Video – Engine Ops: Nozzle & Back-up Techniques

The latest addition to our video training series focuses on the importance of a well coordinated nozzle team.  In this video Nate DeMarse and Chris Collier demonstrate effective nozzle and back-up firefighter techniques.  In this video a 2 1/2" line equipped with a smooth bore nozzle with a 1 1/8" tip was used.  At 50 lbs nozzle pressure this line is flowing approximately 280 gallons per minute (GPM) and can still be moved effectively by two firefighters.  The nozzle reaction of the smooth bore is approximately half that of most combination nozzles while flowing the same GPM. 

Please feel free to post your comments and questions.


  • Jeff says:

    Has there been a blog posted on when and how the 2 ½ inch line should be stretched. I don’t think I would be far off when I say that, for the most part, Ontario fire department operations at low-rise apartments (what we call the “3 storey walk-up”) are not done very professionally. Ontario Fire departments are plagued by SFDS (Single Family Dwelling Syndrome). The problems start when the Chiefs order engines, or the ever so popular quint (It does everything!). Ontario fire Chiefs don’t seem to think a fire can break out farther than 200 feet from the engine/ quint. They order engines equipped with 4 preconnected lines (one of those is the trash line), and a bed of large diameter supply line. If you want to add hose you have to remove rolled hose from the pump operator’s compartment. The good news is, now you have a FIRE engine with lots of compartment space so you can store everything you will never need on it.

  • Jeff says:

    The second problem is that most engines are staffed with only 3 or 4 firefighters (one of those firefighters is the pump operator). So in order to stretch the 2 ½ inch line (or even a long stretch with the 1 ¾) the next due engine must combine with the first engine to get the initial attack line operating on the fire. Instead what normally happens is: the second due engine starts stretching their back-up line, they run into the first engine who is still trying to stretch their line and everyone stands in the stairwell shouting for more hose. It’s pretty comical if it’s not your apartment on fire.
    Lastly, too many firefighters take a, “we’ll figure it out when we get there” attitude. What this really means is: “I don’t feel like getting out of my chair and going out to train and learn the buildings in my response area”. These are the same firefighters that will not have any wedges in their pockets, mask up on the way to a fire, don’t think the halligan is a useful tool etc. etc. etc. etc. In the Ontario fire service, where seniority is everything, these are the same firefighters that will one day be your officer!

  • VERY valid points and concerns. I do not think we have a blog about when to stretch 2 1/2" but it is certainly a good idea and I will put it on the list of future blog topics. Combining companies is a huge help in the situations you mention… why do you need a back-up line if the first line isn't putting water on the fire? We will do a blog about that too. Thanks.

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We specialize in the basic fundamentals of firefighting. While we believe that hazardous materials, terrorism, emergency medical and the various rescue disciplines are essential parts of the Fire Service, we also think that the basic fundamentals of firefighting have been overlooked in recent years. We are here to help turn that trend in the other direction.

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