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# Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations General Information In the previous chapter we discussed how engine pressure was found using various formulas and conversion factors. If youre sitting in a classroom taking an exam, these methods for finding the proper engine pressure is adequate. But, as you all know, finding the proper engine pressure is most critical and valuable at the fire scene. Pump operators do not have the luxury of booting up their laptop computers or pulling out a calculator during an incident. Operators need to have some sort of pre-determined method to quickly deliver water to the hoselines with the proper pressure. This method is termed Fire Ground Calculations or Field Calculations. These calculations are not designed to be exact, but rather to be quick and close. Field Calculations also require the operator to memorize certain constants such as nozzle pressures, appliance losses, and even memorizing the friction loss in commonly used hoselines. Below is an outline of Field Calculation constants that will need to be memorized. 1) Basic Formula The basic formula for Engine Pressure (EP) is: EP= Nozzle Pressure + Friction Loss(hose) + Back Pressure + Appliance Loss EP = NP + FL + BP + APP The components (NP, FL, BP, APP) of this formula will be explained below. 2) Appliance Loss Figures (APP) Appliance Friction Loss Figure Deluge (Turret or Deluge) 25 psi 25 psi + BP Dry Standpipe connection Wye or Siamese connection 5 psi Ladderpipe 80 psi Sprinkler System (no fire) 100 psi + BP Sprinkler System (with fire) 150 psi + BP 3) Nozzle Pressures (NP) Barrel Tip (solid stream) Fog Nozzle (fog or straight stream) Handlines 50 psi 80 psi Master Streams 80 psi 100 psi

These nozzle pressure figures are to be used for work problems where nozzle type, and not pressure, is given.

4) Back Pressure The field calculation for back pressure is 5 psi per 10 of grade or 5 psi per story above the first floor. 5) Friction Loss in Hoselines You will be required to memorize the boldface friction loss figures in the chart below. The calculated figure is next to the field calculation figure to show how the field

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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calculation figure is obtained. Nozzle Size Hose Size GPM Friction Loss per 100 feet Desktop Field Calculation Calculation 30 47.3 68.2 39 34 46.6 77 10 15 21 4.95 7 12.2 18.9 30 45 70 35 35 45 75 10 15 21 5 7 10 20

1/2 - 5/8

30 40 50 100 125 150 200 200 250 300 500 600 800 1000

3/4" 3/4"

1 1/2 1 3/4

## 2 1/2" 2 1/2" 2 1/2" 4

notes: 4 hoseline used as a supply line for master streams (ladder pipe, deluge, snorkel) and relays. Friction loss figures are for each 100 length of hose Items in bold to be memorized for final Work Problems: Using Fire Ground calculations, find the proper EP for the following:

a) 200 of 1 hose flowing 30 gpm at 60 psi EP= NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 60 + (30 X 2) + 0 + 0 EP = 60 + 60 EP = 120 psi note: FL figures must be multiplied by the number of 100 of hose When there are no figures for BP or APP, use 0 b) 200 of 1 handline with a fog tip nozzle flowing 100 gpm EP = NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 80 + (35 X 2) + 0 + 0 EP = 80 + 70 EP = 150 psi b) 400 of 2 handline with a barrel tip nozzle flowing 250 gpm on a hill 50 above the fire truck EP = NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 50 + (15 X 4) + (5 X 5) + 0 EP = 50 + 60 + 25 + 0 EP = 135 psi

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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6) Siamesed Hoselines When two or more hoselines are used to supply water to a desired point or appliance, calculations are simplified by calculating the friction loss in the average length of the siamesed hoselines. Each hoseline will deliver its equal share of water because the pressure applied by the fire pump will equalize in the hoselines. The discharge rate (GPM) will be divided by the number of siamesed hoselines when determining gpm for each hoseline.

## Deluge Fog Tip 500 GPM

The average length of the siamesed hoses is 600 total length number of hoses (600 + 600) 2 = 600 The average flow of the hoses is 250 gpm Total gpm number of hoses 500 gpm 2 = 250 Using fire ground calculations, we know that each 100 length of 2 hose flowing 250 gpm has a friction loss of 15 psi. 600 100 = 6 6 X 15 = 90psi The total friction loss in the siamesed hoses is 90 psi.

Work Problem: Using Fire Ground Calculations, find the EP of the following evolution.

