Tom Shand recently conducted a series of engine company classes for the fire department at the Edwards Air Force Base in California. The Edwards Fire and Emergency Services operates from five stations with a combination of structural and ARFF units. Class sessions covered topics including attack line placement, supply line limitations, nozzle technology and maintenance as well as apparatus placement and master stream operations. Practical evolutions included hand line operations at target hazards on the base and master stream operations.
Using one of the department’s newest Pierce engines rated at 1250 gpm, testing was conducted using several different intake lines. First, using just the front suction inlet with a section of 5.00 inch soft sleeve the engine was able to produce a flow of 1170 gpm. Due to the limitations of the front suction piping with a four wheel drive unit this initial result was favorable. A series of other tests included using the capabilities of the wet barrel hydrant by hooking up two additional 5.00 inch pony sections of hose directly to the 6.00 inch steamer inlets on each side of the fire pump. Using a number of adapters the engine was able to produce 2620 gpm while supplying a deck gun, portable ground monitor and pumping into the waterway on Truck 1.
This system supplying three lines into the engine enabled a 1250 gpm single stage fire pump to produce more than twice its rated capacity from a strong hydrant system. While flowing 2620 gpm the residual pressure was maintained at 20 PSI. Thanks to all of the members and chief officers of Edwards AFB for their assistance during the class.