous visits to US fire depts I have adopted a common statement that initially astounds my US Brothers. That statement is that here in the UK, with few exceptions we do not have “structure” fires. Our buildings do not burn, just the contents. When I explain the typical building construction methods here with our brick interior separating walls etc and that a fire can typically be held within the compartment of origin for 30 minutes or more if its door is closed, they look at me with disbelief. When I add that nine out of ten UK property fires are dealt with using just high pressure hose reels that disbelief increases.
It is these vastly varying firefighting techniques and the water volume used that plays its part on hydrant protocol. The street that I live in does not require hydrants that can supply 1000GPM, far from it in fact, yet I have stayed with friends in the USA on many, many occasions where even a residential street requires hydrants with that flow rate level.

Added by Andy Fish on 19 December 2018.
Most European countries have similar construction practices which are comparable to British ones, using poured concrete and blocks, and a lot less wood than here. Germany in particular seems to have even higher standards, especially when it comes to residential buildings.

But many European countries have quite stringent formal regulations when it comes to hydrant capacity, pressure, flow and spacing. These seem most often to require the ability to support two 45mm lines from each hydrant, with spacing usually between 100 and 200 meters apart.

Although the high pressure reel is favored in both Belgium ad the Netherlands, where it usually has a CAF system too, as well as in Italy, fire services in other countries rarely rely on them at fires in buildings. They continue to be deployed at car fires, trash fires and vegetation fires, but rarely in occupied structures.

For example, French and German pumpers have only one reel, but they usually have at least one preconnected 45/52 mm line - which can be brought to work very quickly. This is typically fitted with a variable flow branch, which can be switched between 150, 250, 350 and 450 LPM.

I think this trend is because of the much higher interior fire load in modern times, with hydrocarbons and other synthetics so widely used in furnishings, appliances and just about every household item.

As you say, firefighting needs and solutions vary from place to place. Australia seems to have smaller structures than in North America, but a lot of wood is still being used in construction there...

Added by Rob Johnson on 20 December 2018.
I can only assume that European fire services have their own reasons to use 45mm hose as “soft suction” to supply a pump from a hydrant, but doing so can only be described as extremely bad practice. The largest diameter hose carried should be used, obviously this will deliver the greatest volume possible. Certainly in the UK 70mm hose is the standard for soft suction and is generally only ever used for firefighting when supplying a monitor (aerial or ground), when using foam or if the branch is being operated from a static point. When used to supply a branch, 45mm hose is the preferred type due to being more manoeuvrable.
The concept of modern high pressure hose reels was developed by the Swedish in the late 1980’s. The basic principle is to deliver water in a “fog” of small water droplets of a diameter that allow them to absorb the optimum amount of heat from the atmosphere of a fire compartment. The single desire to achieve this is to reduce the temperature and lower the “negative plain” and remove the risk of backdraft and flashover. The system has been further developed since it’s original introduction and remains the standard operational tactic used with the UK fire and rescue service to attack interior fires.
CAFS cannot be used through a standard high pressure hose reel system, it requires a system of its own using a larger diameter hose reel. Whilst it certainly has its own attributes it has not been widely adopted here in the UK for interior firefighting as it achieves nothing more than a high pressure hose reel can do. It also does not afford the protection of the “pulsing” technique used in door entry procedures. Where CAFS has become a media of choice here has been on thatch fires, barns and wildland fires. Several services (Hampshire and Devon and Somerset as examples) now have strategically located CAFS equiped pumps for just these types of incidents which are common in those areas.

Added by Andy Fish on 23 December 2018.
Over the holidays I revisited several videos of firefighting operations which I had seen before from Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

What struck me as being remarkable was how often crews in these countries relied on high pressure hose reels to attack quite serious fires in large commercial properties.

As you mentioned, a hose reel may well, do the job 90% of the time, but it occurs to me that sometimes firefighters who are used to relying on them may be very slow to get heavier water lines to work - with quite unfortunate results.

High pressure hose reels are still fitted on some pumpers in north America, but the vast majority of fire departments no longer have them at all, mainly because their ease of use caused exactly the same problem...

Added by Rob Johnson on 04 January 2019.
A couple of clarifications:

1- Actually the 45 or - in Germany - the 52 mm is not used for hydrant connections. 65/70/75 (usually twinned) or 110 is the norm. In Japan, 140 mm hard suction is most often deployed.

2- Several European manufacturers have offered CAF installations which can also be used with the 23 mm hosereel systems at low pressure for quite a few years. These are increasingly popular and have now been standardized on all pumpers in many cities, including Paris and Berlin. The newest versions can add Type A solution or Type B compound to the flow for either type of fire.

These pumpers also still have dual pressure pumps and can flow 400 LPM at 40 AT to the HP reel(s)as and when preferred.

CAFS advocates, such as Vienna, have actually reduced the water tank capacities on their newest pumps, because the CAF system gets the job done with much less water than an equivalent high pressure reel.

Added by Rob Johnson on 08 January 2019.
Again, I cannot speak for mainland Europe as my interest does not extend to their fire services in the same way that it does to the UK and the USA. In the case of the USA I have been visiting and riding with fire depts in the country for 17 years now and have spent time with departments ranging from small, rural based depts that run from a single station through to the likes of Chicago, Austin, Indianapolis, Plano and Cincinnati.
Here in the UK it is a requirement that at EVERY structure fire where hose reels are deployed for interior attack a 45mm, charged line MUST be available at every entrance that is being used as an access point. Further more those lines must be of sufficient length to equal that of the hose reel in use, IE 60 metres. The old practice of “extending” a hose reel is no longer permissible.
The old style “booster reels” that were once used in the US fire service are not at all comparable to the high pressure hose reels used in Europe. In fact even today US fire apparatus pumps are not capable of generating the pressures required to supply a high pressure hose reel. That said the US Navy have in recent years been experimenting with what they term “ultra high pressure pumps”, which are in fact the basics of the “peripheral pumps” that have been used back to back to the conventional impeller pump here for decades now and generate the high pressure output.
Due in the main to building construction materials and techniques firefighting in the USA has to differ from that in the UK. A classic example other than water application (volume versus pressure) is vertical ventilation. A necessity in the USA, a pointless exercise in the UK. And without getting in to a whole different discussion hence the reason the US fire service use aerial apparatus far more frequently than here in the UK.

Added by Andy Fish on 08 January 2019.

I think the idea of having a 45 mm line ready to go is an excellent SOP. This is not the practice in a lot of European countries it seems, and something I have never seen - although of course both hose reels and 45s are frequently used together.

I think fire services can usefully learn from understanding best practices in other countries, although as you point out the UK and US have quite different conditions a lot of the time.

For this reason I like to see what other European countries are doing - particularly when it comes to new developments - because their challenges are usually very similar to what fire services encounter in the UK.

One trend s the "open plan" ground floor in newer homes, which provides that the kitchen, living area and staircase are all in the same one room. This means that a small kitchen fire can become a whole house fire very quickly - and pose a much different problem for the first crew to arrive, especially if it has less than five members and needs to get a team inside in BA.

Added by Rob Johnson on 09 January 2019.
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