The HUMAT Valve

Due to the insane number of visits to my blog by people searching for "humat valve" I am posting this entry:

The Humat valve is manufactured by Humat, Inc. which is located in Forest Hills Maryland. It was founded by
Bob Hughes, Hurley Matthews, and Nick Borst to develop and market to the fire service products that improve water handling on the fire ground. How it got it's name I don't know.

The Humat 4-way Hydrant Valve, is used by innovating fire departments in every state and is relied on for training by leading fire schools. Using Humat valves is the most efficient method to get the most water on the fireground in the least amount of time. It is made of lightweight aluminum alloy for easy handling, heat treated for extra strength and hard coated to prevent corrosion and increase surface strength.

Here is an exploded view of one with storz connections.
And here is an exploded view with standard connections.
See the difference.

Here are some simple illustrations on how to use one:
Here as the features that can be found on the valves.

* Maximum Capacity. Main valve chamber has an interior
diameter of 5 1/2". The smaller chamber has an interior
diameter of 4".
* Minimum Training. Proficiency is quickly acquired to
incorporating Humat Valves into your attach procedures. 1/4
turn of the handle for full operation.
* Simplicity of Design. Only one manual control for complete
operation. The handle position immediately indicates
whether the interior butterfly valve is open or closed.
* No Reverse Twist. Operation is equally efficient with
smaller chamber in up or down position depending on
location of fire.
* Flow Never Interrupted. Water flow is increased from
hydrant pressure to pump pressure automatically with no
interruption of flow when pump pressure is activated.
* Versatility. Flanged couplings are available with virtually any
nonstandard thread or waterway size, including Storz type

So there you are!


Second Alarm Metal Fabrication Shop Fire

Yesterday my sister Karen was driving on the freeway and called me to report that she saw a large amount of smoke near 40th Street and University. We quickly grabbed our cameras and headed that way as winds were from the west at 15 to 20 miles per hour.

She called About 16:00 we got there at about 16:15, The call started as a First alarm and was upgraded to a second alarm at around 16:05. when we arrived the fire was in a medium sized metal fabrication shop just southeast of the intersection. It appeared that the roof had already collapsed and smoke was rolling out of the top of the building. Upon our arrival we parked at a nearby business, got out and started walking towards a fence that had a view of the fire. The usual overly helpful policeman immediately came over and asked if we were with the media. "No" said Chris, "Yes" said I. He then told us not to get any closer than we were as "we" meaning "he" did not know what was in there.
We took some pics and then I grabbed my press pass (yes I have one), and we moved across the street to see if we could get some better shots. We ran in to a blond woman from PFD who asked if we were with the Arizona Republic? "No, we are freelance" said I. Since we were not with the republic she deemed us not worth talking to, and moved on to the network camera crews nearby. I believe she was a PIO.
There were 3 ladders in place, Ladder 276, Ladder 272 and a third we could not see. Before we left they setup a fourth but he was pissing into the wind and not being very effective.
As we were supposed to be making Taco's for dinner and the fire was starting to be put out we headed home.... Oh yeah, here's a Humat Valve.



At Thermopylae there were the 300, In New York there were 343.


Phoenix Fire Buffs contact request

Attention Mike J. Keppler I have attempted to contact you several times per your request, at your yahoo account.


Los Angeles Fire Department Videos IV

Last of the 4 part series "The Tillerman"


Los Angeles Fire Department Videos III

Here is part III "The Pump Operator"

This video spotlights the use of the "Blake four way valve", and the Gleason Valve".


Los Angeles Fire Department Videos II

Here is part II "Fire Apparatus Steering"


Los Angeles Fire Department Videos I

Several years ago Bob sent me some video's from the late fifties, early sixties. The films were produced by the Los Angeles Fire Department. I converted them to digital and will post them in 4 parts.

Part I
The Driver


House Fire and New Fire Chaser

Today was not a bad day (for us), There were 2 house fires close to my house. One was just a electrical problem in an air conditioner (put out with a fire extinguisher). The second one was an attic fire. We heard the call at about 14:20 and Arrive on scene at around 14:25. Engine 61, Engine 13, Engine 12, Ladder 12, Rescue 12, LT 12, Battalion 6, Battalion 2 and Squad 29 were on scene. Rehab was not needed. The house is on 42nd street north of Campbell. Chris and I were in my truck and our newest fire chaser (on his very first 3-in-1* 1st alarm house fire) was with Mike in his vehicle. The fire was out by 14:40 I have Pics and Video, But first...

