Most of us have been there, and if you have not you will be before your career is done. The moment I am talking about is when you arrive on scene and everywhere you look there is fire. Most of us dream of rolling up on something like that, but in reality when it happens you better be prepared. Big fire requires big water. It is simple as that and master streams can certainly deliver the big water.
Master stream appliances are found in three different types…
•Portable-either removed from the apparatus or a separate device (such as a TFT Blitz-Fire)
•Fixed-a fixed master stream is what we typically call the “deck gun” or “deluge gun”.
•Elevated-an elevated master stream would be found on a tower ladder or aerial ladder.
Each of these master stream devices either have a combination nozzle or a series of smooth bores commonly referred to as “stack tips”. Lets take a look and see how much big water these devices can deliver.
These numbers are approximate and will vary on your apparatus piping, pump capabilities etc.
Stack Tips (4 tips stacked together)
Tip Size Gallons Per Minute @80 PSI
1.375” = 500
1.5” = 600
1.75” = 810
2.00 = 1060
Up to 1000 gpm @100 psi
One thousand gallons of water per minute is capable of extinguishing a tremendous amount of fire. In many cases we turn to the big water when we go defensive on a fire. We “surround and drown” when conditions warrant pulling our personal out of a building for safety reasons.
However, it should be noted that using a master stream device can clearly be an offensive tactic as well. For instance, you pull up with a short crew to a well involved private dwelling. While your crew is stretching the initial line open up on it with the deck gun to “quiet things down”. It will be the fastest water you can put on the fire and will stop the fire’s advance.
Have you ever used a master stream offensively arriving at a well advanced fire? Share with us in the comment section below.