SUPER PUMPER 1

entropychaser

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When needed, the Coney Island pumping station was notified by telephone by the Brooklyn CO.

If a pressure change was needed, preliminary signal 8 (later 14) followed by the box number was sent out. The terminal signal was the desired pressure in pounds. This was transmitted on both the primary and secondary telegraph circuits. If the system was to be shut down, the terminal signal was omitted.

If the system had a breakdown, signal 13-13---5 (with preliminary 7-7 in the other boroughs) was transmitted.
When restored, signal 9-9-9---5 was sent.

With a breakdown, the Brooklyn CO would special call the closest fireboat to Box 3544 (Neptune Avenue & West 23rd Street) to respond to West 23rd Street and Coney Island Creek. There, they would hook up two 3 1/2 inch lines to a header for six special hydrants and await further orders.
 

jlab

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Why did the City abolish the high pressure system ?
 

entropychaser

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Why did the City abolish the high pressure system ?
1) Expensive
2) Never used
3) Hard to maintain
4) Inflexible
5) Insurance companies could care less (like ISO ratings)
6) Who in their right mind wants to operate on a fireground with hose charged up to 300 psig
 

jlab

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See link below to history of high-pressure systems in the US. The NYC systems were created between 1906 and 1908. The link states that "Many systems have been abandoned as motor-driven fire pumpers became more robust and dependable."

I can see how the 300 psi pressure would be problematic for day to day firefighting but it may have been useful in overcoming friction loss when fighting a fire on the upper floors of a 20 storey building. The early motor-driven pumpers probably could not provide enough pressure for high rise fire fighting so cities installed these systems to overcome this limitation which no longer exists.

 
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t123ken

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There were three high pressure firefighting systems.
Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island.
They were also in lower Manhattan.
When they were being phased out and I don't remember if it was a job-wide policy or Division 1 policy not to use high pressure hydrants because they were unreliable, I think the Captain of Engine 9 sent in a report that the only hydrants on East Broadway were high pressure.
This was around '88 or '89.
 

entropychaser

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There were three high pressure firefighting systems.
Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island.
When telegraph signals 13-13 and 9-9-9 were used, terminal signal 1, 2, or 3 were used for the three parts of the Manhattan high pressure system. Downtown Brooklyn used terminal signal 4, and Coney Island 5.
 

jloonz

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Never ending supply of water with that fire boat but I know with most big refinery fires where this thing is most likely going to be used there’s not a lot of water resources so they’re gonna have to have a pretty good relay system going to a nearby water supply
 

Nasibova

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So would this ever be used at just large fire situations like where a satellite or in addition to a satellite would be used, but just use it's own pump at a lower than maximum output ?
 

Bulldog

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So would this ever be used at just large fire situations like where a satellite or in addition to a satellite would be used, but just use it's own pump at a lower than maximum output ?
I'm sure it depends on the situation, I see potentially being used in either of the scenario if you mentioned.
 

jlab

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On Front St. in Manhattan in the vicinity of the South St Seaport there are still 2 high pressure hydrants. I wonder if they are there for scenery or if the are connected to the regular water main system.
 

Bulldog

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On Front St. in Manhattan in the vicinity of the South St Seaport there are still 2 high pressure hydrants. I wonder if they are there for scenery or if the are connected to the regular water main system.
I hope they are just connected to the regular system, if they are dead hydrants just for scenery they definitely could cause a problem if someone thinks they are a good hydrant and hooks onto them!
 

Rich M

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Why did the City abolish the high pressure system ?
On Front St. in Manhattan in the vicinity of the South St Seaport there are still 2 high pressure hydrants. I wonder if they are there for scenery or if the are connected to the regular water main system.
Is this one?
 

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jlab

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No. They look like the regular old-fashioned high pressure hydrants with big barrels and four discharge ports.
 

Rich M

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I found it. I think.
 

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Rich M

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Here’s one at the other end of the street.
 

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