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What are you packing???


I have currently been assigned to a Heavy Rescue Company for the better half of almost 2 years.  Prior to this assignment I was assigned to a Quint/Engine company.  I have always thought that I was a well-rounded fireman when it came to all the different trades but since being assigned to the Rescue I feel like I have lost some of the basic tricks of the trade of the Engine Company. 

In my Rescue Company we are the dedicated Technical Rescue Team for our department which means we mostly concentrate on Ropes, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, and Building collapse.  As few and far apart these events happen we spend a lot of our days training on these materials.  My personal opinion is that we spend too much time on this type of material which only covers about less than 1% of types of calls we respond too.  This leads us to neglect the types of calls we respond to the other 99% of the time such as vehicle accidents, building fires, alarms, EMS calls, and performing other key skills at fires such as forcible entry, ground ladder placement, and searches for victims. 

This leads to my idea for this blog post.  I want to know “What Your Packing???”, This is in reference to the types of hose loads your departments carry on your apparatus and why.  The past few weeks I’ve been hearing the argument about “Triple Lay Vs. Flat Lay” and the pros and cons of each.

I come from a traditional style department and we carry 3 preconnected lines.

-200 feet of 1 3/4, Flat lay with a fog nozzle

-150 feet of 1 3/4, flat lay with fog nozzle

-150 feet of 2 1/2, flat lay with nozzle of Captains choice (Soon to be Fire Chief Breakaway Fog Tip)

We use the flat lay for a few reasons: 1-“That’s the way it’s always been done” 2-More flexibility with placing the line when its pulled 3-Hose trays are single wide and only allows for certain hose loading styles.

But at my Volunteer station they are 100% in favor of the Triple Load.  As far as the reason go I’m not sure because I am not really familiar with the pros and cons of each. 

So therefore I ask again “What Are You Packing??”

Editors Note: Thanks to Danny for this most recent blog post. I agree that sometimes we spend more time on our “specialty stuff” than our “bread and butter”. I am also a huge fan of the flat load as well mostly because its easy to pull, easy to pack, and everyone knows how to do it. I have had bad experiences with the “triple layer” mostly deployment and packing. Please leave some feedback in the comments section.

About Danny Owens