A case for fire hose ramps

A compromised supply line is a compromised fire attack; this simple tool can keep the water flowing

Sometimes on the fireground we over look the use of simple tools or appliances that can benefit us in certain conditions. Hose ramps are one of those tools. Hose ramps, of course, are designed to allow vehicular traffic to drive over the hose line without compromising it.

Maintaining water supply is a vital component of the fireground and the hose ramp can be used to help meet that objective. Whenever there is an interruption in fireground water supply, whether it is pressure or flow, it will have a severe consequence for all involved.

In the corresponding video, we see what can happen vehicles drive over the hose line. We don't know all the details of the situation except from what we can see in the video.

We do know that there is one aerial ladder truck flowing water from the large supply line and another aerial truck is being brought in. The added aerial truck is needed in a different location from where the current aerial operation is going, which is why the aerial drove over the hose.

In this situation there are two options to choose from. The first is to shut down the current aerial operations, disconnect the large supply line, move it out of the way, let the aerial truck drive through, reconnect the hose and carry on.

The second is to drive over the supply line.

Time is also a factor when making this decision, as it will take fair amount of time to go with the first option; the second option takes no time at all unless something goes wrong.

If the water supply is shut down, even momentarily, we have to think about the effect that has on the fire and its growth. No water on the fire means a bigger fire and a bigger problem.

As you can see, the second option did not play out well as the hose line was compromised and so is the fireground operations.

Using hose ramps can avoid the time it will take to exercise the first option and allow for the second option without resulting in a burst hose line.

Another point to consider is where we lay the supply line. The goal is to lay a supply line in a way that will not interfere with other operations such as cutting off access to streets or other areas for other fire apparatus.

The simple use of a hose ramp can alleviate the pains of no water. 

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