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Thread: Hydrant-man "Footing" Supply Line

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    Default Hydrant-man "Footing" Supply Line

    Volunteer firefighter here with a question on how others "foot" their LDH supply line when doing a reverse lay. Saw a YouTube video where they had a loop of rope, part tied to LDH about 6ft up from coupling/connector/adapter and a loop which the hydrant-man put over the hydrant. (it was a very brief glimpse)

    Does anyone do this or similar? Currently we grab LDH and hydrant wrench, pull enough line to fold about 6ft up from coupling next to hydrant, hold LDH in hand while standing on the fold @6ft and send the truck to fire. OR, wrap the LDH around hydrant and stand on it. Once 1st 100ft coupling drops from truck we hook up.

    Seems this loop of rope holds LDH to hydrant, eliminating any chance of slipping from firefighter (only happens in training when rushing for time) or getting whacked by the coupling if the LDH is packed too tight.

    Any thoughts or experience with the "loop method" mentioned?

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    no experience with the loop and rope method, but hydrant firefighter in my company grabs hydrant tools, radio, wraps 5in twice around the hydrant and radios apparatus to take off. break the hydrant down, after first coupling hits the ground we can un wrap and hook up hose. while waiting for driver to hook up on his end and gives us the go on the second outlet which is 3 inch male thread we just put a gate on so if second in needs to hit it they can have a reliable water source as well, without having to shut off the whole hydrant. we dont stand on or hold the hose for fear of flying. the wrap is sufficient. works good, gives you something to do if you have to wait for chauff.

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    My career FD uses a variation of the rope loop method. We use a piece of 2 inch webbing that is about 10 feet long with about 6 inches of industrial velcro on the ends. The hose is folded twice with the coupling inside the loop. The loop of webbing is placed around the hose in a girth hitch with the velcro at the end that goes around the hydrant. The velcro allows the hose to release if the hose snags in the bed. This prevents the hose stretching and releasing violently.
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    good idea cafslover... may need to pass that along to the big guys. seems simple and way safer than that we're doing now.

    FyredUp... trying to picture this. is it possible to take a few pics on your next shift so I can see it and pass it to our battalion? I don't think we can fold the hose with the coupling inside (due to the adapter and our trucks) but I do like the velcro for the safety of snagging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImRuss247 View Post
    Volunteer firefighter here with a question on how others "foot" their LDH supply line when doing a reverse lay. Saw a YouTube video where they had a loop of rope, part tied to LDH about 6ft up from coupling/connector/adapter and a loop which the hydrant-man put over the hydrant. (it was a very brief glimpse)

    Does anyone do this or similar? Currently we grab LDH and hydrant wrench, pull enough line to fold about 6ft up from coupling next to hydrant, hold LDH in hand while standing on the fold @6ft and send the truck to fire. OR, wrap the LDH around hydrant and stand on it. Once 1st 100ft coupling drops from truck we hook up.

    Seems this loop of rope holds LDH to hydrant, eliminating any chance of slipping from firefighter (only happens in training when rushing for time) or getting whacked by the coupling if the LDH is packed too tight.

    Any thoughts or experience with the "loop method" mentioned?
    reverse lay ?????????????
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImRuss247 View Post
    good idea cafslover... may need to pass that along to the big guys. seems simple and way safer than that we're doing now.

    FyredUp... trying to picture this. is it possible to take a few pics on your next shift so I can see it and pass it to our battalion? I don't think we can fold the hose with the coupling inside (due to the adapter and our trucks) but I do like the velcro for the safety of snagging.
    Yes, I can do that for you. I am on my 4 day right now and not back until Wednesday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafslover View Post
    no experience with the loop and rope method, but hydrant firefighter in my company grabs hydrant tools, radio, wraps 5in twice around the hydrant and radios apparatus to take off. break the hydrant down, after first coupling hits the ground we can un wrap and hook up hose. while waiting for driver to hook up on his end and gives us the go on the second outlet which is 3 inch male thread we just put a gate on so if second in needs to hit it they can have a reliable water source as well, without having to shut off the whole hydrant. we dont stand on or hold the hose for fear of flying. the wrap is sufficient. works good, gives you something to do if you have to wait for chauff.
    I agree with you; standing on the hose or holding the hose should not be done. We always wrapped the hose around hydrant in my other departments (with hydrants, my current department has only 3 dry-hydrants and are mostly drafting ops).
    The driver could take off too fast and make you go flying, you could get arm/shoulder injuries if your holding the hose and it takes off...
    You could use a hose strap as well, its what they are made for and my old dept had one wrapped around the supply line attached to the hydrant bag; the hydrant man would grab the bag and the hose strap, pull the hose to the hydrant and wrap the strap around the barrel and send the truck. While the truck was getting set up he would attach hose and a gated valve to the hydrant. Hose straps are one of the overlooked, underused tools in my opinion.
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    just a quick wrapping of the hose around the hydrant is all we do.

