Gainesville Fire Department apparatus is equipped with hose of various sizes and each size is designed for a specific purpose in fire suppression activities:
1.75' hose is used as an “attack' line and can carry flows of 120 to 180 gallons per minute (GPM's). This is normally the size hose you see personnel handling when they enter a structure or extinguish an outside fire. Each truck is normally equipped with 500' (ten 50' sections) of 1.75' hose.
2.5' hose can be used as an attack line on larger fires, or can serve as a “supply' line to carry water from a hydrant to a truck or from one truck to another. Sometimes this size hose will come from the truck to an appliance called a wye which splits the flow from one 2.5' section to two 1.75' sections. 2.5' hose can carry flows up to 250 GPM's. Each truck is normally equipped with 500' (ten 50' sections) of 2.5' hose.
3' hose is used as a supply line to carry water from a hydrant to a truck or from one truck to another. Each truck is normally equipped with 500' (ten 50' sections) of 3' hose.
5' hose (aka LDH or large diameter hose) is used as a supply line in the same manner as 2.5' or 3' hose. Flows through this size hose can exceed 1,500 GPM's. Each truck is normally equipped with 1400' (fourteen 100' sections).
In order to assure the safety of fire personnel, secure the protection of personal and commercial property, and to maintain industry standards, it is essential that all fire hoses are tested and inspected annually to ensure their ability to perform "under pressure." Testing is performed by department personnel, normally occurs the same time each year and the department is required to maintain all records for the service life of the hose.
A charged fire hose can be very dangerous so please be cautious should you find yourself in an area where fire hose is in use. And, please do not drive over fire hose. Not only is it against state law (§40-6-248), but doing so may cause damage to your vehicle and the hose which could result in injuries or worse to firefighters who are inside a burning building and depending on the water supply.