I'd like to see the video, I think thats the same way we pack our "bumper" at work as well. As for actual lays, the MINUTEMAN, is superior! Easy to pull easy to rack, can easily be pulled by 1 guy, can be flaked easily and so on. The fastest I ever flaked out a Minuteman and had water flowing was 28 seconds, it was a 200' crosslay. We also rack a 300' minuteman, that requires a "2man" pull. It has 2 shoulder loads(100' each), and the "skid" or "drag" load(100')
This is a topic we explore at the FDIC HOT class Building an Attack Ready Engine - Hose loads must serve the response area, the way it is now not how it was twenty years ago. Staffing is a consideration aslo. The important thing is to honestly evaluate what you currently use.The problem is many firefighters/chiefs have never see or experienced the variety of hose loads that are available.
I think apparatus design has to be considered as well as the buildings in your community. The most important thing is that you train, train, train on whatever hose load you choose and make sure your focus is on loading it as well as deploying it! How many times have you come in to start truck checks and looked at the preconnects only to say "What the F@%k" is this? The sign of a good firefighter is that he or she will reload it instead of thinking "Oh, we probably won't use that preconnect today". True story: One of my firefighters reloaded a preconnect that looked terrible one morning and come to find out it wasn't even connected to the truck!
FF I teaches the flat load. Basically you load the hose in an alternating flat fashion and leave two loops in the load. While loading the fist 1/3 of the load a loop sticks out 6 to 8 inches. When you reach the 2/3 point of the load you place another loop 12 to 14 inches and complete the load. What we teach is a 4 member engine technique; this is the minimum staffing recommendation by NFPA. This gives you a Nozzle man, backup man, control man, and a Chauffer.
Assuming you have a 150ft pre-connect you would place the first loop at the 50 ft mark then the 100 ft mark. This allows the nozzle man to take the nozzle plus 50 ft of working length. The backup then takes the second loop which should be the amount of hose needed to reach the fire floor and then the control clears the rest of the bead and this should be the amount of hose necessary to reach the building. Most of our pre-connects are geared to a 2 ½ story building; which is where we get most of our work. The rear of our rigs are set up a flat loads that are not preset; this way if we get a commercial fire or a residential with a large set back we can just pull what we need and then break it.
This is a basic hose load that has been used for years and works very well; I now some on the comments stated you have to base it on your staffing; some departments in our area have tried the stacked (aka Metro Dade) method. While I agree this clears the truck very quickly you still arrive at the point of fire attack with only the nozzle. If we need to do this because of staffing; then we need to step up and solve the staffing problem; like instead of rolling three rigs with nine members; we should consolidate in to two rigs and have the PROPER amount of manpower on the scene. Having all the equipment there is useless unless someone is there to use it!!
Let’s not endanger our members by staffing cuts; readjusting our tactics is just going to get us killed. If the municipality cuts members then you should request that your units be consolidated to keep crews safe. When the media hears that you are closing fire houses and the ISO rating is going up, which will cost more in taxes because if less rigs on the road; I’m sure the powers to be will think twice about cutting staff and making us do more with less!!
Apparatus design, your response area, and staffing will probably dictate which loads you should use.
The current pumper/engine I'm assigned to has the transverse beds under the pump panel. We're limited by the size of the bed and it's design. We actually repacked it yesterday, and decided on a flat load, with the first coupling right behind the nozzle. This allows for the initial stretch to be made with 75 - 100' of the 200 available almost straight behind the fire sector if they're going in the front door. Grab the nozzle, grap the coupling and go!
The 'under the panel' transverse beds can also get caught in the pump levers. We've had pump operators attempt to open lines only to discover the top transverse had shifted and caught in the lever, delaying the charging of the line.
Just remember, whichever lay you choose, train on it's deployment then train again!
I agree with most here with that your rig design, and response area is going play the biggest role in telling you want would work best for your dept. The main thing is to try them out. It doesn’t hurt too. You might fine out what your doing now is the best for your dept. I know I thought we need a different load but after some tests of other loads we found out we like what we had. We just had to make a few changes, and break some bad habits. Just try them out in training or the house first. Set up different scenarios that you would mostly run into in your district. Then once you come to a decision, train, and train and train your guys. I think most loads work good if the person deploying it knows how to do it correctly, and loads it correctly. That's half the battle.
I would also add that if you have more the one preconnect, you might want to have different loads. Works well for us. On my rig we use 2 - 200’ preconnects. One is the flat lay with loops (dog ears), and the other one is a triple load. They both have there + and -. The triple load pulls very fast and easy with one guy. It pretty much flakes itself out on straighter lays to the door. We found it to be great for homes close to the street. On longer lays to the house you loose some of your lead line. The triple load takes a little bit of straitening if you have to go around a few corners. (To get that in line with the door shot, so you have less friction when advancing the hose.) When deployed correctly, the flat load also pull out easy and flakes out good in straight lays but some time it need a little help. We found that the flat load is great for longer lays or with a lot of turns. We throw 50 feet on the shoulder, grab a loop (dog ear) and take off. Once at the door we drop the 50’ grab the center of that 50’ hose walk straight back from the door flaking the hose. So that it’s in line with the door in an s or u shape. That way we have 50’ at the door and we’re not fighting the hose as much. (Just trying to use that thing, that my lid is protecting).
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