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    slackjawedyokel good catch!! i meant FORWARD lay, but either way you look at it, it's dangerous to hold the hose as the engine drives. but nonetheless, i mean forward lay.

    nameless very easy indeed, we wrap and foot the hose against the hydrant. effective but i still think it's risky

    Jonesy827 hose strap is a good idea! we don't use it either but we should! i'd like to see FyredUp's pictures and see if i can emulate or substitute the rope/velcro with the strap!

    Thanks for the input

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    I'll try to get some pics tomorrow. Yesterday was a nightmare shift. Between training both am and pm and running ems and an extrication call I ran out of time. Tomorrow I am driving the engine so I should be able to make pictures happen.
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    Sorry Russ,

    I had a serious case of CRS and forgot about this completely. But here I am and I have some pictures for you. I pulled the hose out of the bed and put it on top of the compartment to make it easier to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    My career FD uses a variation of the rope loop method. We use a piece of 2 inch webbing that is about 10 feet long with about 6 inches of industrial velcro on the ends. The hose is folded twice with the coupling inside the loop. The loop of webbing is placed around the hose in a girth hitch with the velcro at the end that goes around the hydrant. The velcro allows the hose to release if the hose snags in the bed. This prevents the hose stretching and releasing violently.
    Just curious, what's the advantage of this vs just wrapping the 5" around the hydrant? Both seem like they'd work. Also, do you have caps your 5"? We recently removed the Hydra-Assist/Boat anchors from our engines... some want caps to keep the grime out, others think it's fine w/out.

    As for actual reverse-lay where you don't have a hydrant to wrap/anchor to. If the first-in Engine is already on location then you could put the 5" coupling under the wheel furthest from your direction of travel. We do this for pipeline type operations and it works well. By using the furthest wheel makes sure there is enough slack at the panel.
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    I've done all three mentioned, my preference in order wrap the hydrant, hold the hose, and a distant 3rd loop hose strap over the hydrant.

    I was first trained on the wrap the hydrant method and it remains my preferred method. Advantages it almost ensures you will have enough hose to make the connection (you almost have to try to come up short) and there is a slight safety margin vs holding the hose.

    Holding the hose works well and is very quick to perform. It is possible to come up short if the firefighter misjudges the distance, particularly if there are obstacles or the hydrant is in an unusual location (set in, not right on the street for example). It is also a bit easier to deal with obstacles since the hose is in the street so doesn't get wedged in tight, but this does require the firefighter judge distance well.
    Personally I feel the safety issue is very minor, it is a simple matter to just let the hose go and side step or roll to the side if it catches so long as the firefighter is paying attention. More of an issue would be traffic as you are basically kneeling in the street and it is possible some idiot could run you down.

    My biggest issue with the hose strap method is that I have frequently seen it come up short. It is critical that the strap be located far enough back on the hose to leave a good piece of working hose to make the connection to the hydrant. People frequently end up putting the strap close to the coupling so when it gets looped over the hydrant and pulled tight you end up with the coupling about 3 feet away from the hydrant, and pulling a few hundred feet of LDH is a real pain. Fired Up's method with the extra loop in the hose seems like it would address that issue well.

    This is largely a training issue, if you have well trained, experienced firefighters this works pretty well, is very quick and keeps the firefighter away from the hose in case something goes wrong.


