First I will preface my coming remarks with I know this is only a small part of a larger video, but it is out there on the internet and people could use it as a learning tool so I feel that it needs addressing.
If you have ever read the blog, or looked at past post you would have figured out by now that I belive in the “first in lay in” philosophy. Simply put if you think you are going to a fire, then the first due engine should lay a supply line from the hydrant to the fire. Some agree some disagree, and that’s just life.
In this video they are showing a short-staffed engine company, laying a line in to a fire and describing why they are doing what they are doing. The video is a FETN production which we actually pipe into all of our firehouse via a closed circuit television channel.
My big issue is if this is how they are teaching people to lay line, then no wonder people do like doing it.
First of all the officer should not get out and lay the line, they need to be focused on the building and giving pre arrival assignments, especially in a short staffed engine where the officer will be in a combat command, and have to perform critical functions.
Second just because you lay out does not mean you have to leave someone at the hydrant. Sure if you are in an area where you do not know if your second engine is coming (small career, volunteer, or dependent on mutual aid) then by all means leave someone there. But if you know where your second engine is coming from, or even a third engine, assign one of them to pick up the line. This not only allows for an engine to be on the hydrant in case of a long lay, or boost in water, but it keeps from cluttering up the scene in front of the structure, a position critical for the first in special service company, or the unit assigned for truck company functions.
Lastly and we do not like to use the word never in this job, but NEVER stand on a hose that is being pulled by a fire engine! I have seen and heard of people doing this and a coupling catch or break loose and throw people in the air. The engine has a lot more horse power than you, that’s why we let it do the work. Wrap the hose around the hydrant, stop sign, car tire whatever but do not stand on it.
No matter your staffing water supply is a critical component of what we do, we must be water supply experts in the engine company. Get out there and train on this so you do not get it wrong at the next fire!
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As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!