Stacked, Racked, and Ready for Attack!

Minute man, triple fold, flat lay, or a horseshoe are a few terms that I often hear in my travels spreading the message to firefighters of safety while fighting hoarder fires. At every department that I visit I will always take the time to look at their hose loads, especially the attack lines.

Some things to look for are the type of nozzle, care in which they are racked, and the type of load they use. It seems like there are more types and configurations of attack loads then there are spots on the Dalmatian. Therefore, how does a department choose what type of attack load to use? Here is one jumpseat view on this subject.

  1. Speed of deployment: Whichever way you load your attack line is on the rig it should be ready to deploy in a hurry. With the fires that we are seeing doubling in size every 30 seconds we don't want to waste even half a minute getting the kinks and knot's out of our attack line. 
  2. Ease of deployment: Let us face the facts we do not have enough staffing. I'm sure this may not be an "all inclusive" but it sure does apply to many of us. Our attack lines should come off easy enough that one firefighter can manage it. 
  3. Should be constant: You may choose one of many styles of loads but they should be constant between all of your apparatus. Having everything consistent is a key factor in preparing your people to be able to perform in a stressful environment. 

Look, this is not a how to blog on the use of attack lines. However, it is a short blog on how you should be aware of the way in which your department's hoses are loaded. Why? Because if you are riding in the jumpseat, you will be the one pulling them while your officer does their 380 size-up. We, as jumpseat riders, have the honor and responsibility of laying out the first attack line under the direction of our officer. How you perform when asked is going to show the world how #jumpseat ready you are.

What does that mean to me? It means that you have pride and ownership in your position and it will shine through. If you are a lazyboy rider just doing the minimum you won't be an efficient firefighter. But if you are a gun-ho learner that takes the time at shift change to make sure your nozzle is set and hose is ready to go it will also show when the bell hits. Get it laid out before the bell rings so that you can perform this skill without much thought. Make it like second nature and see how much smoother your next fire will go because your hose is #jumpseatready!

Bunker up, buckle in, and remember that we all start in the jumpseat!