1 tip to end fire hose spaghetti

As the first line goes, so goes the fire — here's how to help that first line go where it needs to be

One of the biggest hurdles firefighters face on the fireground is hose advancement. There is a well known saying in the fire service with respect to advancing a hose line: "As the first lines goes, so goes the fire."

I am not sure who said this but is has merit. We see time and time again improper hose advancing techniques being performed.

Obviously, the importance of advancing a hose line receives top priority as it is the essential tool used to suppress and extinguish fire. Without a hose line delivering water, the fire will continue to grow, develop and complete its job of wreaking havoc for both the homeowner and the firefighter.

In the corresponding video, we can see evidence of how an improperly advanced hose line can cause a few minor problems, or dominos being lined up, eventually leading to a much bigger problem.

One of the biggest mistakes often made in hose advancement is grabbing the nozzle and walking away with it. As a hose load is pulled off of an engine or quint, it usually piles on the ground awaiting further deployment — this depends upon the style of hose load used with the most common type being the flat load.

The firefighter on the nozzle either pulls the nozzle off and starts to walk away or they will pull the load off, throw it on the ground and then grab the nozzle and walk away.

This technique requires another firefighter to flake out the rest of the spaghetti pile of hose left at the fire truck. What we end up with is a long single line of hose leading to the door or fire area of the structure with the rest of the hose being flaked out away from where we need it.

A better hose grab
This now requires the firefighters to work harder to advance the line into the structure. They are now advancing one long charged line a greater distance with more resistance working against them.

A way to alleviate this is to grab both the nozzle and one of the couplings of the hose load and advance toward the door or fire area. By grabbing a coupling and the nozzle, you are advancing either 50 or 100 feet of hose at once.

This ensures the firefighter on the nozzle has a good section of hose flaked out right at the entrance. And it reduces the amount of work the other firefighters may have to do to flake out the rest.

When it comes time to advance the hose line into the structure, it will be easier as you will already have about 50 to 100 feet of hose already at the door cutting down the dragging distance for the hose from the outside.

This removal of one or two small dominos or problems will alleviate a world of trouble for you, allowing the fire operation to go well based upon the advancement of the hose line.

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