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From Gary Graf of Engine House Training, LLC


We have all done a “Follow the Coupling Drill” where we are placed in the center of a pile of hose spaghettied around the engine room and told to find our way out.  Here is a quick, inexpensive way to do this drill at every training exercise or anywhere around the engine house.

Find a piece of hose that has been removed from service, it works best if the couplings are not damaged.  Cut both couplings off the section of hose, leaving about 12” of hose.  Connect the couplings to each other and you’re finished.


During a training exercise walk-up to any firefighter, ask them to close their eyes, thenplace the coupling in their gloved hand and ask “which way is out”?

This can be taken anywhere, completed in seconds, and requires no set-up or tear-down time.

Take it and Train with it!

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It's easy for me to "cheat" on the cut up section of hose.  When the line is charged with water, it is more difficult to tell where the hose stops and the smooth collar of the female coupling starts with a gloved hand.  WIth the hose set up like the picture above, its easy to grab the hose and find the smooth part.  But I might be doing it wrong, I feel for the collar and spin my hand around it, "if there isnt a bump, it's that way you hump".  I was never good at telling which lug was longer with 100% certainty, especially if they were lined up (maybe I should train more huh?).  I wonder if that expanded foam stuff would make the hose rigid enough?  But the way you have it is still a very good drill, as long as you can get someone to stand still when you say "close your eyes and put your hands out, I'm going to hand you something."  Around my neck of the woods, there is a really good chance you will be holding a very angry 'copper-headed-rattle-moccasin' or a dead squirell.

This is what I was taught;


Lugs to brass its your a**, lugs to hose is the way to goes.


This is a great drill and one that everyone should do.  I did it for the FAST training and it was a good experience.

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