Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 9:08 am
By Mark van der Feyst
Different-sized hoselines can be used as offensive weapons or defensive tools to suppress fire. The most commonly used hoselines are one-and-a-half-inch, one-and-thee-quarter-inch and two-and-a-half-inch, each flowing a different rate of water and producing different nozzle reactions.
As few as one firefighter, or as many as four firefighters can be needed to hold the line, depending on the diametre of the line, the amount of water flowing and the required pressure being pumped from the apparatus. Many firefighters fatigue quickly when manning a hoseline and then have a hard time trying to maintain control. There are different ways to hold the line.
The sitting method is the most common way for a single firefighter to hold the line. The firefighter turns the hose into a circular shape and then passes it underneath itself, so that he or she is able to sit on the hose at the point at which the two sections are in contact with each other. As shown in photo 1, the firefighter in the orange helmet is sitting on the two sections, and controlling the hoseline. Although this method allows just one firefighter to manage a small-diameter or a large-diameter hoseline, it is not very ergonomic; lower-back fatigue sets in quickly while reaching/hunching forward to hold the nozzle and control it. This method works well only for defensive positions.