From: Schenectady County, NY CFC Dan Fiorillo
To: All Fire Chiefs
Sunday evening the South Schenectady Fire Department experienced a failure of the LDH Hydrant Boost valve, which blew off a hydrant injuring a firefighter.
Apparently, the steamer connection of the valve (to the hydrant) failed causing the main valve to separate from the hydrant (under hydrant water pressure) hitting one of the firefighters in the upper leg area. As one knows the valve is a heavy metal object. A picture of a similar valve is pictured on the attachment.
The valve which is approximately 12 years old had a failure of the rollers that allow the steamer connection to spin while hooking to the hydrant. I would guess the rollers also hold the steamer connection on to the main valve body. These rollers appear to be a hard plastic material, that may have fatigued over years of use.
Little Pieces of the roller were scattered around the hydrant area for approximately 20 feet when the separation occurred.
All departments are advised to contact the manufacturer of their LDH Hydrant Assist Valve to gather information on valve inspection and maintenance, on the hydrant connection part of the valve to avoid any problems in the field.
This sounds very similar to the incident last year in Wayne County. NFPA 1915, Fire Apparatus Maintenance Program Section 4.3 requires inspection and lubrication of all piping and valves. There no time frame requirement specified in the standard or appendix material. Lacking that specification, manufacture maintenance requirements shall be followed.
Please pass this information along ASAP and we can prevent any additional firefighter injures. Be safe.
Thomas J. Wutz
Fire Services Bureau
NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control
41 State St.
Albany, NY 12231-0001