Engine Company, Firefighting

Extending the Hoseline: Overcoming a Short Stretch, Part 2

Photo by Tony Greco.

 

By Anthony Rowett Jr. 

For Part 1 of this article, click HERE

Some fire departments that use preconnected hoselines for many of their hoseline operations use short sections of hoseline created specifically for improving the operation that extends the length of the preconnected hoseline at the apparatus end of the hoseline. These short sections of hoseline have the female coupling connected to the apparatus discharge outlet inside the apparatus hosebed and the male coupling connected to the female coupling on the last length preconnected hoseline pulled off the apparatus hosebed. Each of these short sections is specifically measured and fabricated so that, when the hoseline is pulled off the hosebed, the connection of the male and female coupling on that last length is at the exit end of the apparatus hosebed, where it is easily accessed by a firefighter.

To extend the length of a preconnected hoseline that uses a short section of hose from the apparatus end by shutting down the hoseline at the pump panel, firefighters should do the following:

  1. Shut down the hoseline by closing the control valve at the pump panel that controls the discharge outlet to which the hoseline is connected.
  2. Disconnect the short section’s male coupling from the female coupling on the last length of preconnected hoseline pulled from the hosebed.
  3. Connect the female coupling on the additional length/lengths of hoseline to the male coupling on the short section and the male coupling of the additional length/lengths to the female coupling of the last length.
  4. Flake out the additional length/lengths of hoselines so that they will advance effectively without kinks.
  5. Charge the hoseline by opening the control valve at the pump panel that controls the discharge outlet to which the hoseline is connected.

Firefighters must understand that if the operation to extend the length of the hoseline is performed at the hoseline’s apparatus end, the newly added hoseline length/lengths must be advanced into the fire building, where it will be useful to the line firefighters. If the hoseline stretch estimate was not determined to be short until the line firefighters were already in the fire building, they will be unable to use the newly added length/lengths of hoseline unless a firefighter advances this hoseline into the building.

Two effective methods of extending a hoseline’s length are by using either a hose clamp or by shutting down the hoseline at the pump panel. However, using either of these methods means that if firefighters stretch and advance a hoseline into the fire building and then realize that it is too short and will not effectively reach the fire area, these methods will stop the flow of water through the hoseline.

 

RELATED: Kirby on Coming Up Short on the Fireground ‖ Rowett Jr. on Stretching and Advancing the Initial Handline ‖ Humpday Hangout: Stretching the First Line

 

When extending the length of a hoseline while line firefighters are operating on the interior, make every effort to continue flowing water; this will allow the line firefighters to use the hoseline to prevent further fire spread and growth until the hoseline’s length can be extended and the line advanced into the fire area. It is important for firefighters to know their equipment; if they don’t, extending the hoseline’s length without stopping the flow of water is not an option. To extend the length of the hoseline without stopping its flow of water, the operation must be performed at the nozzle end of the hoseline, which requires that a breakaway nozzle be in place on the hoseline. If a breakaway nozzle is not used on the hoseline, you will need to perform another method of extending the hoseline’s length. Likewise, if the line firefighters do not know what type of nozzle they are using, another method of extending the length of the hoseline will also be needed.

A breakaway nozzle allows firefighters to remove the nozzle tip and come in the form of smooth bore and fog nozzles. Not all nozzles are breakaway nozzles and will not allow firefighters to remove the tip of the nozzle. When the length of a hoseline is extended using a breakaway nozzle, you will need a second nozzle, which should already be connected to the male coupling at the end of the additional length/lengths of hoseline prior to transporting those additional length/lengths into the fire building and to the location of the breakaway nozzle.

To extend the length of a hoseline from its nozzle end using a breakaway nozzle to continue the flow of water through the hoseline, firefighters should do the following:

  1. Close the breakaway nozzle’s control bale and remove the tip from nozzle.
  2. Connect the female coupling of the additional length/lengths of hoseline to the male coupling of the nozzle (the second nozzle should already be attached to the male coupling at the end of the additional length/lengths of hoseline).
  3. Flake out the additional length/lengths of hoselines so that they will advance effectively without kinks.
  4. Open the breakaway nozzle’s control bale.
  5. Secure the breakaway nozzle’s control bale in the open position to prevent the bale from closing and stopping the flow of water through the hoseline.

The manner in which the additional length/lengths of hoseline used to extend the hoseline’s length are stored and transported to the position they will be used is also important. When the operation to extend the hoseline’s length is to be performed at the apparatus end of the hoseline, multiple options are available. When this operation is performed at the apparatus end of the hoseline, you can use hoselines loaded in the apparatus hosebed, stored in a donut roll in an apparatus compartment, and as a horseshoe load in the form of a standpipe kit.

When extending the hoseline’s length at its nozzle end, use only hoselines loaded in a horseshoe or similar hose load. Hoselines loaded in this manner are easier to transport to the operation’s location; they also allow for performing the operation in compact spaces because you can connect the male and female couplings of each additional length of hoseline together. You can, however, connect the additional length/lengths of hoseline to the initial hoseline becuase the additional length/lengths remain in a compact hose load. Once connected, you can flake out the additional length/lengths of hoseline by spacing out the folds in the hoseline. Now, the hoseline is ready to be advanced into the fire area.

All firefighters must understand the complications that can occur during a hoseline stretching and advancing operation as well as how to be prepared to overcome these complications. Every firefighter must be able to overcome a short hoseline stretch effectively and in a timely manner. 

 

Anthony Rowett Jr. is a captain with the Mobile (AL) Fire Rescue Department. He was previously a firefighter for the Ogdensburg (NJ) Fire Department. Rowett has an associate’s degree in fire science technology from the County College of Morris in New Jersey and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fire science and emergency services management, respectively, from Columbia Southern University.