Drill of the Week: Elevated Stream Operations

This drill comprises three timed evolutions to develop proficiency in setting up heavy streams with an engine company and a ladder company. Preparation for the drill requires identifying an adequate water source that will allow flows of 1,000-1,500 gpm. The ideal setup allows a 100-foot distance between the aerial ladder and a target flare, with another 100 feet to the water source. The site must allow water drainage without causing damage to property or the environment. Do not hold the drill if freezing temperatures are expected before the site has a chance to dry. Make sure you know where all the water is going to go, and obtain permission to conduct the drill from the property owners of the site. This is a good drill to conduct at night in a large, empty parking lot. If necessary, arrange for a fill-in company.

You’ll need an engine and ladder company, whistles for training officers (two recommended) and safety officer, flares, and two road cones.

Evolution 1
The ladder and engine companies respond to the site. The ladder company takes a position indicated by the road cones or training officer. Start the clock. The training officer orders the ladder company to set up a ladder pipe with at least 75 feet of extension and to operate the ladder pipe from the ground with control lines to knock out the flare. Then the engine company lays dual lines from the ladder to the hydrant. The goal is to knock out the flare within three minutes of setting the brakes on the ladder truck.

Evolution 2
Two flares are set up 50 feet apart. Both companies arrive together. The ladder company takes its assigned position. Start the clock. The training officer orders the ladder company to set up as in Evolution 1 with orders to put out the right-hand flare. The engine company lays a single line from the ladder to the hydrant. A second training officer at the hydrant orders the engine crew to pull two sections of supply line, attach a straight tip nozzle, extend the line to the front of the ladder truck, and knock out the second flare. The goal is to knock out both flares within three minutes of setting the brakes on the ladder truck.

Evolution 3 Again, use two flares, 50 feet apart. Both companies arrive together. The ladder truck takes its assigned position and sets up as in Evolution 2, with the goal of knocking out the right-hand flare. The engine company lays dual lines from the hydrant to the ladder. It also removes the deck gun from the engine to knock out the second flare with a single line from the ladder to the hydrant. The goal is to knock out both flares within four minutes of setting the brakes on the ladder truck.

After each evolution, let participants know how they did. Stress working quickly but safely. If the training officers and safety officer see a problem develop, they’ll blow a whistle, and all participants will stop in place.

As with any drill, discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what to do differently the next time.

To review training officer and safety officer considerations, visit http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=HOME&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID=202453 to review training officer and safety officer considerations.

For more information on this drill, including a list of references, figures, and a sample SOP, visit http://store.yahoo.com/pennwell/voltraindril.html to purchase Volunteer Training Drills–A Year of Weekly Drills.

Next week’s drill: High-Rise Response

FireEngineering.com Drill of the Week Archive

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