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I am currently looking to see how everyone has there preconnects setup. As of right now we have our cross lay preconnects setup with a loop at the bottom them the load is flat loaded and another loop at the last 50ft. I personally hate this load as no one ever pulls it properly and when you just pull the bottom loops you end up with a pile right at your feet but if you pull the last 50 feet it takes forever to clear the hose bed and sometimes it does not clear completely. The other night I setup out cross lay in the minute man load and showed several of our members how it deploys. The Captain came up to me and said he does not like the load because he feels that if you are not on the first truck all the time that you will not pull it properly and it will be a mess. My response was that there is no excuse not to know how to pull the line and if you are not comfortable pulling it then ask the officer to have someone else pull it. Upon returning to the Station the chief approached me and said he feels that the minute man is to complicated and that no one will ever figure out how to pull it and if pulled wrong it will be a mess. I explained once again that everyone will need to train and he said just do it as before. So I am looking for the pro's and con's of this load and any other suggestions for a hose pack. I think the simple flat load is a thing of the past for crosslays and I want to go to the chief once again with come facts so maybe I can convince him to let us change our load. Our crosslays are 2 200ft 1 3/4 and 1 200 ft 2 1/2.

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Too me, minute man is the way to go...I don't see how your members can say it is too complicated to pull. I find it extremely easy, hence why it is set up for 1 man to pull and even easier if you have a second guy assisting. All of our lines are packed this way and they work excellent. The first row is packed straight back and the second row is a big loop used to pull the load. We then pack 100 feet for the drag load (even with the start of the bed) and leave the coupling at the end of the hose bed, put the nozzle bail down, and then pack either another 100 feet or 150 feet (depending on which line) on top of that with the hose flush to to the tip of the nozzle, then connect the ends. 1 firefighter can easily take the the nozzle and the hose on top, called the shoulder load, pull it off the bed, then easily pull the 100 foot "drag load" behind him and simply carry that in one hand keeping it taunt until that runs out....then start flaking off the shoulder and you have a perfect pull everytime. We don't use crosslays and I guess there good be confusion because you would have to pull the minute man from a certain side in order to stretch the line the way around that would be set up one cross lay so it can be pulled off the driver side and another off the officer side.
Dave that was how I was planning on setting them up and I am under the same belief as you that it is the simplest load to pull that I have seen. I have personally seen it pulled incorrectly and nothing more happened then it just ended up as a big pile lying next to the truck. I just need to come up with a way to convince everyone to change to this load or find another way to load the line. We are a small all volunteer department with about 30 members.
I was previously at a department that utilized the "MinuteMan" load, for the 1.75" preconnects we carried and was very comfortable with it. Our preconnects were 150'. When we first transitioned to this load it did take a bit of getting used to, but training solves most problems.
The department I am with now uses a "Z" load for the 1.75" preconnects. This was very hard to get used to, but now that I am used to it, it works well in most applications. We also have 200' preconnects.
I think that the biggest determinant for the type of load you carry is what is in your first due area? If it is all residential with houses only 20' - 50' off the street then maybe 200' preconnects could be re-evaluated, and your officers would see the Minutemans benefits more easily. If your area needs the 200', then ask your Capt. if you, yourself could put together a Company level training day to really give that load a thorough evaluation. Good luck & stay safe.

Thanks for your reply. I agree that maybe we should have a test day and see what everyone thinks. Honestly after showing a few of the guys the load at the drill they all seemed to like it. I asked everyone what they thought and they pretty much all said the same thing that we just need to pick something and train on it. Our Homes are mosly residental with a mix of some 20 to 50' off the roadway on one side of town and the other side of town consists of homes that sit down long driveways and are heavily wooded. We run a quint first due and sometimes due to driveway conditions we are forced to make a longer stretch this is why we have our preconnects setup at 200ft lengths.
We ran a "test day" and set a few goals. The first was the line had to be 200 ft. long. The second was it had to be easily deployed by a single firefighter. Third, it had to clear the bed in the shortest distance possible. The last was that the load had to deploy such that the nozzleman ended up with all the excess hose at his/her end. Basically the minuteman was the load of choice but none of our beds allowed for this load to be packed well.

