Long Live Layman’s Theory

I was amazed to read Gene Carlson’s assertion that “Today Chief Layman’s Theory is dead” (Volunteers Corner, February 1983). Our area has always used the interior-attack philosophy: quickly get inside to the seat of the fire and knock it down. The principal difference between then and now is advanced hydraulic nozzles, lighter weight hose and breathing apparatus. The old methods worked and Gene is wrong to assert that they are “dead”.

There will ever be those who improve some phase of our profession.

The real professional, however, is the one flexible enough to adapt to the newer methodology, and smart enough to keep the older methods in reserve for the time when it may be the answer, if the newer, standard methods fails to give the desired results. I do agree with Gene’s overall assessment to quickly get inside, cut-off, and extinguish the fire.

Don Marvin

President, Fire District Consultants Longmont, CO

Another Siamese Solution

In your December 1982, and March 1983 issues, I read with great interest the articles concerning different types of hydrant hook-ups. I can fully understand trying to get the most from a shorthanded crew. However, one very important thing stands out about these articles. Inorder for them to work, the supply line(s) must either be shut down, and/or disconnected to achieve the final results. I believe all fire fighters and engineers can relate to what happens when you “lose” a supply line in the middle of a pumping operation.

Our department, all volunteer, has solved the problem of too few people by using a variation of Mr. Meyer’s (March ‘83) “Siamese Suggestion.” This “Wye-Siamese” hook-up, as we call it, is simple to place into operation and does not require any elaborate tools or equipment. Our procedure is as follows:

Figure 1

All our pumpers ride with this hose load. The gated wye and hydrant wrench is mounted on the right side of the tailboard. The Siamese is carried preconnected. Hose load can be broken at cross connect to facilitate laying two supply lines.

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Figure 2

Attack pumper lays one or two supply lines into the fire. Tailboard man can either make hook-up or snub the hydrant and get back on the tailboard to ride in with the hose lay.

If attack pumper does not make connection to hydrant, it will still leave its appliances for the hook-up to the hydrant. Figure 3

Supply pumper connects two 2 1/2 inch hoses from gated wye to its intake, then connects one 2 1/2 inch hose from the discharge to the open inlet on the Siamese. At this point, the supply pumper can “overtake” the hydrant and increase pressure in number 1 supply line. Supply pumper then connects the number 2 supply line to a discharge gate and pressurizes this line.

This operation has saved our tails on several occasions. As you can see it will also allow the attack pumper to return to hydrant pressure only, without having to shut down any lines. This allows the crew on the supply pumper to shut down and be available for another response a lot faster.

Our standard practice calls for the first-in company to lay with this hook-up if there is anything showing. If the second-due company is close behind, the officer on the first-in company will snub the lines around the hydrant and radio the second-due unit to make the connection. This allows his full crew to be available to set up hand lines for the attack.

Should the second-due company be delayed and/or tied up in traffic, then the first-in company can make the hookup and have water flowing, on hydrant pressure, to the attack pumper right away.

We have found that this “Wye-Siamese” hook-up gives our department three distinct advantages:

  1. You get water flowing to the attack pumper ASAP.
  2. The supply pumper can hook to the hydrant without shutting down any lines.
  3. The supply pumper can increase pressure on both supply lines.

Ronald Goode

Captain, South Dixie Fire Protection District, Station 2 Louisville, KY

Quick Comments

Lots of good information on safety. Best magazine available.

Gary Niswonger


lackson, MO, Fire Department

Very informative (as usual). Gene Carlson’s corner was excellent.

New York Mills Fire Department

Great on protective clothing – but you have to use it to do anything.

Johnny Curtiss

Torrington, CT

Excellent article on preconnects, but why call it Volunteers Corner?

Todd Holzwarth

East Grand Fire District, Winter Park, CO

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