When deploying hose lines it is important that the line is kink free as you move into the fire area. I am still hearing that the “low pressure nozzles make the line kink more and that it is difficult to ensure that the lines stay kink free as crews move in.” We are now running 4 people on almost all engines. This is more than enough people to run a line. We have been using low pressure nozzles for almost 12 years. Line management is a key skill that all crews (engine, truck, rescue squad and EMS units) must take ownership of. Many companies across the county use low pressure fog and smooth bore nozzles, and still manage to put fires out.
There are many benefits to running low pressure nozzles.
No moving parts inside the nozzle
Easy to maintain
Lower pump pressures
Reduced nozzle reaction
Just to name a few. In the past we used variable fog nozzles that needed to be pumped at 100psi. After many tests we found that many springs in these nozzles were stuck in place. We found that many nozzles were only delivering 80gpm. The nozzle pattern looked great, but the reduced gpm put us in a dangerous position. Once we switched to low pressure nozzles crews noticed more nozzle reaction and felt that the new nozzles were more difficult to use, but once crews were shown that they were now getting the correct gpm there was an understanding.
We still seem to struggle with the bread and butter skills on the fire ground, but by training in these skills, crews will become proficient. Remember our skills are perishable, training and drills keeps them fresh.