Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All In A Morning's Work

My FD typically does hose testing every May. The weather is mostly nice, and it generally isn't too humid or hot. At my company, we split it amongst the three shifts. This year, A-Shift did everything that was on the hose rack, on the order of a couple thousand feet. B-Shift is doing the main bed, which is 1000 ft of 5" hose and 300 ft of 2.5" hose. C-Shift - my shift - drew all the pre-connects.

Last weekend is when we did it. It started out a nice morning, temps in the 70s, low humidity. However, within an hour of the shift starting, the clouds and humidity moved in, and a storm front started approaching. Ok, at least it wasn't HOT! We did get a little rain, but not a whole lot, while we were working.

Just after charging the lines and tightening the couplings.

All the sections passed. 

In all, we tested 1150 feet of hose, 750 ft of 1.75" and 400 ft of 2.5" line. The ambulance crew caught a long call just as we were starting, so instead of five of us, there were three of us doing the work, but we still got it done in short order. Set up only took about thirty minutes. That entailed pulling the 1.75" pre-connects off and reloading the speed-lay trays with already tested hose. As you can see in the pictures, there is dry 2.5" ready to be loaded (we use the triple-load). We have our 2.5" pre-connects in Mattydale style cross-lays, and pressure tested them from there, while we used a water thief and a gated wye to hook up all the small hose. The test itself was the standard five minutes of pressure. The bulk of the work was in labeling the tested sections, draining, rolling, and putting them in the dryer! Hey, it's gotta be done, so we might as well do it!

During yesterday's shift, we went to our area elementary school for the year end "Water Day". We routinely visit fourth grade classes throughout the year and finish it off at the end of the school year with a "Water Day", where we have them set up bucket brigades and other contests. Let me tell ya, the established contests usually last about 0.5 seconds, then it becomes a water fight. We keep a charged line there to refill the troughs that the kids fill their buckets with, and on occasion (read - when ever we're not filling the troughs) we set it on a medium fog setting and let it rain down. Most of the time, the kids turn on each other, but they also frequently target us with their buckets! That, even when we have a charged line pointing at them! It's a lot of fun!

Sorry folks, I didn't get any pictures while we were there. I was too busy getting soaked by all the 4th graders!

(Don't worry, we don't squirt them directly. We only have 70 psi at the discharge on the panel, so it's not a high pressure or high volume line, but it moves enough water to fill the 150 gallon troughs in about three minutes, and gives them a nice, almost gentle fog pattern soaking when we aim it at their feet!)

This one is short, especially for my usual postings. Thanks for reading!

Stay safe, and God bless!


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