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My department is currenly investigating hose loading practices. Mainly 1 3/4" lines. We currently have our main attack lines off the rear, preconnected, both 200'. Our bigest area of discussion is the end of the line at the nozzle. We used the doughnut roll for years and then went to the minuteman load a few years back. What do you think works the best and why?

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Art - we just went through pre-connect changes about a year ago. We use cross lay pre-connects. We went with the minute man load in (2)200' and (1)100' lengths that pulls from the right side..away from the engineer. We also added a 9' pup hose to each load so we could quickly disconnect the bundle if we need to connect to a panel mounted foam eductor or to extend off of our 2 1/2" pre-connect. We went with (2) 200' pre-connects so the back up team has the same lentgh as the attack crew. We use to have 100-150-200 configurations. There is nothing worse than coming up short when you are backing up your brothers. We like the minute man load because it loads on the firefighters shoulder and plays off of the top allowing us to go around obstructions. At the door we drop the bundle, grab the couplers and stretch them back and we are ready to charge. We like it so far.
I am not sure what comprises your first due area(s), however, let me toss out a few suggestions. First, if your Engines have side-lay or cross-lay configurations at the side step, keep the preconnects there. The business end of the Engine (rear hosebed[s]) should be reserved for static or bulk hoseloads only. This set up works considerably well for multiple dwelling and long stretches (that's anything longer than your 200' preconnect!!!) as well as your supply hose. Second, consider flat loading your hose (reverse lay) and or using a simple type of "finish" that allows for one length at a time to be removed. Consider a finish that does not require straps, grab ropes, etc. This makes it easier to estimate beyond the preconnect; easier for later arriving Engine Companies to grab the correct amount of hose to help finish a stretch; and for the pump operator to assist in the stretch if your staffing is a problem. The pump operator should not be responsible to flake out timely "bundles" or fancy finishes with straps, etc. He should only have to stretch what will eventually be left between the Engine and the building entrance with minimal effort (remember those first two minutes of terror for the pump operator on arrival?!). Thirdly...beware of relying too much on the first due Engine's hose(beds) for the entire operation. The rule of thumb should be no more than two handlines off any Engine. Set up your beds so you can stretch to the building entrance from another direction and another source (second due Engine should always back down into the block just for this reason!) without tying up the block with Engines. In addition, overrelying on gated wyes on lead-lines or "skid" loads to attach the second line or back-up line to often leads to two lines losing water when something goes wrong. Consider starting another handline off the first or second due Engine using the above configuration. That way you are actually backing up the first line instead of piggybacking it; and you will be able to add another length into the back-up stretch without making up a bundle in the street to make the floor above as well.
As was already mentioned, the biggest factor in deciding upon a hose load is your first due response area. We work in a predominantly residential, bedroom community with a small business district, nothing more than three stories, but a lot of garden apartments.
Most of our jobs can be handled with a 200' pre-connect. We use crosslays of 1 3/4" flat loaded with loops in the top length. This allows the nozzle man to carry the first length with him easily to the point of entry to the fire area. The back up man is responsible for stretching the remaining hose to the point of entry and if no one else is available to do so, the pump operator will pull off and flake out any hose remaining in the crosslay. We also have a 10' pony length from the discharge to the bottom length to make for easier addition of an extra length(s) by the pump operator without having to climb on the apparatus or travel 50' from the engine.
Our 2 1/2" pre-connect (200') stretches from the rear of the engine and is flat loaded. Underneath the pre-connect is an additional 200' of static 2 1/2" in case more lengths are needed.
The "Murphy's Law" of garden apartment fires, of course, is that the fire apartment will be at the top of a long courtyard and out of the reach of the pre-connect. For this situation we pack an "apartment line" on the rear hose bed of our engines. This consists of 500' of 3" to a water thief. We then carry high rise packs of 100' and 150' of 1 3/4" and 100' of 2 1/2" to be connected at the water thief. This allows for the most rapid deployment of an attack and back up 1 3/4" line with the potential to use the 2 1/2" for extremely heavy fire loads. A few words of caution with this hose load are that you want to avoid using the 1 3/4" and the 2 1/2" off the same water thief as it makes nozzle pressure inprecise at best. Also, while this is usually more than enough to tackle most apartment fires, you don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket or all of your nozzles off one line. Malfunctions happen and it is good practice to stretch at least one additional apartment line with the accompanying attack lines (from a different pumper) just in case the first line experiences trouble. Aside from apartments, this line could obviously be used anywhere the fire is an extended distance from the engine and also makes for a useful reverse lay.
Hope this helps.

