Layin’ The Big Lines

layin-the-big-linesA real word approach to large flow water delivery on the fireground

Producing an effective fire stream is the responsibility of the engine company or companies involved with the hose evolutions on the fire ground. It becomes a team effort for all members of the engine directed by the company officer. Because of the importance of the water application it is extremely important for all members of thr crew to be knowledgeable with all aspects of the water delivery system from the water supply through the pump and out the stream producing appliance. This in turn will assure that the proper evolutions are deployed.

This class is recommended for all engine company members and will be an outdoors hands on learning setting. Students should bring their turnout gear and an open mind and be prepared to see new and progressive techniques and innovations in water delivery.

The class will cover the following topics:

  • Supply line operations
  • Dual pumping
  • Above the ground looped supply line operations
  • Relay pump operations
  • Manifold operations
  • High pressure fixed master stream operations
  • Portable master stream operations
  • Elevated master stream operations
  • Discharge capabilities( 2-1/2” and large diameter)
  • Maximum flow from a single pumper
  • High flow handlines (300 gpm from a 1-3/4”, 400 gpm from a 2,”and 500 from a 2-1/2”)
  • Blitz attack operations
  • Water management for the large scale fire

The class will conclude with a multi-company drill which will utilize information covered from the class.

This section will include basic supply line evolution techniques such as catching the hydrant, laying the line and making the hook ups to the engine company. Also included will be techniques on replacing hose in the hosebed, moving a charged LDH line and hydrant spotting.

To understand the principles of the following:

  • Technique for catching the hydrant using the hydrant strap
  • Laying the line, correct placement in the street and speed of deployment
  • Pulling the line from the hosebed
  • Supply line hookups at the engine, use of intake swivel, wide bend into the intake valve and utilizing the air bleeder
  • Opening hydrant, slowly and pre-charging supply line on long lays
  • Changeover from tank water to hydrant water
  • The vacuum pickup method for replacing the hose
  • Proper hose load in hosebed

This section will demonstrate the water delivery capabilities of various LDH supply line evolutions, including a single LDH line from a 2-1/2″ hydrant port, a single LDH line from the large hydrant port, dual LDH lines from one hydrant and dual LDH lines from two hydrants.

To understand the principles of the following:

  • Building a supply line. To show how more water can be delivered from a hydrant system by means of supplemental pumping. Supplemental pumping is when additional water needs to be delivered to a pumper after the first supply line laid to it cannot supply enough.
  • Perform hydrant flow tests to show the capacity of the hydrant system versus what is actually available from the supply lines.

This section will talk about the needs for a relay pump operation and the techniques involved with placing a relay pump operation into service. Also included will be a fireground nursing operation.

To understand the principles of the following:

  • Determine when a relay pump operation is needed
  • Causes of a lack of pressure in a water supply operation
  • Scenarios when a relay pump operation may be needed
  • Procedures for deployment and operation of a relay pump operation including a manifold nursing operation

This section will teach the dual pump operation which is sharing the water supply between two or more engines by connecting supply lines from intake to intake. We will then show how to incorporate the dual pump operation into existing supply lines from multiple engines to form an above the ground looped supply line system.

To understand the principles of the following:

  • Dual pump operation concept which is the sharing of one supply line between two or more pumpers
  • The importance of forming an above ground supply line grid system between pumpers
  • Procedures for establishing a dual pump operation and an above ground supply line grid system operation

This class will show how to obtain maximum flow from a handline for the big fire knockdown. Expect to see flows never seen before from all sizes of handlines. Emphasis will be placed on minimum manning, hose handling techniques, the use of smooth bore and automatic nozzles, the Blitz attack concept and, of course, safety. Expect to see the following flows:

1-3/4″ hose :: 250 – 300 gpm
2″ hose :: 250 – 400 gpm
2-1/2″ and 3″hose :: 250 – 500gpm


  • Understanding of the flow capabilities of 1-3/4″, 2″, and 2-1/2″, handlines
  • Understanding of the high flow nozzle handling techniques.
  • Understanding the proper use of the smooth bore nozzle , the pros and cons.
  • Understanding the proper use of the automatic nozzle, the pros and cons.

This class will show how to place various types of master stream into operation. You will see fixed, portable and elevated master stream operations. Special hose handling techniques and evolutions will be taught using small and large diameter hose. There will also be a section on smooth bore tips (high pressure operations) and automatic nozzles for developing the ultimate large caliber stream.. Special attention will be placed on over all equipment and operation safety.


  • Understanding of the three types of master streams, elevated, fixed and portable.
  • Understanding of the discharge hose evolutions needed to support the various master stream operations
  • Understanding the need for the pressure dump valves when using multiple master stream operations from one pump
  • Understanding of the proper use of the smooth bore nozzle including high pressure operations
  • Understanding of the proper use of the automatic nozzle
  • Understanding of all safety precautions involved with master stream operations

The Blitz Attack concept involves hitting a large volume fire as quick as possible with as much water as possible. This class will show how the Blitz Attack can be produced with large caliber streams. You will be taught special tactics and strategies to assist in making the Blitz Attack a successful operation including booster tank operations.and high flow handline operations.


  • Understanding of the theory behind what makes the Blitz Attack concept work
  • Understanding of the types of stream applications that are involved with the Blitz Attack
  • Understanding of the Blitz Attack operation from a booster tank

Equipment needs:

  • Four fully equipped engine companies with large diameter hose
  • A drill ground with at least three high flowing hydrant.
  • One truck company.
  • Portable radio communications between all units and instructor.
  • Powerpoint capabilities
  • Marker board
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