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  1. #1
    Forum Member ActionGoose's Avatar
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    Cool Nozzle handling tips for a wiry guy?

    Let me start off by mentioning that i'm 6'2", and 155lbs. I think the department let me join because I can fit in tight places and reach tall things.

    Anyhow, when I am on the business end of a 2.5" line, it tends to beat the crap out of me. It may be because i'm a wiry guy, or it could be because i'm holding it all wrong, but It seems to push far backwards into my arms or just plain become difficult to keep upright!

    One of my fellow brothers suggested avoiding the pistol grip, which has made a huge difference. Any other suggestions?


  2. #2
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    I utilize the webbing I carry in my gear, you can absorb more of the force by spreading it out, it also allows for better control of the nozzle.

  3. #3
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Gain weight.
















    j/k

    If the pistol grip works for you, use it. Don't let them tell you otherwise.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  4. #4
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    The nozzleman shouldn't be taking the weight. You need a better back up man. All you need to focus on is stream selection and aiming.
    FF/Paramedic

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    When handling any hoseline, the thing you are attempting to do is absorb the reaction forces while spraying an effective stream. There are several different ways to do it.

    On a 2.5" line it is not meant to be highly mobile. But compairatively it has the punch and that is needed. Many will open the nozzle as the attack team is set and ready. This tends to mean that the back-up man is positioned behind the nozzleman. The hose is to be played out as straight as possible behind the operators and they (together) absorb the reaction forces. (In many cases hose played out straight is impractical though ie. hallways and tight quarters.) This techinque can be accomplished very well in the squatting/kneeling position and either airpack to airpack or with both facing forward.

    Check this link for some good info... a little old but it is good.
    http://www.iaff1974.com/print_article.cfm?homeID=18344

    Here is another worth while article. You may want to examine the pictures in each for more tips.
    http://www.firenuggets.com/x_ARDSIll.../comella27.htm


    The technique I have found that works for me is "pinning" the line to the ground. What I will do (for defensive ops) is kneel on the hose with my right shin, keep my left leg out infront. Then hold the nozzle behind the coupling with my left hand and operate the bale with my right. What this does is vector the reaction of the stream into the ground and allows me to operate the nozzle by myself. This is taught in my department and works well since we are strapped for manpower. I also am an avocate of not being tied to the line or sitting b/c any unforseen catastophic events occur you are able to move more effectively. If you are going to be there for an hour however just sit on it and that will pin the reaction force to the ground.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    Also the 2.5" is not a great hoseline to be spraying while standing... not impossible but difficult. If needed, a backup man is pretty much a nessessity and also use a stance like a boxer, feet spread, hose side foot back, and square off. We teach that if you standing with it ask yourself "why?".

    The nozzle out front really helps when having to spray in sweeping patterns. That way you don't need to use as much of you back and hips to muscle the nozzle.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  7. #7
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    The recomendations of ffmedcbk1 are great, and the articles listed are very informative and you should read both.

    As far as tying yourself to the line, I agree that you should never tie off, or place yourself in a position that you can not escape from. I utilize the strap on the same side (shoulder) that the hose is on. Attach the one end of the webbing 3 to 4 feet behind the nozzle and the other end about a foot or so closer to the nozzle. If the hose gets away or you need to urgently relocate you'll have a better chance to slip off the webbing. (Do not wrap yourself in the webbing). This will allow you to gain leverage over the reaction force by diverting some of it to your shoulder and allow for better manipulation of the nozzle. This will also help if the line needs to be repositioned or advanced.

    The loop in the hose works, but for lighter people the hose can tend to walk on you. If you feel like your fighting the nozzle and do not have good control. It is safer to shut it down and reposition. Never try to prove something to "the old guys" truth is we have more respect for the guys that will admit they need a little help. A loose 2 1/2 can kill or injure a firefighter.

    Most importantly having adequate personnel on large handlines is imperitive, fatigue and weather conditions can play a part in how many are sufficient. I recommend at least 3 or more. I realize staffing can be limited but again stay safe and ask for help if you need it.

    You can refer to the IFSTA Essentials 5 Ch. 13 Fire Hose 678 - 682 for the loops and the use of webbing. Page 652 as well.
    Last edited by grimfire; 03-02-2009 at 12:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    You need a backup man on your back if you aren't being in a fixed outdoor defensive position. Nobody should be expected to maneuver that thing around and hang onto it alone.

    If your plopped in the yard being defensive with it, the loop thing works great.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  9. #9
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    Action,

    There are some great suggestions here. I figure if we trade some stats, we'll break even: I'm 5'8", 220#. I'll take either one, the 155# or the 6'2"...

    Stay safe brother!

  10. #10
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    I've never played around with a pistol grip nozzle on a 2.5, but we have the pistol grips on our 1.75 lines and I've found that if you use the grip, take your elbow of the arm you are using to grip with and bury your elbow into the inside of your thigh, it takes a lot of the upper body work away. You have to kneel down to do this.

    I'm a lefty, so I grip with my left hand, bury my left elbow into the inside of my left thigh while kneeling, and I keep my right leg out in front. This method allows you to be mobile with the handline.

