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Nozzle and coupling: A perfect fit for efficient hoseline advancement

Why the first coupling at the 50-foot mark is so essential to hoseline deployments

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The nozzle and the coupling of a hoseline are meant to be a pair working together. This is obvious when trying to thread on the nozzle to the coupling, but I’m referring to the first coupling at the 50-foot mark. These two are meant to work together as a pair.

In our corresponding video, we have a garage fire extending into the residence. The responding fire department does an excellent job of getting the hoseline off the engine to the garage and water quickly sent to the nozzle.

What we also witness is the common phenomenon of the nozzle and the first 50-foot coupling being separated from each other. When the hoseline is pulled off and brought to the garage, the remaining hose is dumped on the ground and then flaked out with the hoseline being pulled back away from the building. Once the hoseline was charged with water, it became a long piece of hose spaghetti.

[Read next: Hoseline deployment: Avoid the ‘spaghetti’ pile]

So, what’s the big deal with doing this? Many firefighters will flake out a hose this way and still get water to the nozzle and on the fire (as in this case), but the effectiveness and efficiency of the firefighter is diminished when they need to advance the hoseline.

As this fire has extended into the residence, there will be a need to advance the hoseline inside and continue with fire suppression. When this occurs, the firefighter will have to work even harder to just pull the hoseline in with them, besides applying water at the same time. Most likely the call for “more hose” will come from the firefighter, requiring another team member to run up to the point of entry and start to pull more hose up toward the building.

When we place the nozzle on the ground to flake out the hoseline, the first 50-foot coupling needs to be laying right next to it. This ensures that the firefighter will have enough hose to advance when it comes time and will decrease the amount of work needed to advance the hoseline. There is less friction working against the hoseline being dragged to advance when there is a loop of hose at the entry point than when there is a long piece of “hose spaghetti” on the ground being dragged in.

With our limited staffing levels responding to structure fires nowadays, there are fewer firefighter hands available to do the work. As such, the firefighter needs to practice being effective and efficient with their hoseline advancement.

Training time

After watching this video and reading this analysis with your company, engage in the following training:

  • Practice pulling off the handline and flaking it out with the nozzle and the 50-foot coupling beside each other when finished.
  • Repeat the same thing but at a real building. Get permission from the owner and practice advancing to the front door or other doors.

Mark van der Feyst has been in the fire service since 1998, currently serving as a firefighter with the Fort Gratiot Fire Department in Michigan. He is an international instructor teaching in Canada, the United States and India. He graduated from Seneca College of Applied and Technologies as a fire protection engineering technologist, and received his bachelor’s degree in fire and life safety studies from the Justice Institute of British Columbia and his master’s degree in safety, security and emergency management from Eastern Kentucky University. van der Feyst is the lead author of the book “Residential Fire Rescue” and “The Tactical Firefighter.” Connect with van der Feyst via email.