Engine Company, Firefighting

Fire Pumping Calculations: Every Pump Operator’s Basic Equation (Updated 2020)

Issue 10 and Volume 165.

BY PAUL SPURGEON Fire Pumping Calculations The equation EP = NP + FL + APP + ELEV is the basic equation every pump operator needs to calculate when operating the fire pump. Today, many pump panels have flow meters that allow the pump operator to match the readout on the pump panel with the gallon-per-minute (gpm) flow of the selected nozzle. This is a disservice to the integrity of the pump operator. A knowledgeable operator needs to understand how a proper fire stream is developed and how each part is applied. Only with this knowledge can the pump operator go from being a knob puller who sets predetermined figures on a gauge to an efficient engineer capable of filling the hoselines with the proper amount of water not only to extinguish fires but also to keep crews safe on the fireground. Each figure can be calculated using simple math. How the…

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