Engine Company, Firefighting

Flaking the Hose at the Front Door

Issue 10 and Volume 171.

BY JACK HUESTON After you have stretched the hose from the apparatus and before you can charge the hoseline and advance it into the involved structure at a fire, you must properly and neatly stage the hoseline outside the entry point, also known as “flaking the hose.” Properly flaking the hoseline is one of the most important tasks engine company members perform during the initial fire attack.   Although routine, the hose flake is often improperly performed on the fireground, which stalls the hose’s advance. The resulting sloppy pile of hose in the front yard will result in numerous kinks and reduced nozzle flow. Photo 1 shows an improper and sloppy initial attack hoseline flake at a structure fire. Two to three firefighters should be able to stretch a 200-foot preconnected attack line and flake two working lengths at the entry point in about one minute. Getting the hose off…

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