Attention to detail is possibly one of the most under utilized tools in the fire service. This holds especially true when the masses begin to talk about Dragging hose, Forcing doors or Throwing ladders. The root words are pure work, not finesse. The unfortunate part is that in most cases technique, not power is the difference. In our rush to “Get’er dun” we run right past simple opportunities to make things more efficient, safer, and easier.
The idea of maintaining your forward moving (Attack) line over all other (Supply) line is a prime example. Just as with water moving through the line, the line moving through a building has friction loss. Floors, corners and doors can conspire against your advance, working and fatiguing you, potentially bringing it to a halt. The more hose we can get off the ground, walls and corners the easier it will move as these are those friction points.
We tend to be more cognizant of this when we are working inside; positioning ourselves to keep hose to the outside of a corner and off of the wall. Before we move inside, up stairs or off a landing this same focus provides the chance to take a few seconds to save us potentially minutes of work.
Loading hose with the forward moving attack line over the supply will create a hose roller effect, drastically reducing the friction of the advance.
For the bigger line like a 2 1/2″ a simple pretzel style set up essentially pre-loads 75′ of hose in about a 25′ space and as you can see in this picture on the initial advance about 40′ of that first length will be riding on top of other hose or out of contact with the ground.
The 1 3/4″ hose allows for even greater manipulation and as you can see in the picture above 100 feet of hose is preloaded and less than 2″ of elevation at a single point has about 7′ of hose out of contact with the ground and moving forward on that supply “slider”.
Some of you may have been taught to use loops of hose to achieve the same result and in many cases they are helpful however when using lower pressure lines associated with 50psi nozzles vertical loops have the potential to collapse and become kinks if they are not being tended.
The same loops can serve the same benefit flat on the ground without as great of the kink risk as long as you ensure the attack is running over the supply and as the line is moved forward it slides over the top of other loops and pops it self out of the kink as the diameter collapses.
This firefighter is loading down the advancing line while he is loading the hallway putting all his advancing hose in contact with the carpet and adding the weight of all his stocked hose on top of it. A simple message on a small detail that could be a big help on your next stretch. Keep your attack over your supply!