Let me introduce our newest Fire Chaser.
Mike's Son
Sean Michael Guildig
Here are the rest of the Pics:

Here is my Video:

Here is Mike's Video:

*3 engines, and 1 Ladder.


Station 3

Another Picture taken in the late fifties, early Sixties. This time it is Phoenix Fire Station 3. The Rig is Engine 3 a 1956 Seagrave 1250 gpm pumper.
Bob can only Identify 2 of the men in the picture:
Second from Left is Captain Lemon Pike Bush (real name), Second from Right is Bell Hesse. Bill Drove Hose 3


Engine 12 Crew

This is not Engine 6 crew it is Engine 12 taken out in front of old Station 12.
The date this picture was taken in unknown, probably sometime in the early sixties. The Rig is a 1957 Pirsch 1000 gpm pumper.
The crewman are from left to right:
Captain Larry Norton (Best man at Bob's wedding), Bill Yowell, Unknown, and Engineer Gene Adams.


Pumper Practice Using a "Blake Line"

In June of 1971 my dad took some pictures of Engine 1 and Hose 1 practicing laying a line using a Blake Valve. It took me a while to locate where these pictures were taken, because the street is no longer there and the pictures show no street names on the poles. It was on the west side of the 7th st. overpass. Chase field is now at this location.
I was 5 and Kathleen (my sister) was 3. When I scanned these slides in (a year or so ago), they were out of order and somehow I scanned them in twice. I spent a few minutes putting them in order today. I will use the notes Bob sent me for what is going on:

"The rig is Engine 1 a 1952 Mack "L" model with a 1250 gpm pump, a 200 gallon tank and a 935 cid Hall-Scott (The first Hall-Scott in Phoenix) Now owned by retired Fire Chief Alan Brunacini."
"The engine has laid a "Blake" line (similar to a Humat valve but only uses 2 1/2 inch fittings) The rig would stop at a hydrant and the plugman would step off the rig and loop a line around the hydrant-
while the rig would continue to the fire."
"Once on the scene the crew would make "pullbacks" and extend the line into the fire."
"Then the engine would return to the hydrant and connect the hard suction with a 4" to 2 1/2" reducer to the Blake."
"(All the time water would be flowing through the line just like the Humat valve)"
"once the hard suction was hooked up a "short length" of 2 1/2 would be connected between the blake and a pumper 2 1/2 outlet and the blake would be-
"changed over" to turn the hydrant line into a line being pumped by the engine."
"NOTE: using a Blake valve the engine could only supply a max of two 2 1/2 inch lines through the blake valve."
"The Humat has no limit."

"On a large working fire, if an engine laid a Blake line either the plugman was instructed to not use the Blake, the engine would be making a steamer connection (Using a hard suction hose like in the pixs only connected to the steamer port) or once the engine returned to the hydrant it was removed or could be bypassed which took time."

At this time I do not have information as to the identity of the firemen in the pictures.


