Pump OperationsComment on this page

See Equipment Resources for information on appliances, hose and nozzles

Cold Weather Pumping

Compressed Air Foam Systems

Prep Your Apparatus as You Prep Your Firefighters (Daniel Peluso)

Single Stage vs. Two Stage Pumps

Six-Steps to Troubleshooting (Randy Nelson)

Why Fire Pumps Break Down

Paul Spencer’s excellent three-part series of articles on pumping:

  • Pump Operator Skills for the Modern Fireground
  • Delivering Functional Fire Streams
  • Managing Multiple Water Supplies to Increase Fire Flow


YouTube Videos by Lyndon Cousins:

  • 25% Rule and Pump Accounting
  • Two Stage Pumps (Pressure Mode)
  • Two Stage Pump Transfer Valve Test


Firefighter Math
This self-paced math course refreshers firefighters’ knowledge of basic math concepts and tools necessary for making math calculations in the field. Topics include calculating tank volumes and flow rates, determining pump pressure and friction loss, understanding maps and location coordinates, and estimating slope. Additionally, the course presents information on calculating flame length, flame height, midflame windspeed, and other variables related to wildland firefighting efforts.

Friction Loss Coefficients

Friction Loss Formulas and Calculations.pdf (County of Los Angeles)
This slideshow-format PDF uses imperial but is packed with good examples that apply to any metric system.

Mathematics for the Driver-Operator.ppt (Chapter 4 from J&B 2011)

Metric Conversion.pdf

Pump Math (Metric)

Pump Charts

How do you go about building your own pump charts? Read this blog post.

Pump Chart from Fort Saskatchewan FD.pdf

Pump Chart from Vegreville FD

YYC Pump Charts

Testing Pumps

An Inside Look at Pump Testing

NM Annual Fire Apparatus Pump Service Test.doc (New Mexico State Fire Marshall)

Pump Performance Testing.ppt (slideshow)
From Chapter 12 of Fire Service Pump Operator, Principles & Practice (J&B)

Pump Test Spreadsheet.pdf
Instructions for using the pump test spreadsheet.

Pump Test Spreadsheet.xls

Technical Resources

Basic Pump Parameters and Affinity Laws.pdf

Centrifugal pumps wiki

Centrifugal Pump Affinity Laws.pdf

FESA Pump Principles.pdf (Western Australia Fire & Emergency Services Authority)

Fireground Hydraulics.pdf (Palm Beach County Fire Rescue)
Covers some of the basics of water hydraulics applicable to pumping. This material is duplicated in other PDFs on this page but included because it is succinct. Uses imperial units.

Pump Fundamentals

San Francisco FD Pump Operations.pdf

US Army Hydraulics Manual.pdf
This field manual serves as a guide for personnel who operate and maintain military equipment using hydraulic-powered control systems. It includes general information covering basic hydraulics and describes the properties and characteristics of fluids and several types of pumps, motors, valves, and controls. This manual also deals with piping, tubing, and hoses used to convey fluid under pressure. It describes the functions and types of reservoirs, strainers, filters, and accumulators. It discusses the purposes and types of seals and packings used in fluid power systems.

Further Reading

Basic Hydraulic Principles.pdf

Improving Pumping System Performance.pdf
This sourcebook is designed to provide pumping system users with a reference that outlines opportunities for improving system performance. It is not meant to be a comprehensive technical text on pumping systems; rather, it provides practical guidelines and information to make users aware of potential performance improvements. Guidance on how to find more information and assistance is also included.

Pump Operation Maintenance and Monitoring Basics.pdf

Pump System Analysis and Sizing.pdf

Pumps ASPE.pdf
Continuing Education from the American Society of Plumbing Engineers

Reading Centrifugal Pump Curves.pdf (video)

Reducing Flow vs. Reducing Pressure – Which is it?

Series and Parallel Operation of Centrifugal Pumps

Understand the Basics of Centrifugal Pump Operation.pdf
By starting from such fundamentals as head and pressure, the authors have developed practical tips for specification and operation that provide for cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Water Supply
The #1 Hydrant Information Resource

How to Conduct a Fire Hydrant Flow Test.pdf

Got Big Water?
Articles on drafting and tendering. Ignore the bad formatting, there is some good material on this site.