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Policy on leaving a charged hoseline in a structure to rotate crews

Recently, on a drill, I questioned why the initial attack crews (low air alarms were sounding) were ordered to bring the hoseline back out of the structure when they exited. Fire under control was already called, and the hose was not taken through any fire areas, only up to the fire area. My argument was to have the relief crew follow the hose into the structure, to the nozzle, then have the initial crew follow the hose back out. Just wondering how other departments handled similar situations.

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In real scenarios, our crews leave the line in place and the relieving crew follow the line. After the relieving crew has control of the line, the original crew follows the line out.  We do this for accountability, crew integrity, situational awareness, and for the continuity of operations.
Thanks for the replies Trevor and Shareef....pretty much the way I saw it...just trying to get my ducks in row before I confront the Bat. Chief again. By the way, his reply when I questioned that move was "we don't want to start doing that", with no elaboration.

Trevor Ashe said:

Well, first off, the crews inside should have been monitoring their air prior to the low air alarm sounding.  What if they were more than five minutes into the building? 


My department practices calling for a relief crew and having them meet up with the initial crew at this point.  If the fire is under control we have the relief crews meet up at the nozzle.  This way, the officer of the initial crew can give a better update as to their progress and what needs to happen from there. 


It does not make sense, unless an all out is called, to bring the hoseline out of the building when switching crews.  It's the same reason we teach search crews to leave a tool at the furthest point they make it into a structure.  That way, they can tell the relief search team to "continue the search from my halligan".


Just out of curiousity, what was the reason you were given when you questioned that call?

Under our practice in Hong Kong, the hoselines should remain in the frontline when crews withdraw for relief.  So, the relief crews can follow the hoselines to the fire scene for on-going firefighting operation.     


We generally do the same thing that you want and everyone else has mentioned. Leave your line and switch out, whether it is outside or at the nozzle makes no difference to me. All comments have made sense when it comes to knowing where the attack left off and so on. At the same time why are you going to duplicate the efforts of the initial crew? When the initial crew is done there is no need for your replacement crew to get their butts kicked by stretching a line in the exact same place. Its kinda like throwing a ladder, climbing it, and taking it back down knowing someone is waiting to right back up it. Just my opinion on the issue. Good luck Paul


It depends on the situation. At your drill, the fire was declared under control, in that case I would leave the nozzle where it was. If there was still fire burning uncontrolled, I would bring the nozzle out with me. Retreating soldiers don't drop their rifles when the order is given, why would you do different. Keeping the nozzle with the hose team provides protection against unseen fire that may break out. And really, does it hurt to have the relief team stretch the line again, the more you stretch a line the better you get.

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