2-11 Fire Buffs Association

The 2-11 Fire Buffs Association started around 1958. They met the first Wednesday of every month at John C. Lincoln Hospital. They later acquired old station 18.
The above picture was taken around October 1962. The people in the picture are from left to right: Bill Kivet, David Branch, Pete Lucas, Matt Kells, Bob Walls and Bob Guildig. Bob Joined the Fire Buffs around 1960. Bob and Matt Kells would Incorporate the 2-11 Fire Buffs Association on June 19th 1967 (bet ya wonder how I know that). They are standing in front of Engine 21, a 1961 Seagrave sporting a 1250 gpm pump, and a 935 cid Hall-Scott gasoline engine. The engine was not yet in service and was being shown off at various locations as part of "Fire Prevention Week".
The above picture was taken in 1963 by an unknown Republic & Gazette photographer. The man on the left is Pete Lucas and Bob Guildig is on the right. This had to do with the remodeling an addition at old Fire Station 9. The rig is a 1961 Seagrave 85 foot tillered 935 cid Hall-Scott. Bob does not remember why they were there.The above picture was taken just after a 2-11 fire at a Yates surplus store (used to be about 2 blocks south of Camelback on 7 ave.). The men in the picture are from left to right: Pete Lucas. Jim Parks and an unknown. Mr. Unknown was later "asked" to resign because of an incident where he passed Ladder 9 going north on 7th Ave from Camelback. At Missouri and 7th Ave he stood in the middle of the street and stopped traffic while Ladder 9 went through (he had done something like this on several occasions). Back then the fire buffs would help clean up after a fire and on many occasions even help fight fires, and act as messengers at fire scenes. Fire buffs could be identified by their red hardhats. You can see this in the picture below of David Branch at another 2-11 fire.
Or this picture taken of Bob from old 8mm film.
Back then Fire Buffs had unprecedented access to a fire scene that just doesn't happen today. Here we see a picture taken by an unknown Republic and Gazette photographer of a group of firemen attempting to resuscitate a victim at a fire that took place on 01-11-1967 at 4231 w. Citrus. The man on the right with the helmet and black camera bag is of course Bob Guildig.
They often appeared in parades.
As in this case once again of Bob Guildig. The picture was taken by Gerald Rachwitz. Bob is on a Glendale crash rig. Below is a picture of Bob (doing a Captain Morgan imitation) next to Engine 21 (same rig in the first pic of this post) on the day it was delivered. It had just been unloaded from the train it arrived on.
Bob last attended a Fire Buffs meeting at what used to be old Station 18 in 1992. It is unknown if the association is still active. They are still listed at this site. Between 1960 and sometime before the 1980's was the golden age of Fire Buffs in Phoenix. It is unfortunate that the Phoenix Fire Department is no longer as friendly to such organizations as it had been in the past.

I would appreciate any information from the past or present in regards to the Fire buffs in Phoenix Arizona.


Station 61 Dedication

Yesterday March 29th 2008 was the grand opening of the Phoenix Fire Departments Station 61. Mike, Chris, Sean and I attended. You may note in the picture below that the billboard is missing, I removed it digitally.
The new station is 10500 square feet, and instead of the barracks style sleeping arrangement of many older stations, this fire house has 9 individual dorm style sleeping rooms.
This fire house also has a separate entertainment room. With recliners and a wide screen HDTV.

hmmm... Looks like their favorite program is on now.
There is a second HDTV in the dining area.
This station boast an awesome kitchen, with 3 refrigerators.

There is even a complete weight room.

Strangely though there are only 4 bathrooms. All of them have 1 shower and 1 toilet, even though there is room for several stalls in each, limiting the number of people who can use a bathroom at one time, and each of the bathrooms is labeled differently. One is labeled as "restroom" one as "toilet" and one as "bathroom" I don't remember what the fourth one was called. There is a room just off the bay where the turnout gear is kept.
The bay has room for 3 apparatus. The front doors fold open horizontally. They can open electrically or manually. The open very fast, and they have infrared light sensors to prevent the doors closing on an apparatus.
When we arrived we had missed the landing of "Firebird 10". They landed the helicopter right in front of the station.

There were some little turnout coats, pants and boots on the front of Engine 61. These were for kids to dress up in and get their picture taken.
Here is an interesting comparison. On the left of the pictures below is the radio from a PFD station taken in the late fifties/early sixties. The cabinet on the right side of the left picture "is" the radio and had one frequency.

Contrast that with this station. The radio is a tiny little unit in the center of this cabinet, and has (I believe) at least 10 channels. This cabinet also contains an LCD monitor and a Dell 1U rack mounted server at the bottom.

Quite a lot of people showed up and there was even an unlucky fireman who was dressed up in an inflatable smoke detector costume.

Because of the way the costume is made the guy inside walked in a bizarre 1950's robot looking way. Maybe Mike will post the video on his website. One of the firemen even brought a Dalmation.
Mike and I took the opportunity to take a few HDR pics, here are mine:

OH MY GOD!!! another Humat valve!!!

Here are some Misc. equipment and apparatus pics.

And some pics of wildlife.

There was food and trinkets available but at about the time all of the "dignitaries" arrived and were giving their speeches we decided to leave and have Mexican food at Carlos O'Brien's. Of course the food at the station was not served until "after" the speeches (you have to pay for your meal somehow). Here is the dedication plague for the station.