Apparatus can be retrofitted with nylon straps to replace bungie cords
The Town of Menasha, WI, Fire Department has come up with a new and inexpensive way to mount their attack and supply lines. Until recently, their 200-foot, 1 3/4-inch attack line and 150-foot, 3-inch supply line to a gated wye, which are pre-connected, were held in place with bungie cords. (See “Simple Alterations Improve Fire Flow Efficiency,” FIRE ENGINEERING, May 1983.)
This method presented some problems. The hose had a tendency to catch on the hooks when being pulled from the truck. The hooks were also in the way during reloading, and, to make matters w’orse, scratched the painted surface of the apparatus as they hung free.
At a cost of only $100, the department has replaced the bungie cords with 2-inch wide nylon webbed straps, which are secured to the side of the truck w’ith footman loops. Each strap has a small loop sewn in it, through which the footman is placed before anchoring the strap/ clamp assembly to the apparatus. Using self-taping screws, the bracket is placed above the level of the folded hose.
The shorter end of the strap lays on top of the loaded hose and has 8 inches of soft (fuzzy) velcro sewn on it. The longer end passes under the hose, up in front of the load, and across the top. This end has 8 inches of hard (wiry) velcro sewn on it, and is merely pressed down on the short end. A 2-inch tail is left on the long end beyond the velcro to allow for easy removal.
In order to keep the short end out of the w-ay during loading, a small piece of hard (wiry) velcro (with self-stick backing) is placed a few inches above the footman loop on the side of the truck. Once the hose is in place, the short end is pulled down and laid across the top of the load.
Photos courtesy of Menasha. WI. Fire Department
With 8 inches of velcro to work with, the hose can be adequately secured. The department members found that three straps would hold the supply line, while it took four to hold the attack line.
The folds of the attack line must be adjusted to allow the nozzle to be held firmly in place with one of the straps. Any such adjustment should not be made in the outside fold, as it is important in securing the entire load. Make any necessary adjustment on one of the inner folds to compensate. A bungie cord is still used to secure the water thief, which is attached to the supply line.
To remove either hose line, merely pull the top (long) straps free. They will hang free at the side of the truck and not interfere with the operation.
The advantages of retrofitting your apparatus with these straps include:
- Easier loading and unloading,
- An improved method of securing these additional lines,
- Less abuse to hose lines and painted surfaces.