Engine Company, Firefighting

Overcoming Short Hose Stretches

Issue 10 and Volume 172.

By Alexander Degnan One situation that tends to rear its head at the absolute worst time is the short hose stretch. There are safeguards that can prevent this from happening—from “one to the door, one per floor” to “pulling two extra” after the line stops moving and even a pump operator’s waiting to break and hook up until called to charge the line. However, there are times when nothing less than foresight bordering on precognition will prevent a hoseline stretch from coming up short. This article focuses on the instances when the stretch is short and tactics for handling the situation: quickly recognizing that the stretch may be short (see it happening), relaying clear communication so that the second line will not be short (call that it happened), and quickly and efficiently adding a length or two to the attack line (adding lengths to the line). In general, whenever it…

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