Stay Safe,

Thanks to housewatch, Bob and Jay for your responses...all good info. Sorry i forgot to describ our response area. We are a mixed bag of fruit on this one. We have thru out the city, 1 story ranches, 2 1/2 story frame, 3 story triple deckers, 3 to 5 story ordinary multiples, garden apartments, up to 10 story hi-rises, taxpayers, lots of class 2 comercials, and class 4 mill buildings. In otherwords, variety. As for current hose loads, we have on all pumpers except for the Squad, 2 200' pre-connects off the rear, flat loaded, with the last 35 feet finished in the minute man load, we do have 2 crossloads, one 100' flat loaded with loops (trash line), and the other 200' flat loaded with loops. These work on most all of our small residential jobs. We do have that ten foot initial connection on all of these lines to provide a spot to extend if needed. Nozzles on all of these except for the trash line have smooth bores with 15/16" tips. We also have a 5o' pre-connect on the front bumper. As for commercial jobs, we have 250' of 2 1/2" pre-connected off the rear, with an additional 300' in static load, all flat. We also carry a 100' foot hi-rise pack 1 3/4" , and a 150' stand-pipe pack with 2 1/2". Our main problem is tradition.....unimpedded by years of progress. Change comes very slow if at all. I thank you all for your input, as this is how we all learn
Hi Art
It is very difficult to change hosebed design. Most of us no matter where we work come in our first day and see the hosebed never asking why is it like that. If you do ask you are given some vague answer or told to never mind. One of the factors which was not addressed so far is hydrant spacing and engine placement on the fireground. The use of side mounted preconnects allows (requires) the engine to be placed close to the fire building. This trend usually calls for a foward lay of supply hose. When we deal with MD's engine companies located in front of the fire building block out ladder company access. Using a static bed from the rear of the engine gives you a virtually endless stretch and allows for the engine to continues foward to the nearest hydrant to hook up. This style of operation places all engines on hydrants.
The maximum amout of 1 3/4 hose that should be used for a long stretch should be? Anyone?
With a 50 psi tip like a 15/16" smooth bore we could go 350' flowing 185 gpm. However the pump pressure is going to be near 240 psi. Something to consider is that at 250 psi the pump's capacity is reduced by 50%. My feeling is any 1 3/4" line exceeding 200' should be connected to 2 1/2" hose. What do you think Ray?
Dave is right...6 lengths or 300' of 1 3/4" hose. Any more than that, particularly if you are using combination nozzles, and your pump discharge pressure could exceed 250 p.s.i....otherwise known as the pressure we test hose at!

Our hydrants for the most part are no more than 500 feet away in the residential areas. We have been working off the rear for longer than anyone can remember. Our SOP is to have the first due engine go right in and go past the fire building. This allows for the first due truck to have the front of the building. (usually the cops park there). The second due engine will either feed the first due engine if it doesn't have its own feeder, or grab another source. Our biggest problem is manpower. We normally only have 3 on each engine (even the Squad) and sometimes only 2 on the truck. Unfortunately this is a common practice here in most of the Jersey towns. The pre-connects are easier to put into service with this manpower, but we far too often come up short on a stretch.

See you out in Indy, I got the first round.

Bob I am very comfortable with six lengths of 1 3/4 hose filled out by a larger line say 2 1/2. I have seen stretches occur where seven lengths were in the stretch oops. You would not have a problem extending those lines to 300'.
I really do not kow what works best for everyone, but I can tell you what works best for my department. We use 1 3/4" 200' of preconnect mid mount. We triple load this for easy deployment (bit more difficult to load). On the rear we have 200' of 2 1/2" used for a blitz line and that is triple loaded as well. Also on the rear we have 300' of 3" for supply that is forward lay and 1,000' of 5 inch for supply loaded fire town. The only real problem we have with the attack line triple loaded is that the older trucks do not seem to have enough room for that style of load. Otherwise everythig seems to be okay with this. This is not something I have done just what our department does.
Mr McCormack - Someone told me that pre-connects should not be over 200 feet is this true? They said this was due to NFPA.... Thanks sir
At my job we have 2 crosslays, both 200 foot 1 3/4 double stacks, we call them minute man loads, but i think its a little different then whats in "THE IFSTA BOOK". the skid load is put on the rig first, 100 foot flat load w/ an ear, then the "Shoulder load" which is nozzle on the bottom w/ 100 feet of hose on top, then connect the couplings on top. Now the lineman puts the nozzle and 100foot on his shoulder and turns around, pulls the ear of the "skid" load and runs off, after the 100 of the "skid" is flaked out, he starts letting the hose off his shoulder, approx every 2 steps he lets the top piece flap off. Then he ends up with the nozzle at the door, as long as you train on it a few times, it works like a champ!! Now off the back of the wagon going L to R, we have a 300' 2inch which has 2 100' shoulder loads,and a 100 "skid" w/ an ear. 1 shoulder loadhas the nozzle and the other is just so the officer can help deploy it, very hard to explain how to rack this, but again drill a little bit and works fantastic! Going on we have 1400 of 4 inch, 600feet of 3 inch w/ a gated wye for the long stretches and then 250foot of 2 1/2 packed single stack minute man, oh yea with a 1 1/4 tip on it!

This time last year i finally got my volly house to switch to minute man loads. Crosslays are 200 single stack minutemen. and then off the back we have another 200 1 3/4 and 250 2 1/2 minutemen (1 1/4tip), also 500 of 3inch w/ a thief and 1200 4inch for the hydrant.
IF you need help with packing or would like pics let me know


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