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During long stretches, the backup firefighter will deploy travel hose and follow the nozzle firefighter to ensure the working length and nozzle reach the attack entrance (Photo 10). For shorter stretches, where you have good line of sight of the attack entrance and the nozzle firefighter performing the stretch, the backup firefighter can stay at the engine and deploy hose (Photo 9). The exceptions to this are stretches where you have numerous obstacles to navigate. For these difficult stretches, you will have to follow the nozzle firefighter to ensure he arrives at the attack entrance regardless of the length of the stretch. Once the nozzle firefighter reaches the attack entrance, it will be your responsibility to chase out the kinks and snags in the hose as well as properly position and stage the hose between the engine and the working length.
The more attention to detail we can give to mastering the art of the stretch the better our chances of making a safe and efficient advance on the fire. All of our training and preparation are about to pay off. We are about to embark on the most dangerous and rewarding part of our job. The fourth and final installment of this series focuses on the importance of making a quick and safe advance to extinguish the fire.