Drill of the Week: Hose Handling I

Teamwork is essential to hoseline advancement. It's needed not only between ventilation crews and the hose team, and the search and rescue crew and the hose team, but it is also critical among hose team members. We all want to be on the nozzle; however, the role of the nozzleman's backup is just as important for rapid extinguishment of the fire. The objective of this week's drill, from Howard A. Chatterton's Volunteer Training Drills-A Year of Weekly Drills,is to improve hose-handling skills and practice working as a team.

To conduct the drill, a pumper, a water source, and attack lines are required. A video camera would also be useful as a tool to evaluate performances. Reference NFPA 1962, Care, Use, and Service Testing of Fire Hose, Including Couplings and Nozzles for this drill.

Members will advance a hoseline against a target, turn a corner, and advance to a second target. Dumpsters would work well in this scenario, but don't flood the dumpsters and create a polluted runoff. Do not damage private property, and do not conduct the drill if freezing temperatures are expected. Locate a tank trailer, an LPG tank, or an oil tank you can use to practice controlling an LPG tank fire.

As the team advances the hoseline to the first target, members should keep the stream on a specific spot. When they make the turn to advance to the second target, the stream should again hit a specific spot on the target. Have the team follow the same path and objectives as it backs out.

For the LPG tank component of the drill, the objective is to hit the tank with straight streams from a distance and then approach the tank with two overlapping fog streams to reach a shutoff valve. The hose team should then back out, changing from a fog stream back to a straight stream.

Consider these points to evaluate the team's performances:

  • Can members control the stream to keep it on target?
  • Does the team keep the line straight behind the nozzleman?
  • Does the nozzleman maintain enough hose length to control the nozzle, or does it get pulled back?
  • Does the team maintain control when backing out the line?
  • Does the water flow down both sides of the tank trailer, or is it just bouncing off the attack side?

Add any other points you wish to evaluate.

Remember to explain that this is a skills-building drill and the points that will be evaluated.

As with any other drill, discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what to differently the next time.

If you have a similar drill idea and wish to share it, please e-mail to chrism@pennwell.com.

To review training officer and safety officer considerations, visit http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=HOME&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID=202453 to review training officer and safety officer considerations.

For more information on this drill, including a list of references and figures, visit http://store.yahoo.com/pennwell/voltraindril.html to purchase Volunteer Training Drills--A Year of Weekly Drills.

Next week's drill: Medevac Helicopter Operations


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