Engine 08

## Deluge Fog Tip 600 GPM

EP = NP + FL + BP + APP Step 1: Find NP The NP for a master stream using a fog nozzle is 100 NP = 100 psi Step 2: Find FL The average length of siamesed hoses is 400: (400 + 350 + 450) 3 1200 3 = 400 The average flow of the siamesed hoses is 200 GPM 600 GPM 3 = 200

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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FL = 10 psi for every 100 of 2 hose flowing 200 GPM FL = 10 X 4 FL = 40 psi Step 3: Find BP There is no BP for this problem BP = 0 Step 4: Find APP The appliance loss figure for a Deluge is 25 psi APP = 25 psi Step 5: Plug all the figures into the formula EP = NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 100 + 40 + 0 + 25 EP = 165 psi

7) Wyed Hoselines For wyed lines of equal diameter with nozzles of the same size, the friction loss for the average length of wyed lines will be considered. Find the average length and treat as one line. This means that the nozzle pressure of only one hose will be added to the NP portion of the EP formula. The hoseline supplying the wyed lines (before the wye) must provide the total amount of GPM to all the wyed lines. The total GPM will be used for all friction loss calculations behind (pump side) the wye. For all calculations in front of the wye (nozzle side of wye), use the discharge of only one hoseline. The following example should make this a little clearer. Work Problem: Using Fire Ground Calculations, find the EP of the following evolution. 150' 1 1/2" Engine 08 200' 2 1/2" 250' 1 1/2" Fog Tip 100 GPM Fog Tip 100 GPM

EP = NP + FL + BP + APP Step 1: Find NP Find the nozzle pressure of only one nozzle The NP for a handline using a fog nozzle is 80 psi NP = 80 psi Step 2: Find FL in the wyed hoselines The average length of wyed hoses is 200: (150 + 250) 2 400 2 = 200 The flow of one of the wyed hoses is 100 GPM FL = 35 psi for every 100 of 1 hose flowing 100 GPM FL = 10 X 2 FL = 70 psi

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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Step 3: Find FL in the 2 hoseline before the wye Find the total GPM in the 2 hoseline (total of all discharge) The total flow of all the wyed hoses is 200 GPM 100 GPM + 100 GPM = 200 GPM The length of the 2 hose is 200 FL = 10 psi for every 100 of 2 hose flowing 200 GPM FL = 10 X 2 FL = 20 psi Step 4: Find the total Friction loss by all hoses Total the friction loss in the wyed lines and the 2 line Add the results from steps 2 and 3 70 + 20 = 90 FL = 90 psi Step 5: Find BP There is no BP for this problem BP = 0 Step 4: Find APP The appliance loss figure for a Wye is 5 psi APP = 5 psi Step 5: Plug all the figures into the formula EP = NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 80 + 90 + 0 + 5 EP = 175 psi Do problems on worksheet provided for extra practice. Contact the instructor if you need a worksheet or have any questions. Remember: If you encounter a work problem that has a GPM value not covered in the Field Calculation Chart, or if you forget a FL of a hose, you can always find it by using 2Q2 + Q. But remember, this formula is only for every 100 of 2 hose. Hoses of all other diameters need to be converted to an equivalent length. 8) Supplying Multiple Hoselines Some incidents require that hoselines of different lengths and diameters be used simultaneously from the same fire truck. The pump operator must be able to quickly determine the proper pump pressure for each of the different lines. Below is an example of a common hose evolution involving different hose diameters and lengths Fog Tip 100 GPM 200' 1 1/2" Engine 08 Fog Tip 250 GPM

