Engine Company, Firefighting, Truck Company

“Hitting the Hydrant” to Establish a Water Supply

Issue 10 and Volume 171.

By MARK VAN DER FEYST   In the world of firefighting, one of the basic tasks on which we instruct our new recruits is how to secure or establish a water supply. We often refer to this task as “hitting the hydrant” or “taking the plug.” Even though this is a basic task, we often overlook the importance in executing it effectively. (1) Photos by author. We have all seen pictures of hydrants with their supply lines going through car windows and underneath vehicles, twisted and full of kinks. At one fire to which I was dispatched, the first-due engine established the water supply but somehow managed to kink the supply line underneath the engine, keeping the water supply from reaching the engine. We do not often hit the hydrant as frequently as we should because of the low number of fires that we are now attending. This, in turn,…

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