A variety of hose bundles and bundled finishes are used in engine companies across the country to provide versatility in stretches. Straight loads such as the triple layer can be quickly deployed but are often limited in applications for stretches that are beyond a standard "curb to the door". For this piece I will show how to simply build and utilize a 100’ modified minuteman bundle to finish your hose loads.
The 100’ modified minuteman finish provides a hose package that can be shoulder loaded and pre-connected to a flat load of like sized hose or a wyed leader line for alley stretches, extended reach or reverse lays. It can also be broken from a pre-connected load, or stored by itself to be taken forward and connected to an existing wye or dropped down from an upper floor on an exterior vertical stretch.
Some complaints about bundles versus a flat or straight load is that they are too difficult to build and that they don’t always deploy the same way. If too much variance in building them is allowed these statements are true. If hose bundles are built by a firefighter sitting on the ground and snaking hose back and forth with no parameters other than their leg the result will be tall firefighters making long bundles and short firefighters building short bundles. A few years ago we began to use a 6’ roof hook as the base for constructing the modified minuteman bundles and as you will see it improves consistency and has operational benefits.
Using the 6’ hook as a baseline, the bundle will be 6’ long. When shoulder loaded, the hang down on chest and back will be less than 3’; a length easily managed by even our shortest firefighters. The 6 foot mark also allows a perfect split in the bundle at the 50’ mid-point if you are with a department that purchases 50’ hose sections. This split at the coupling allows for that first coupling to advance with the nozzle on the first push over a threshold or around a stair well.
Set the nozzle at the tip of the hook and run the hose on edge back. At the other end make a fold and bring the hose back on itself to the tip again. Do this twice, taking up a total of 24’ of hose.The next fold back from the nozzle will run about a foot long, return it back to the nozzle creating a loop and now consumes 38’ of hose.
Now finish with a standard down and back fold using the final 12’ of hose and finishing the coupling near the nozzle. Shift this coupling slightly behind the nozzle if needed to provide a compact load.
The method is then reversed with the second section of hose so that from the back of the bundle from left to right you observe 2 folds, loop, two folds, loop, two folds. At the front you observe nozzle, 3 folds, coupling section and 3 folds. The finished bundle can be loaded loose, tied or strapped with lightweight tape or Velcro straps.
Drop the bundle with the nozzle to the objective and remove the straps.Grab the two loops and stretch back until the bundle is opened up.
Walk up the line to the nozzle, dressing as necessary and call for water.With a properly built bundle, deployment is simple and clean with 100’ of hose payed out in 25’ of space with the nozzle and first coupling at the door. Slight changes in the flake out can further reduce this distance or adjust to the setting.
I would not be surprised to hear that there are 10 different versions of the minuteman bundle alone and probably hundreds of different hose bundle options. This post is in no way, “the way” but it is a way. I am limited on the number of pictures I can insert in this blog post but I hope that this is a clear enough presentation of one option to lead your engine company to consider getting hooked up with a hose bundle.