Friday, September 17, 2010

Pull Hose

When I started working for the K.B.F.P.D, I was surprised how crappy we were at wildland hose lays. For the uninitiated, a wildland or progressive hose lay is the evolution that stretches a hoseline from the engine to the fire, when the fire is farther than a pre-connected hoseline can reach.

Previously, I had worked for a small city department and was a On Call firefighter with the County F.D. Both agencies were equipped and trained for wildland firefighting, so it was a shock to me that Kinda Big was still in the dark ages.We didn't use hose packs or wildland nozzles and a Hebert hose clamp was used to shut the water off when adding a length of hose. It was absurd.

Fortunately, enough people with wildland experience were hired at the K.B.F.P.D. and things began to improve. Now, we're still not the authority at punching in 5000 foot hoselays, that honor will have to go to the U.S. Forest Service or the Schedule B firefighters that work for Cal-Fire. I'm just sayin' that we have made significant progress.

The hose is packed in,  usually 200 ft per person. Notice the captain has already off-loaded his hose, that is one of the basic rules of laying hose. The captain dumps first.

Now, before anyone gets their panties in a knot, these guys are basically mopping up on a cool high humidity day, that's why they are not totally buttoned up for these pics.

After the flames have been extinguished as far as the stream can reach, the hose is clamped and the water is shut off. In this shot, the clamp is visible on the hose just behind the firefighter's leg. The nozzleman disconnects the nozzle and hands the male hose coupling to the person who just unrolled the new length of hose. That person hands the  male coupling from the new length of hose to the nozzleman, then both connections are made. The first person to complete the connection hollers "water one!"  the second yells "water two!" Once the clamp man hears water two, he releases the clamp and hollers "water coming!" If done properly, the nozzleman waits until he has a secure flow of water and takes off with the rest of the team pulling hose behind him.

As there were only two guys on this crew, it wasn't done by the book. I really enjoyed photographing the evolution from the shade of this tree. When they run out of hose, the process is repeated until the objective is obtained.

Keep your dime and pull hose, bitches!

Thanks for reading,


  1. excellent post Captain! Love the pictures. I was going to ask what a Herbert Hose Clamp is but I've already looked it up on the google almighty.

  2. I would much rather be doing a mobile attack. I hate punching in line. The guys/gals at USFS and CalFire work hard for every penny they earn.

  3. Mrs. B - Ain't the Google grand?

    FFPM - Indeed. I figured it out one night about 0300 in a mountain overlooking Mill Creek Ranger Station. I was riding on a state engine, we had put in 4000' of hose to a fire that was pretty much out.

    I could see the lights of Redlands in the distance and I knew the RED guys were all snug in their beds. I knew the "B" side was not for me.

  4. Cool! this is the first time I saw like that. I really salute for the firefighters. They are so brave. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. Keep posting!