Thread: Hose Couplings

  1. #1
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE
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    Lightbulb Hose Couplings

    Of all the various types of fire service tools and equipment, the common hose coupling is arguably the most underrated and least appreciated piece of equipment in use today. Let's consider how we can increase the effectiveness of hose couplings for fireground operations.

    The portion of a coupling attached to hose is referred to as a "bowl." Interestingly, bowls are commonly produced with a straight cut at the rear (where hose enters a coupling). This results in a sharp edge that can restrict the movement of hose when you pull it around corners in structures and across concrete, asphalt, and other similar surfaces. This is graphically demonstrated by observing the abrasion marks on most couplings. To minimize this
    condition, you can order hose couplings with "tapered bowls," which remove the sharp edge at the end of the bowl, resulting in hose that is much easier to pull around corners and across ground surfaces. And a tapered bowl does not have a tendency to "hang up" on a corner when you advance in the interior of a structure.

    Direction of travel
    Occasionally, it is necessary for fireground personnel to follow hoselines out of a structure. Therefore, it is imperative that personnel practice and become familiar with the concept of following a hoseline and develop the ability to determine the proper direction of travel with only their hands as a reference point as follows:

    Assume a nozzle is connected to a male coupling. Therefore, when considering any coupling (behind a nozzle attached to a male coupling), following the hose behind male couplings will lead toward the pump (outside the structure) and following the hose behind female couplings will lead toward the nozzle (into the structure). With practice, it is easy to distinguish between a male and female coupling by feel only. The lug on a female coupling is
    one-third to one-half the length as compared with the length of a lug on a male coupling. With this knowledge, any firefighter can grasp a coupling on a hoseline and quickly determine which direction will lead to a desired location as follows (forward lay):

    To reach the exterior of a building, follow the hose behind the male coupling.
    To reach the nozzle, follow the hose behind the female coupling.
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    That is a very nice concept you have there. I have never thought about the hose couplings in that aspect before. Thanks for the idea.
    Wes Kirkpatrick
    Amory Fire Dept.
    Firefighter

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    You know, I've noticed that wear before, but never made the connection. Of course, compaired to 2" stortz, threaded bowls are nothing.

    The question is, why are there so many freekin different threads on 1 1/2 couplings? In some rural towns that buy used apparatus you'll see 3 different threads spread out across the 3 pumpers they have. Since these trucks often come with hose, and most rural departments can't afford to toss it, you end up with a real confusing situation when streaching a line.

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    Fire304;
    To answer your question, the threads per inch on couplings and steamer connections where a specable item on appertus and fire hydrants. Now most have gone to the NFPA recommended treads per inch to eliminate that confusion.
    In the twin cities area we have "minneapolis thread", "St Paul thread", and standard. On mutual aid companies, adapters are provided.
    That hasn't solved everything though, some vollie/combo still run with 4' steamers, others 5", some 6", some have stortz couplings, some don't...to connect mutual aid to another engine, it can be like an engineering exam.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Well I am glad to see that I am not the only one that put a lot of thought into how the couplings could guide you into or out of the structure. The problem is I could never get any one to understand what I was talking about or care for that matter. Anyway good thread E40FDNYL35.

    D308
    Last edited by d308fd; 10-21-2002 at 06:55 PM.

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    Originally posted by d308fd
    Well I am glad to see that I am not the only one that put a lot of thought into how the couplings could guide you into or out of the structure. The problem is I could never get any one to understand what I was talking about or care for that matter. Anyway good thread E40FDNYL35.

    D308
    It matters when the ***** is on. Belive me. Half the people that look at this thread have no idea what the point is.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    E40FDNYL35 has made a sad but true statement in that half the people don't have an idea. The ability to follow the hoseline to a coupling and determine which way is out is an esential part of BASIC firefighter training. Right along with proper equipment use and the ability to maintain contact with a wall. The bottom line is, if you don't have the basic skills of self rescue, the RIT team maybe nothing but a recovery effort...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Sad but true unfortunately. From Chiefs all the way down, a lot of people don't know this potentially life saving information. We've been teaching it for quite a while now but have to continually reinforce it. It really should be a part of just about every fire course.

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    A great teaching aid is to take an out of service hose, connect the couplings, and then cut the hose off a few inches from each coupling. Makes for an easy to handle training aid that you can pass around the class and let each firefighter handle.

    When I teach orientation from the hose coupling, I instruct the firefighters to straddle the hose and with gloved hands, grab the coupling feeling for the smooth part (which will be on the female coupling). With one hand on the smooth part, feel for the lugs and that will point you away from the nozzle, toward the pump.

    I like the innovation of the tapered bowls. It got me thinking about the lugs and what could be added to make them help with the orientation issue. What about adding "arrow lugs" to the male coupling that will point FFs to the way out? They would have to be designed to not interfere with spanner wrenches, but that doesn't seem too difficult.

  10. #10
    iceman4442
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    Lightbulb

    E40FDNYL35: Wow, what amazing timing - the training session I have set up for our department this evening involves being able to follow a hose out of our training building, including having to go the right way! We covered it in several earlier sessions, but the other instructor & I decided that we're not going to remind the guys today, just to see if any have actually picked it up and saved it beyond the written post test we do each session.

    The guys that remember it will get out on their own, the guys who do not are the ones that will activate the RIT phase of the training today.

    bpevans - we made two "training aids" like you describe, one 1 3/4", the other 2 1/2". And yes, I saw a lot of the look I describe as the "what the hell do I have to know this for" look. I guess we'll see later today!

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    Originally posted by SPFDRum
    That hasn't solved everything though, some vollie/combo still run with 4' steamers, others 5", some 6", some have stortz couplings, some don't...to connect mutual aid to another engine, it can be like an engineering exam.
    Funny you should say that, I remember one large fire where we had 3 mutual aid co's plus ourselves for a total of 5 different 1.5" threads and 2 different 2.5" I felt like a rat in a maze, wondering what sort of prize I would get if I figured out how to make the spagetti work

    Originally posted by
    drkblram

    I wish we would go to storz fittings for our supply hose, since then it makes no difference which way you lay the hose; lay in or reverse lay.
    It is nice! We used to use storz on attack line too, but we got rid of it for several reasons, not the least of which was its ability to hang up on everything. My Capt once told me if I had to bail out of a building, to wrap some of that stuff around my waist and jump, it was sure to fetch up before I went splat

    I have used stroz fittings on attack hose on a ship I worked on coule of years ago. sailor didn't twist it till it clicked, and shortly after it was charged, POP! we had water everywhere on deck, but where we wanted it!
    Saw this happen to 5" feed before we have the locking Storz. The feed was at the end of 500' and the hydrant truck could not see the attack truck. They charged the line and it untwisted at the jacobs valve, giving the engineer one hell of a bath. Luckily no one was hurt, wet yes, hurt no.

  12. #12
    iceman4442
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    Lightbulb

    Hey, just a quick update after yesterday's training I mentioned.

    Some of the teams actually were able to figure out how to follow the hose out! In general, the younger guys who have done the IFSTA courses more recently knew, the "older" guys did not. Notable exception were a few of the "older" guys whom I will hereafter refer to as "crustier" instead of "older!" (A couple of them even recognize this as the compliment it is!)

    Even afterward, when I had my "prop" hose sitting on the table, there were still a few who pointed the wrong way, even looking at it!

    Sigh - looks like we'll be doing more training on what should be the "basics!"

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