Task Specific Training: The Hose Advance

Dec. 12, 2005
Dragging that thousand pound snake to its ultimate destination remains one of the most difficult tasks ever asked of a firefighter, while life and death are decided by his or her level of success in carrying out the job. Is there any choice but to be fully prepared?

In this series of articles, we take a close look at various firefighting activities, and show how to encourage optimal performance and unprecedented protection of your bones and soft tissues under emergency conditions. By taking this systematic approach, you can boost both safety and your job performance on the fire-ground.

It's 3 AM on one of the most frigid mornings of the year. Ripping away the blanket of quiet that lies over the 100-year-old firehouse, the shrill alarm echoes off the gray tiled halls.

The brisk, frigid air offers a faint whiff of burning wood, and my gut tells me we'll be going to work shortly. I tap the glass that separates the pumper's front cab from the crew compartment, the universal signal for "get ready", just as the dispatcher lets us know he's getting multiple phone calls.

As we come to an abrupt stop, I transmit the 10-75 for a 100-by-200-foot, one-story commercial structure, with fire throughout the building. The initial hose-stretch to the conveniently located front door will be short and sweet, but without knowing the exact interior layout, I anticipate a long and winding advance with our charged line. I have to make a quick decision, do I go with a smaller diameter hose for speed and maneuverability, or do I opt for the power and distance of the larger, 2

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