Throw Back to Basics: Engineer Roll

Engine company operations: The engineer roll or double doughnut roll

By Brian Zaitz

With various names such as engineer, chauffeur, or apparatus operator, this fireground position performs several key functions and is essential component to success. These tasks include water supply, connecting to the fire department connection (FDC), or supplying additional apparatus. For these reasons, many apparatus are equipped with a 50-foot section of rolled 3-inch hose. For most, it is likely rolled as a simple donut roll in a compartment and is not located near the pump panel. This begs the question: is this method the best and is there a simple way to improve?

Luckily, the answer is yes and it is simple. The engineer roll or double doughnut roll takes the same amount of space on the apparatus and provides options. This roll should be as close as to the pump panel as possible, since this is where the engineer will conduct business.

The double donut is simple to create. Take the 50-foot section and fold in half, laying the male coupling on top. Next, pull the male coupling back approximately three feet and begin to roll from the folded end. Once complete, you have a double doughnut or engineer roll. This roll is more versatile because it deploys in only 25 feet, or a little less than the length of a typical engine. In addition, it puts both working ends or couplings in the hands of the engineer, giving him the option to connect either coupling depending on the situational needs of the alarm (receiving or distributing water). Likewise, when connecting to an FDC, the male coupling can be simply handed to the firefighter, which means no more need to chase down a coupling that is 50 feet away.

This small change improves both efficiency and effectiveness on the fireground. Give it a try and continue to challenge the norm! 

Download this week’s drill as a PDF HERE (292 KB).

Brian Zaitz is a 14-year student of the fire service, currently assigned as the captain/training officer with the Metro West (MO) Fire Protection District. Brian is an instructor with Engine House Training, LLC as well as instructor at the St. Louis County Fire Academy.  Brian holds several degrees, including an associates in paramedic technology, a bachelors in fire science management, and a masters in human resource development. Brian is currently and accredited chief training officer and student of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.



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