1. #1
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    Default Handling Large Attack Lines

    Essentials recommends for the one firefighter method of handling a 2 1/2" hose line to "form a large loop, cross the loop over the line about 2 feet behind the nozzle, then sit where the hose crosses and direct the stream."
    This is what I was taught in basic (many years ago) and what the academy teaches our recruits today.

    A couple of years ago, I read an article in one of the fire magazines (probably Firehouse or Fire and Rescue, can't remember which) about hose handling and the author described a one firefighter method which was accomplished simply by sitting on the hose. When you sit on the hose with a little less than an arms length of hose in front of you, as you aim the fire stream, the nozzle reaction forces are directed toward the ground and the weight of your body prevents any movement of the hose.

    We tried this at a hose handling drill and liked the way it worked. Much quicker and simpler than trying to loop a charged line. We tried it with a 250 pound butt sitting on the line and with a 100 pound butt sitting on the line and found both to be able to easily handle the nozzle. It is now our standard method for a single firefighter to handle a 2 1/2.
    We used it a couple of weeks ago on a single family residential, about 1400 square feet, 50% involvement on arrival. Tuesday 3 in the afternoon, as usual here in the country we arrived with an engine and 3 people. We stretched the 2 1/2, sat on it, opened it up and had the fire knocked down in about 30 seconds. Quick, simple, great method for a defensive operation.
    I mentioned our method last night in a class (Fire Instructor, members from 6 different departments represented) and the reaction was I was crazy, that's dangerous, it's not done that way, the academy has taught the loop method since Cro Magnon Man so it has to be done that way.
    How do y'all do it?
    Did anyone else read the article I read and if you did can you tell me where to find it. I have spent half an hour googling but can't find a link on the web.

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    I also advocate the non-looped method. It is my understanding that the loop is supposed to combat the nozzle reaction. I feel that this is a fallacy, since a hose flowing water tends to want to become straight again. Nobody has ever explained to me the real benefit to this loop.

    The author of the article you read was likely Paul Shapiro of Las Vegas FD. His website is www.fireflowtechnology.com

    Mr. Shapiro advocates the use of "Handlines" that flow up to 600 GPM utilizing the handling technique you describe. I have, with great success, managed high flow lines (250-350 GPM) easily by simply sitting on the line. The loop seems to be only a big nightmare to me. The only time I advocate loops is when tying a portable master stream device back to the hose in the absense of something more sturdy.

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    MG3610 - thanks for the info. I am not sure if Mr. Shapiro was the author of the article I read or not. I did however, visit the www.fireflowtechnology.com web site and contacted Mr. Shapiro. He sent me a very, very interesting document on high flow handlines and it does reference the 1 firefighter method of simply sitting on the line (with up to a 400 GPM flow).

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    It absolutely works. I have done it up to 500 GPM, BUT... the hose has to be straight behind the nozzle, if the hose takes a hard bend right behind the guy sitting on it he is going for a ride.

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    I have used this method before as well. To prove the point you can even prop an air pack or something under the nozzle and have the line straight and let it flow by itself. You dont even need to sit on it at all. All of the reaction will go into the ground. Obviously you want some control over it in a fire situtation, but it shows that you don't need to "wrestle" with the line at all just place a hand on it where you want the stream to go.

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    That method is fine. Looping is the accepted way, like you say from cromagnon man. But in resent years....the knee bend, and sitting right on the line have been taught too. I have done all of them....When in the vollies I even used the pistol grip hooked to a horizontal fence pole and dumped water on a 180 y/o church that was burning....I was there for 6 hours....and never got tired.

    Were I work is different.....2.5" line, although its a bitc&, is a 2 man operation....nozzle and back-up. We use it the same way we use the 1.75". Once its open....you are expected to move foward with water flowing the entire time. This is a very physically punishing operation. In my company, the backup man carries a 2" heavy tie down strap......its actually a cargo sling used by the shipping and frieght industry. The backup man makes a loop around the hose and sinches it back to take up the slack....the then puts his arm through the big loopand grabs the strap with the hand thats through the loop.....and viola...he take take all the back pressure up with his body and not just his arms......a simple tug foward on the strap will hold you in place.....the other method we use is a hose strap......same idea, but nothing goes over your arms....you just lock the stap in and pull foward....and away you go.

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    We've utilized both methods, both work, although looping a large 2 1/2" attack line is a pain the butt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DugdogFiredog
    We've utilized both methods, both work, although looping a large 2 1/2" attack line is a pain the butt.
    Not when it is dry... and sitting on the loop keeps your arse off the wet ground!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    As others have pointed out, the loop is not only more work and more time consuming (especially when operating in blitz attack mode), it is counter-productive in terms of nozzle reaction.

    I am a strong advocate of having the 2 1/2" (with flows of 500-600gpm with two people) straight out behind the nozzle. The only possible exception would be for significantly extended surround and drown operations: the loop will be a little more comfortable after a few hours. If your peers are giving you bad looks, EDUCATE them on this method!

    gefd, Paul Shapiro is your man. He has written about this method extensively in his book and in Fire Rescue, so I'm not sure exactly to which article you are referring. One of the best was his article on blitz attack with the 7 second knockdown in Gary, IN (I believe that it was October 1998, but I will check that for you tonight when I get home).

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    If you are attacking a fire, you will be moving the hose so neither method will work.

    If you are sitting around, dousing from the outside, you are most likely defending and won't be moving much, so either method will work. In our testing, we found the 1 guy sitting on the straight line worked better when he kept the nozzle pointing straight out and not moving it much. When it involved more side to side work with the nozzle, the loop seemed to hold the hose better and allow wider movement.
    "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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    I would be glad to send out material on this subject. I have been teaching this concept for years and it really works. One problem we have in the fire service, at least when it comes to water delivery, is developing new concepts, techniques etc. I base my training on what the manufacturers allow for there equipment. Everything else is up for debate and change.
    Send me a line and I will be glad to share with you.
    Paul Shapiro
    layinline@aol.com

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    Ever try the 2-1/2 or 3 inch hose connected to a 200cfm CAFS? You need a jumbo shutoff valve and no nozzle but it will throw very dense foam more than 200 feet while moving with the hose. It's impressive fighting fire while pulling it up high rise buildings too.
    Mark Cummins

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    The technique you discribe is also taught at the FDIC in the handline class. As mentioned, as long as the line is straight one man can manage a 2.5" line. The trick is direct the reaction forces into the ground. Using a smooth bore also helps, as the nozzle pressure should be 50 psi as compared to 100 psi for a combo nozzle at comparable flows.
    Capt406, IACOJ#780

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    We use the blitzfire( I think it's made by task force tips) on the end of our 2 1/2" hose, makes for a great nozzle if you are just setting it up and it's gonna not be moved around that much, the nozzle swivels up and down and side to side, and the best feature is you can literally set it up and walk away, b/c it has a built in safety feature that even the slightest movement will shut it off. that would be my suggestion to use if you are just gonna set it up and not move much.

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