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  1. #1
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    Default Loose Hose Kills Woman

    Via WCVB

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --
    Friends and relatives are mourning an 82-year-old Somerville woman who was struck and killed by a loose firetruck hose this week in a freak accident in Cambridge.

    Gertrude King, 82, was killed Tuesday when a firetruck driving down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge made a left turn onto Western Avenue and a loose fire hose went flying in her direction as she stood in a median on Western Avenue.

    Police said the hose dragging behind the engine during the emergency call extended the length of a city block.

    "We do know the hose is 200 feet long and we believe that the hose was completely off the truck and being dragged at the time it struck," Cambridge Police Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert said.

    King, "Aunty Trudy" to her relatives, had no time to get out of the way. Investigators believe the hose hit her behind the knees and tore her leg apart.

    "She was very special," said Elanor Raniri. She and Doris Pratt live in the same Somerville apartment complex in which King lived. They learned Thursday morning of their friend's death.

    "It's unbelievable. It's hard to take in," Raniri said.

    "It was just such a shock. No matter where she went, she loved to walk. Different people would meet her and say, 'Would you like a ride?' And she'd say, 'I'd rather walk,'" Pratt said.

    They said King had a daily routine of walking down to Cambridge's Central Square to shop.

    Doctors operated on King's leg. It would have been amputated if she had survived, according to her friends. She died almost two days after the accident and police said they have not yet determined how the hose dislodged.

    "Everybody liked her," Pratt said.

    King's friends described her as a "very independent lady," and her nephew said she was strong to the end. He said she still had her Whole Foods bags in her hands when brought to the hospital, he said, and was telling nurses which foods could be saved and which needed to be thrown out.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    I had this exact thing happen while returning form a call. The cross lay started coming right off the truck. I brought up doing something to better secure the hoses but the old guys just laughed.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    A tragedy.

    I am sure I will ruffle some feathers here with my comments on this topic. But in my opinion, when the NFPA changed the standard and made it mandatory that all hose have a cover or netting that restrained the hose it should have included retrofitting all current apparatus. How many of these senseless occurrences will it take before the idea of open hose beds, especially crosslays, are dangerous? It is even more dangerous with some of the synthetic jacketed hose that is designed to be more slippery to allow easier advancement.

    Even on our oldest rig we bungied the crosslays in place. We wanted to make sure the hose made it to the fire. Removal of the restraint devices only takes seconds. Seems worth it to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    A tragedy.

    I am sure I will ruffle some feathers here with my comments on this topic. But in my opinion, when the NFPA changed the standard and made it mandatory that all hose have a cover or netting that restrained the hose it should have included retrofitting all current apparatus. How many of these senseless occurrences will it take before the idea of open hose beds, especially crosslays, are dangerous? It is even more dangerous with some of the synthetic jacketed hose that is designed to be more slippery to allow easier advancement.

    Even on our oldest rig we bungied the crosslays in place. We wanted to make sure the hose made it to the fire. Removal of the restraint devices only takes seconds. Seems worth it to me.
    +1. This is one rule where I completely agree with NFPA's decision and standard. It is so easy to lose a load...and as we know nozzles, couplings and the hose itself is very heavy.

    The netting takes one second to unsnap, and the netting just falls to the side. All the people who didn't like it were quickly content with the new system.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ATFDFF;1140809...It is so easy to lose a load...[/QUOTE]

    and yet, in the 28 years that I have been a member of my department...it has not even come close to happening....
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we have lost he LDH twice on two separate rigs and occassions. Have not lost a speedlay/crosslay ever !
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    this is a good reminder that your mirrors and the new fangled rear view cameras (do they work while you drive down the road) have another use on an engine. Got to check them periodically for loose hose.

    not saying these guys did or didn't do it, but that's one of the best things I was taught when learning to drive. especially do it right after a hard bump

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    I have seen it happen 2 times in my 24yrs. Fyred, alot of people were on here really giving lip about having to un hook a net or something but they forgot a very big picture. A small child ran up in their yard but close enough to the street to see the fire truck pass with it's light and siren only to be killed by a nozzle at the end of a handline. I am like you retro them all !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    we have lost he LDH twice on two separate rigs and occassions. Have not lost a speedlay/crosslay ever !
    Same here. Layed 1000' of LDH more than once, usually because of a poor lay from the guys that caught the last hydrant.

    I have been known to re-lay a crosslay/speedlay that was wadded up or hanging out of the tray on several occassions just to prevent such an ordeal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    and yet, in the 28 years that I have been a member of my department...it has not even come close to happening....
    We have lost 1 hoseload in our dept, the trashline on the front came loose one day and got tossed from the truck. With the frost heaved winter roads around here in the northeast its like driving over speedbumps for miles. Hoses and other tools get bounced around, it could easily happen.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    To those of you who have been lucky enough to have never had it happen, good for you. So let me see if I understand your stance on this, you see no need to change until an accident occurs? We want to be seen as proactive, and safety minded, and yet a simple thing like a restraint device on a hosebed causes all kinds of hackles to be raised.

    By the way, no FD I have ever been a member of has lost hose off from a rig either. Perhaps we were lucky, but as I said, my current volly FD has the hose on the crosslays restrained on both engines and the new engine has the rear hosebed restrained too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    To those of you who have been lucky enough to have never had it happen, good for you. So let me see if I understand your stance on this, you see no need to change until an accident occurs? We want to be seen as proactive, and safety minded, and yet a simple thing like a restraint device on a hosebed causes all kinds of hackles to be raised.

