Throw Back to Basics: The Minuteman Preconnect Load

By Brian Zaitz

Many of us are looking for ways to improve our efficiency in deploying our most common line: the preconnect. Although it has many other names such as “jiffy,” “handline,” and “crosslay” (to name a few), this line serves as our most commonly deployed attack line. For this reason it is imperative that we understand how it is to be deployed.

There are many ways to load attack lines. The “Minuteman” is an option that provides ease of loading and deploying in long- and short-stretch situations. To understand how to deploy a hoseload, it is imperative to know how it is loaded, and the Minuteman is could not be simpler. This is based on a series (two+) flat load.


Take the flat load and connect the first 100 feet of hose to the apparatus plumbing; take note to create a pull loop at the 50-foot mark. Once stacked, begin to load the other side, flipping the bundle by starting with the male coupling on the bottom. Again, flat load up and connect to the two sides in the middle and attach the nozzle of your choice. You have now created the Minuteman load.

RELATED: Testa on the Bumper Line HoseloadNiemann on the Tandem HoseloadLeihbacher on Preconnects

To deploy the Minuteman, shoulder the bundle with the nozzle and reach back, grabbing the pull loop, and begin your ascent to the target location. Shouldering the bundle allows you to carry (not pull) the hose, which is much more ergonomic for the firefighter.

If the target is beyond 100 feet of the second section, the shouldered bundle will simply offload and flake off naturally as the firefighter continues to walk. Once at the target, split the load in half, flake it out, and call for water. The hose will be perpendicular with your target and easily moved into an attack position.

Take the time to try the Minuteman load; it may or may not work. No matter what hoseload you use, the only way to become proficient with its deployment is to do it; it’s always a good day to stretch a line and flow a little water.


Download this training bulletin as a PDF HERE (4.7 MB)


Brian Zaitz Brian Zaitzis a 15-year student of the fire service and the Captain-Training Officer with the Metro West Fire Protection District. Zaitz is also an instructor with Engine House Training, LLC , an instructor at the St. Louis County Fire Academy, and the Board of Director with the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He has several degrees including an associates in paramedic technology, a bachelor’s in fire science management, and master’s in human resource development. Zaitz is also a credentialed chief training officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence as well as a student of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.


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