    I found this works well, however, I still wouldn't attempt this on a 2.5 without a back-up man.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FDAIC485's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    You need a backup man on your back if you aren't being in a fixed outdoor defensive position. Nobody should be expected to maneuver that thing around and hang onto it alone.

    If your plopped in the yard being defensive with it, the loop thing works great.
    Hey! Someone who has a clue!!!
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

    -J. Cantrell

  12. #12
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    For interior attack operations, trying laying down and wrapping your legs and arms around the hose as if you are wrestling an Anaconda. Works well for shorter term control. As for a more defensive position outside, I think these guys nailed it by looping and sitting. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simsride View Post
    For interior attack operations, trying laying down and wrapping your legs and arms around the hose as if you are wrestling an Anaconda. Works well for shorter term control. As for a more defensive position outside, I think these guys nailed it by looping and sitting. Good luck!
    I hope noone is really doing this???

    .
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  14. #14
    Forum Member Beaver52's Avatar
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    I am 5'8, 155 and I have found when using a pistol grip while standing and moving it is easier for me to keep my arm stiff and straight. This makes the nozzle easier to move and you don't have to fight the back pressure as much with your arm. Also, remember to keep your core muscles tight for a better base. As others have stated before me, a good back up man makes everything much easier.
    Kyle
    Upper Macungie Township Station 56, Allentown, PA
    Vigilant Hose Company #1, Shippensburg, PA

    The things I post do not reflect the views of the affiliations I belong to.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Beaver52's Avatar
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    I am 5'8, 155 and I have found when using a pistol grip while standing and moving it is easier for me to keep my arm stiff and straight. This makes the nozzle easier to move and you don't have to fight the back pressure as much with your arm. Also, remember to keep your core muscles tight for a better base. As others have stated before me, a good back up man makes everything much easier.
    Kyle
    Upper Macungie Township Station 56, Allentown, PA
    Vigilant Hose Company #1, Shippensburg, PA

    The things I post do not reflect the views of the affiliations I belong to.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I hope noone is really doing this???

    .
    I don't know Chief, I'd like to see that. I could use a really good laugh!!! You try that on one of our fire scenes...take a picture because that's the last time you'll see the nozzle. No disrespect meant, but that is not the way to do it.

    Seriously, I don't think it's a size problem as much as a technique problem. Lots of big guys have problems with a 2.5 line just as smaller guys do.

    First of all, make sure the guy pumping is using the proper pressure. That doesn't make the big line handle like a garden hose, but it is a good place to start.

    Second, practice. Third, practice. Fourth, one back up guy is not enough to be properly effective. Fifth, practice. Sixth, do you see a theme here?
    Practice.
    Last edited by YFDLt08; 04-01-2009 at 03:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YFDLt08 View Post
    I don't know Chief, I'd like to see that. I could use a really good laugh!!! You try that on one of our fire scenes...take a picture because that's the last time you'll see the nozzle. No disrespect meant, but that is not the way to do it.

    Seriously, I don't think it's a size problem as much as a technique problem. Lots of big guys have problems with a 2.5 line just as smaller guys do.

    First of all, make sure the guy pumping is using the proper pressure. That doesn't make the big line handle like a garden hose, but it is a good place to start.

    Second, practice. Third, practice. Fourth, one back up guy is not enough to be properly effective. Fifth, practice. Sixth, do you see a theme here?
    Practice.
    I am also not a big fan of a deuce and a half interior... unless it's a commercial or industrial.

    But that's a whole 'nother thread.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  18. #18
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    i prefer to hold the knob out at arms lenght, pin the hose against your waist with your rear hand, and hold the hose at the coupling.

  19. #19
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    The hose strap is Dept issue up here in Seattle. You can make your own if you have access to a sewing machine. Essentially you want a loop of webbing approx 3' in diameter.

    Tie it to the line using a hose knot about 3 ft from the nozzle.

    If you are right handed (this technique part is important), face toward the pump momentarily, & throw the loop well over your left shoulder. Then turn to your left to face the fire. The loop should now be far back over your left shoulder and running across your chest and under your right arm to where it is attached to the hose.

    I am 6'1" and I have operated (stationary) a 2 1/2 line alone using this method.
    Lance Fisher
    Seattle Fire Department
    Station #28
    Ladder 12

  20. #20
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionGoose View Post
    Let me start off by mentioning that i'm 6'2", and 155lbs. I think the department let me join because I can fit in tight places and reach tall things.

    Anyhow, when I am on the business end of a 2.5" line, it tends to beat the crap out of me. It may be because i'm a wiry guy, or it could be because i'm holding it all wrong, but It seems to push far backwards into my arms or just plain become difficult to keep upright!

    One of my fellow brothers suggested avoiding the pistol grip, which has made a huge difference. Any other suggestions?


    You are a hella of a man operating a 2-1/2 flowing water in the upright position by your self!!

    I had a guy one time that was a professional calf roper and on the job, he could do it with the nozzle flowing 250 pgm. I haven't seen anyone in all my years i htis business Not even I could do it in my prime.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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