    By the way, no FD I have ever been a member of has lost hose off from a rig either. Perhaps we were lucky, but as I said, my current volly FD has the hose on the crosslays restrained on both engines and the new engine has the rear hosebed restrained too.

    An ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure.
    I wouldn't go so far as to make an assumption like that, I think that it just goes to show it's an anomoly.

    I'd be curious to know what that particular hose lay looked like before it came off, though. Was it neatly layed in the tray, with all of the hose within the confines of the tray?

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    I've mentioned this to my chief before... He's reluctant to change. Can anyone recommend a company that makes or sells the netting for crosslays? I think I'll just print out this article and give him a price... Maybe that'll motivate him a little..

    Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I wouldn't go so far as to make an assumption like that, I think that it just goes to show it's an anomoly.

    I'd be curious to know what that particular hose lay looked like before it came off, though. Was it neatly layed in the tray, with all of the hose within the confines of the tray?
    You call it an anomaly, but yet since this thread was started, 7 instances were stated where it occurred. Hardly unique IMO. My company has dumped a bed of 5" once in I-95...not pretty.

    As much as people bash NFPA sometimes(myself included), it is my belief they really are there to look out for us and the people we are there to protect. Sometimes you have to be told what to do because it will never be done otherwise. Ex.-Seatbelt laws...why do we have to have a law telling you to wear a device that has been proven to greatly enhance your survival in the event of a crash??? Well, because some people just don't get it!!
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volff1170 View Post
    I've mentioned this to my chief before... He's reluctant to change. Can anyone recommend a company that makes or sells the netting for crosslays? I think I'll just print out this article and give him a price... Maybe that'll motivate him a little..

    Thanks in advance!
    If you can find someone that builds tents or tarps nearby, they can make you the same thing. Just tell them what you're after and let them have a look at the truck to take measurements and they should be good to go.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I wouldn't go so far as to make an assumption like that, I think that it just goes to show it's an anomoly.

    I'd be curious to know what that particular hose lay looked like before it came off, though. Was it neatly layed in the tray, with all of the hose within the confines of the tray?
    Seriously, to me if it happens once and kills someone that is one time too many. You call it an anomalie, I call it a preventable accident.

    There is one particular brand of hose used in crosslays that is VERY prone to this. I will not say the brand simply because I do not wish to have that manufacturer up my butt over it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    You call it an anomaly, but yet since this thread was started, 7 instances were stated where it occurred. Hardly unique IMO. My company has dumped a bed of 5" once in I-95...not pretty.

    As much as people bash NFPA sometimes(myself included), it is my belief they really are there to look out for us and the people we are there to protect. Sometimes you have to be told what to do because it will never be done otherwise. Ex.-Seatbelt laws...why do we have to have a law telling you to wear a device that has been proven to greatly enhance your survival in the event of a crash??? Well, because some people just don't get it!!
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against NFPA's requirements for hosebed covers at all. However, when you consider the number of apparatus and number of calls in this country, this is an anomaly. In 15 years of vollie service and 6 1/2 career, I've seen it personally 2 times and known of it another 2, all 4 times being the supply hose. Not to say it's not dangerous to lose a supply hose, but this instance is a preconnect that's trailing and flailing behind/beside the engine.

    I can also tell you that at least three of the four instances I know of, three were partially due to lack of a hosebed cover for the LDH and the other was due to the fact that the top of the lay was further out than the bottom by nearly a foot (according to those who were involved). There's a lot of factors that can go into hose coming out, and it would be far easier to see it in a supply bed than a crosslay/speedlay bed, based on my limited knowledge of physics and aerodynamics.

    To be honest, I'm probably going to take a copy of this story to the next officer's meeting on my vollie department to see about getting the guy in charge of apparatus (who works with a guy that knows how to build tarps and has the equipment) to get this done on the one truck we don't. I'm sure my career department is watching as well, as we've had this conversation during recent apparatus committee meetings. This may be what gets other apparatus retrofitted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Seriously, to me if it happens once and kills someone that is one time too many. You call it an anomalie, I call it a preventable accident.

    There is one particular brand of hose used in crosslays that is VERY prone to this. I will not say the brand simply because I do not wish to have that manufacturer up my butt over it.
    Like I said in the post I was typing when you replied, I'm not advocating we disregard NFPA, just that this is a rarity.

    I don't know about brands of hose, but I've seen many lays of a certain style of hose that looked like it could fly out at any moment. Looks a lot like LDH and has a very similar weight ratio. We got some for our brush truck crosslay at one time. It made me nervous enough I pulled it and swapped it with the double-jacketed hose we had rolled for extras.

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    Very sad. Talk about a freak accident.

    Yes, it happens, happened to me a couple of times dropping LDH down the road and got my but chewed for not watching my mirrors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by volff1170 View Post
    I've mentioned this to my chief before... He's reluctant to change. Can anyone recommend a company that makes or sells the netting for crosslays? I think I'll just print out this article and give him a price... Maybe that'll motivate him a little..

    Thanks in advance!
    How about something as simple as a bungy cord?

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