We ended up with a hybrid load that works great. The problem is loading it. It starts with a flat load for two folds, goes to a triple layer load and ends with a 50 ft. horseshoe. It met all our requirements, except ease of loading which has been an issue. A few folds out of place and things go awry.

Our newest engine was designed with two 200' donut load preconnects in the front bumper and one in the rear. This is by far the nest load we've had. We've tried flat loads, triple layers, modified minutemans (two stacks wide) and the donut load is hands down the crowd pleaser.

I can elaborate more if needed, but most of the time FD's are trying to reorganize existing hosebeds, not build new. Below is a picture of the donut load. 200 feet of 1.75" (ignore the nozzle, it was put on for illustrative purposes before the unit went into service)
Triple lay. Go out 66 feet and it's all stretched, you don't have that much extra weight if the footing is bad and there won't be a spaggettie mess at the Engine or the nozzle if you are close to the fire.
The department that I work for predominately uses the modified minuteman. Our pre-connects are 200 feet long, 1 3/4 cross lays. We start by placing approximately 8 feet down as the first layer and then at the 16 foot (second layer) we make a dog ear (loop). After this we finish that side up at the 100' mark. Then the nozzle is loaded, same side as dog ear but right next to the in place 100'. The nozzle section gets 100 feet and the couplings are put together on top. In practice, the firefighter reaches up, pulls the nozzle section on his shoulder, pulls it out, turns around, pulls the other 100 feet by the dog ear. There is a mess by the pump panel but the guy simply has to walk the hose out, letting the flakes roll off the shoulder. We have recently started using a Triple Layer load for an engine that has a bumper line. It is 200 feet and it plays out of the box quite nicely. We actually spent allot of time trying different loads for it but the Triple seems to work the best in that situation. My biggest annoyance is the "Quint Load." If any of you know what I'm talking about, I'm sure you will agree.

Adam...that is an interesting picture from Squad 3. Do you have any more pics of its deployment?
Tim Linke said:
Adam...that is an interesting picture from Squad 3. Do you have any more pics of its deployment?
Yes, let me see if I can drag a few good ones into here.

This shows the donut preconnect as it "rides" pre-deployment (minus the webbing cover)

This is the line full stretched off the bumper just before the FF drops the first loop.
I have more I'll have to resize, as these were done after the first loading to show the other shifts how to practice the load. Now we have more updated pics and video.
That's awesome Adam! Thanks for the pics!
We use a flat load. All preconnects are 200 feet crosslays/Mattydales and we run both 1&3/4 and 2&1/2. We pack them as follows.
Our beds are three folds wide
First 50 flat loaded across full width then 18 inch arm loop on each side of the appratus.
Next 100 feet is flat loaded but held to two folds wide creating a space on either side.
Last 50 is flat in a single high stack but with each fold having an "ear" that sticks out of the bed about 6 inches.

When we pull/adavance, one member grabs the last 50 in the stack and shoulder loads it and steps off until he feels the bundle drop. The he reaches back and grabs the loop and walks off holding the loop and keeping the bundle on his shoulder. When the loop is taught he drops it and continues to walk to his entry point where he then flakes out the bundle of 50 and calls for water. Does it work every time? No. Why not? Training. Many members believe you can pull this once a year and be proficient. I believe you need to do it at least once every 30 days minimum.

We tried the minuteman-no our cup of tea.
We used to use the triple layer but it required guys to pay attention when packing and they did not. I feel the triple layer is easy to pack but the simple instructions must be followed. Another issue for use was that with a 200 ft preconnect you need 70 feet between the apparatus and location you will drop the fold and charge the line. In many cases, this distance for use was less than 50 feet or parked cars made a straight pull off the side difficult (this was a different department than my current one).

Any hose load needs to be packed, pulled, repeated with frequency. Having this as a standrd drill should be SOP.
We load our crosslays the same way as Drew, flat loaded. I also have to agree with Drew on the training issue. Some members feel that they pulled the load successfully once, so that makes them a pro, not true. train and train some more. Proper stretching, whatever hose load you prefer, is the first step in stopping the fire where it's at when you arrived.

Stay Safe Brothers!


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