## 100' 2 1/2" 200' 1 1/2" Fog Tip 100 GPM

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The EP for each of the 1 hoselines is 150 psi The EP for the 2 hoseline is 95 psi What engine pressure should the operator pump? Modern fire trucks have multiple discharge outlets, each equipped with individual gates and pressure gauges. The pump operator would have to set the pump speed at the pressure of the highest discharge pressure. In the above example, the pump pressure would have to be set at 150 psi. This would give the 1 hoselines the proper pressure. As for the 2 hoseline, the operator would have to choke down or only partially open the gate valve to obtain the desired pressure of 95 psi. If the 2 gate valve was fully opened, the pressure would be too high for the hoseline, and if the pump speed was lowered to 95 psi, the pressure would be insufficient for the 1 hoselines. Some older fire trucks have multiple discharges, but only one pressure gauge. This makes it very difficult when pumping multiple hoselines requiring different pressures. One method of pumping these types of evolutions is to take the average pressure of all hoselines and set the pump pressure to that average. This only works if the different pressures are moderately close. The old timers used to set the pump to the highest hose pressure and choke down on the other lines that require lower pressures. They would check the pressure by stepping on the hose and feeling for the perfect hardness. 9) Aerial Streams (Ladderpipe and Platform Operations) Aerial streams are master stream nozzles that are elevated to heights up to 100 through use of an aerial ladder or an aerial platform. These ladders or platforms are mounted directly onto an apparatus called a Ladder Truck or Snorkel. Ladder trucks or Snorkel trucks are not required to have their own pumps, although some models do. Usually, in an aerial stream operation, the truck providing the aerial stream will set up operations in a way that best utilizes their aerial stream. Once the aerial is in place, a fire truck with a pump will provide water to the aerial truck. It is important for the pumper truck to deliver the proper pressure so that an effective fire stream is delivered. As noted earlier in this chapter, the APP loss for a ladderpipe operation is 80 psi. This figure is only for the friction loss of components after the supply lines and before the nozzle (siamese, hose, BP of elevation). This means that operators will have to find the friction loss in the supply lines (method for finding FL in siamesed lines) and find the appropriate FL for the nozzle used. These figures will be added to the constant APP loss of 80 psi to get the engine pressure.

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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Fog Tip Two 2 1/2" supply lines 200' 600 GPM @ 100 psi

Work Problem: Find the EP of the above ladderpipe operation. EP = NP + FL + BP + APP Step 1: Find NP The NP for a master stream using a fog nozzle is 100 psi (given) NP = 100 psi Step 2: Find FL in the supply hoselines The average length of wyed hoses is 200: (200 + 200) 2 400 2 = 200 The average flow of the hoses is 300 gpm Total gpm number of hoses 600 gpm 2 = 300 Using fire ground calculations, we know that each 100 length of 2 hose flowing 300 gpm has a friction loss of 21 psi. 200 100 = 2 2 X 21 = 42 psi FL = 42 psi Step 3: Find BP The BP for ladderpipe operations is included in the APP loss BP = 0 Step 4: Find APP The appliance loss figure for a ladderpipe operation is 80 psi APP = 80 psi Step 5: Plug all the figures into the formula EP = NP + FL + BP + APP EP = 100 + 42 + 0 + 80 EP = 222 psi 10) Relay Pumping

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## Chapter 6: Fire Ground (Field) Calculations

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Relay pumping is used when the distance from the water supply (fire hydrant) to the incident is longer than the supply lines carried by a single fire truck. A relay operation consists of two or more fire trucks, in concession, providing water to the next fire truck.

Eng. #1

## 250 gpm @ 80 psi 400' 2 1/2" hose

Each fire truck, except for the truck pumping the firefighting lines, should provide 20 psi residual pressure to the next fire truck. To accomplish this, pump operators must pump 20 psi above the friction loss of the relay hose. If the 20 psi is not added, the receiving truck will have 0 psi coming in and will not be able to deliver any water to the next fire truck. The gpm used for finding the friction loss is determined by the amount of water flowing through the firefighting lines. Engine #1: EP = FL + 20 psi Pumping 250 gpm through 1500 of 2 FL for 2 flowing 250 gpm = 15 per 100 1500 100 = 15 FL = 15 X 15 FL = 225 Add 20 psi residual pressure EP = 225 + 20 EP = 245 psi EP = FL + 20 psi Pumping 250 gpm through 1000 of 2 FL for 2 flowing 250 gpm = 15 per 100 1000 100 = 10 FL = 15 X 10 FL = 150 Add 20 psi residual pressure EP = 150 + 20 EP = 170 psi EP = NP + FL + BP + APP NP = 80 psi FL = 60 psi (400 2 flowing 250 = 4 X 15) BP = 0 APP = 0 EP = 80 + 60 + 0 + 0 EP = 140 psi

Engine #2:

Engine #3:

The quickest method in setting up a relay operation is to pump all relaying fire trucks at the same pressure (except truck pumping firefighting lines). The pressure used should be that of the truck with the longest hose lay. This will ensure adequate pressure to all trucks in the relay operation. Once the relay operation is set up, adjustments can be made to the pressure. In a relay operation it is difficult to tell exactly how much hose is initially laid out, especially if the fire truck did not lay out its entire compliment of hose. After water is flowing, there will be time to fine- tune the operation.

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