All posts by plamb

Extending The Line

An easy but overlooked drill that we have talked about before will be discussed again this week. We will be talking about a couple of different tactics that should be practiced and trained and in fact utilized even more than they are.

The first is pretty straight forward and has a lot to do with my opinion. I believe we should be carrying and using the 2 1/2″ straight bore nozzle with either 1 1/8 or large tip on them.

This nozzle has a great potential for fire knockdown, penetration, exposure protection and the like. In addition most of these nozzles have the capability to accept a hoseline onto the threaded fitting on the end. Many departments have taken these nozzles off apparatus and replaced them with TFT or fog nozzles.

My techniques and purposes for this training should be modified to fit your own department’s needs, district, and operating conditions.

Here is a look at some of the ideas and training areas.

* Try to get this line as a 150′ preconnected line somewhere on your apparatus. If this is not possible leave it in your hosebed with the nozzle on the end, and train in pulling off as much hose as the officer calls for.

* For the start of the evolution, just have two members pull the line, make a large loop in the hose ( Chicago or hydraulic loop) and play the line off of a designated target. Have the pump operator get a water supply but initially feed the line with tank water.

* There are those that will say this is crazy because you will run out of water. If you do not have adequate water flow for knockdown, you are going to run out of building!

* Time the evolution, try it with different members see just how long tank water will last. See if your operator can have a hydrant supply hooked up before you run out.

* Then after this portion is mastered, have the members re-pull the line and actually move it forward into a designated area assuming they were knocking down heavy fire. Then shut the nozzle down and add 100 feet of 1 3/4″ line to the tip and advance further into the structure or up a stairway. Use this combined evolution any number of ways but practice deployment as much as you can even if you have an acquired structure you can use.

* If you have buildings with large areas, long alley ways behind buildings this technique is extremely valuable. It allows you to knock heavy fire down and then proceed from there to advance at least one attack hoseline.

* The second piece of equipment that you could work into this drill is a water thief. This device has quarter turn shut off’s, has a 2 1/2″ inlet and a 2 1/2 inch outlet as well as two 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 inch outlets.

* A water thief deployed on the end of a 2 1/2 inch line stretched down an alley or through a long building provides for a great method of fire attack, lower friction losses, and an increased margin of safety because it allows for a larger size backup line if needed.

* The straight bore nozzle mentioned above will also call for a lower nozzle pressure which can help out.

* Look at these techniques and look around your response district and see where these tactics could be deployed.

These tactics are really designed to improve your fire attack options, but they will do you know good if you have not trained and practiced with them to determine their obvious limitations as well.

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – The Corner Grocery Store

This week we take a look at a fire in a small corner grocery store, with apartments above.

1.) Based upon what you see here, where is the fire located within the building? Why?

2.) What are the aisle configuration and stock configuration in the small stores? How will that affect firefighter mobility and advancing of hose lines.

3.) Is it likely that there is an interior stairway to the apartments?

4.) How many apartments would be in an upstairs layout like this?

5.) If there is a door and stairway on the “Charlie” side where will it take you? At the top of the stairs if you open the door where will you be?

Send responses if you want feedback, and stay safe and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Expand your circle…….

As I travel around and look at the current and real issues of the fire service, one issue that keeps becoming apparent to me is that members of the fire service stay very close to their own environment. That is to say if we are in a fire department we don’t look outside our own department. If we are in a fire district we don’t look outside our own district boundaries even within the same town in some cases. If we are a training organization we don’t look beyond the way “we” do it here.

My message this week is pretty simple. Look outside your own organization for a variety of ideas. These ideas might include training, equipment, procedures, or even working conditions.

I don’t say you should necessarily embrace every idea you encounter, because maybe some of them have some very good reasons why they can’t work or won’t work, or are too cost prohibitive for your department.

How do we do this you ask? Well that involves a little bit of personal effort. Go to training sessions outside of your department. Attend seminars and training sessions. Read trade journals and periodicals. Go on the web and look at what other organizations are doing and get a greater more global perspective of your job. Read textbooks on your profession.

Oh, I can hear it now……Well my department won’t pay me overtime, or pay me to go. I am not subscribing to a magazine with my own money…. They should always train me while I am on duty.

You know what…..I hear those excuses all the time. That is just what they are; Excuses.
Your level of personal commitment to this job and profession are determined by you and nobody else. You want the city town and community to do everything and you do not want to accept any responsibility for your own destiny.

I can get 100 people to give me excuses….I just want a few that want to do the job. to the best of their abilities and for the right reasons.

Try your best to be that person.

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2013
For information contact

Tactical Fire Problem – Industrial, Manufacturing

How familiar are you with the buildings and processes in your response area.

1.) Pre emergency planning is vital in dealing with industrial and manufacturing situations.

2.) This scenario is prepared so that the image can be a vapor cloud or a smoke condition. While discussing it review each choice. How would heat conditions from a fire make this situation worse than just a vapor release?

3.) What does this valve do??? Not only should you have pre-plans of the building but in some cases it would be extremely helpful to have diagrams and schematics of individual machines, piping and valves.

4.) What level of response would be required for this emergency? If this incident requires mutual aid or specialty teams like Haz mat, when was the last time you had a drill with them? What about I there was a victim down in the foreground and a rescue was involved?

5.) Have you practiced unified command training with private sector folks, mutual aid and state and or even federal agency response? Unified command can be a separate training all in of itself.

Stay safe and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2013
For information contact