Drill of the Week: Backup Lines

By Forest Reeder

Safe fire attack is accomplished by correct line choice and placement along with the staffing and placement of backup or additional lines. The backup line reinforces the initial attack line and may be defined as a hoseline of equal or preferably larger size, supplied by a separate water source. This means if we are attacking with an 1 3/4-inch hoseline, the backup line minimally should be an 1 3/4-inch or preferably a 2 1/2-inch handline. The use of a second water source is an important safeguard in the event of pump or other supply system failure. Review your procedures for placing and staffing this important life safety line. 

Download this week’s firefighter training drill as a PDF HERE.


Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Battalion Chief / Director of Training & Safety with the Pleasantview (IL) Fire Protection District (www.plvw.org) and is the Director of Training for Southwest United Fire Districts (www.sufd.org). In these capacities, he is responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.



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