    The other concern is what happens if the hose does catch during the lay? Something will break, hose, strap, hydrant or fire engine. I don't know which is the weakest, but I imagine any one of these would be bad. Unlike the other two methods there is no break away point, you will have two firm connections.

    I admit personal bias against the hose strap method as the department I was with that taught that method had serious training and experience issues (inconsistant training quality, poor enforcement of members meeting training hours and few actual fires).
    Last edited by Here and there; 03-25-2013 at 01:27 PM.

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    Here and There,

    I understand your prejudice against the strap method. But the only way to end up short is to not do the strap method properly. If you look at the pictures of the strap set- up in the pictures above you can see we fold the hose twice to get between nine and 10 feet of hose at the hydrant. The strap we use is purposely designed to come apart if the hose snags so as not to create a huge hose bungee cord. The ends are fastened with industrial velcro. They don't just pop apart but if the hose snags it will come apart. We have used this method successfully for over 15 years.

    We had an incident where on one of our quints the hose snagged in the bed and was wrapped around the hydrant. It stretched tight and then came loose from the wrap around the hydrant and smacked one of our guys hard enough that his injuries put him off the job. So that is where the strap system came from in our department
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    I wasn't impressed with the strap method when I saw it used because it was done poorly. I never investigated further because I had two satisfactory methods that did work.

    You guys have obviously worked the bugs out of using a strap. The loop of hose helping to ensure adequate slack, and a sturdy velcro catch would certainly help with the break away issue. I don't think I would have any issue using the strap method as you have it layed out.

    Thanks for the photo and further description, I missed the part about the velcro the first time reading through it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Just curious, what's the advantage of this vs just wrapping the 5" around the hydrant? Both seem like they'd work. Also, do you have caps your 5"? We recently removed the Hydra-Assist/Boat anchors from our engines... some want caps to keep the grime out, others think it's fine w/out.

    As for actual reverse-lay where you don't have a hydrant to wrap/anchor to. If the first-in Engine is already on location then you could put the 5" coupling under the wheel furthest from your direction of travel. We do this for pipeline type operations and it works well. By using the furthest wheel makes sure there is enough slack at the panel.

    Sorry I missed your post. If you read my answer to Here and There it explains why we do it.
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    FyredUp Thanks for the pics, and no worries cause I forgot I posted the thread a few times. Don't see the Velcro but I can imagine where it would be. Our supply line setup is different which would cause a problem with the hose strap. Coupling and hydrant adapter hangs off back and sits in a holder.

    Here and There... I see your point with just wrapping the hydrant. We've been trained to fold the hose about 6ft down from the coupling and throw it on the hydrant and stand on it. Never thought it was secure enough which is why I posted this thread. The departmental figures don't want to wrap the hydrant in case of snagging and breaking the hydrant.

    I appreciate everyone's feedback and look forward to addressing my concerns with the Guys Upstairs soon. If anyone else has ideas/images, please post!

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    Post a picture of your hose set-up and let's brainstorm a way to do the strap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImRuss247 View Post
    Here and There... I see your point with just wrapping the hydrant. We've been trained to fold the hose about 6ft down from the coupling and throw it on the hydrant and stand on it. Never thought it was secure enough which is why I posted this thread. The departmental figures don't want to wrap the hydrant in case of snagging and breaking the hydrant.
    I don't think the biggest concern of a snag is breaking the hydrant. If anything the concern is what H&T mentioned with the end swinging wide and hitting someone/thing. The risk of injury is MUCH greater if you're standing or holding the LDH though.

    The reality is after the first two lengths drop from the apparatus the hose shouldn't be moving much at the hydrant.. and for those first two the truck shouldn't be going fast enough to cause any wild swinging (for exactly that reason).
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImRuss247 View Post
    Our supply line setup is different which would cause a problem with the hose strap. Coupling and hydrant adapter hangs off back and sits in a holder.
    How far from the holder to the top of the hose in the bed? If I'm picturing this right then you could leave a small section of LDH that loops back on its self (or zig-zags/dutchman) on top of the bed before it drops down to the coupling in the holder. Cinch your strap around the middle of that zig/zag and clip the free end down on the holder with the coupling to make it easy for the crew to grab.
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    Whats everyones opinion on adding the gate to the 3 inch?

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