Dunn's Dispatch: Proper Positioning of the First Hoseline at an Apartment or House Fire

Each month, retired Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn will offer Firehouse.com readers a brief lesson using skills learned through 42 years as a firefighter and fire officer with the New York City Department.

For a room and/or contents fire in a house or apartment, the first attack hoseline is stretched by firefighters through a front, rear or side doorway and the fire is extinguished. The hose stream nozzle is positioned and used to drive heat, flame and smoke from inside to outside through a vented window or other door or through an opening created by "outside vent firefighters."

The first attack hoseline stream is usually not directed into a flaming window. One of the advantages of advancing the first attack hoseline through a door rather than directing it through a window is that unconscious, trapped victims are often found inside the door or in the hallway leading from the door to the fire.

An analysis of fire victims trapped and killed in burning buildings revealed most fire victims are discovered near the fire area. The next location in which fire victims are discovered is in the hallways or corridors leading to an exit because they were trying to escape the flames and were rendered unconscious by smoke, heat or toxic gases in the path to the door. Firefighters advancing the first attack line through a doorway often come across these victims on the way to extinguishing the fire.

For more information go to www.vincentdunn.com and use the Google search feature with keywords: hose stretching.

Vincent Dunn, a Firehouse Magazine contributing editor, is a 42-year veteran of the FDNY and a deputy chief (ret.), serving as division commander for midtown Manhattan. A nationally renowned lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling text and video series Collapse of Burning Buildings and the textbooks Safety and Survival on the Fireground and Command and Control of Fires and Emergencies. Dunn has a master's degree in urban studies, a bachelor's degree in sociology and an associate's degree in fire administration from Queens College, City University of New York. He can be reached at 1-800-231-3388 or via through his website at www.vincentdunn.com.