Hook-up to Hydrants
There are various methods for hooking up lines to hydrants. At Millburn, N. J., the department has been using a double and a single gate on hydrant outlets.
The first engine company arriving at a fire immediately stretches in a 2 1/2-inch line from the hydrant to the fire.
The apparatus slows down at the hydrant to allow two men to jump off. One man with the hose, hydrant wrench, and spanner, makes a complete loop around the hydrant barrel with the hose, crossing the line on the ground. He places his foot on the hose so that it will not be pulled away from the hydrant when the apparatus starts laying the line.
The second man jumps off with a double gate and a single gate. The two gates are placed on the two 2 1/2-inch outlets of the hydrant. Water is turned on. The hose is made fast to one of the outlets of the double gate.
This leaves two 2 1/2-inch gate outlets for the pump to hook up to when it returns to the hydrant after stretching out the hose. The two sections of hard suction are used to connect the pumper to the hydrant.
This makes the hydrant always ready for the pump hookup. Water is soon available, if needed.
If the fire has reached the stage where a big line is needed, it can be obtained by opening the gate, and the pump still can be hooked to the other gates without turning off the hydrant.
Should a second line be needed, the hose company would stretch this line, connecting to the pump. Water is put through this line with the pump working. If pressure is wanted on the first line, it is transferred from the hydrant to the pump. With this plan, there is water on the fire at all times.
After the pump is connected to the hydrant, the two men who connected the gates, proceed to the fire, leaving the driver to operate the pump.
It has been our practice to stretch a line from the first engine company at every fire. When the booster can be used to extinguish the fire, no water is called for through the 2 1/2-inch line, except when it is used to take the place of the booster tank, after the tank has been emptied.
The hose company only stretches the second line when the fire has reached such size that it may be needed. If no 2 1/2-inch line is needed from the hose company, the company proceeds to the fire and if it is not needed, the company returns to quarters.
This method of using a hydrant has proven very helpful to a department, where long and short lines are commonly used.