The 1¾-inch preconnect is the mainstay of the modern fire service. For most jurisdictions around the country, it is the initial attack line pulled for up to 80 to 90 percent of our fires.
Most engine companies are fairly proficient at stretching and advancing preconnected hoselines.
The preconnect hoseline is probably the most commonly stretched attack line in America today.
Part 1, "Locations, Loads, and 'Lead Outs,' " was published in the April 2002 issue. Part 2, "Hose Loads," was published in the May 2002 issue.
The location of preconnects on a pumper is not the only factor that determines their overall effectiveness. It is just as important to select the preconnect hoseload that works best with your staffing, structures, and street conditions.
Rural, suburban, and many big-city fire departments use preconnected attack hoselines because they are easy to use and can be deployed quickly. Preconnects hasten fire attack because they eliminate the time it takes to uncouple the hose used for the stretch to the fire from the remaining hose in the hosebed and then connect the line to a pump discharge.
When it comes to supply-ing hoselines on the fireground, we all can handle the standard configurations.
In 1980, the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland, purchased two new pumpers to augment its fleet.
Over the course of our fire service careers, we have been assigned to or have given the order to "pull the preconnect." Regardless of whether the preconnect is a 13/4- or 21/2-inch line, it can't reach the desired location.
NFPA 1901, Standard for Auto-motive Fire Apparatus, requires pumpers, initial attack apparatus, quints, and mobile foam fire apparatus to have hosebed areas: compartments or reels to accommodate two 11/2-inch or larger preconnected fire hoselines.