Most companys have their preference of fog, and smooth bore or "stacked" nozzles.

When i went to the fire academy this past weekend they trained us that "real firefighters dont use the pistol grips on the nozzles". All but about 3 nozzles had the piston grips cut off, not removed but CUT. For me this made it very difficult to handle the hose lines especially the smooth bores, plus they yelled at me alot by saying my station was wrong with all the techniques that i was trained to do, but thats awhole different story lol. They trained us to operate the line by holding the hose and bail. What i want to know is WHAT DO YOUS PERFER? HOW DO YOU PERFER TO HANDLE THE HOSE LINE?

My company and my preference is the combination fog nozzle and holding the grip and bail. Thats how my company operates and thats how we train and it works perfectly for us. So lets hear it!

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I agree with you, a combination nozzle with a pistol grip is my favorite. But, right now we have smoothbore nozzles on the trucks, although they all have grips.

I just don't understand the philosophy behind removing the grip. Aside from being asinine and reeking of machismo, it really is a safety hazard. Who wants to get hit with a flying hose, in winter when the pipe is coated with ice and you can't hang on to it?

Unless they want to bring back the good ol' fashioned, traditional hose straps?
I really cant answer that one for ya. The instructor just kept telling us about his company and how they cut the grips off their nozzles so i really dont know whats going on in that company. But its funny you mention the hose strap because thats what the empathize the back up man to use ONLY if they had a strap to use. The nozzle man just holds onto the bail and hose and no straps.
Thanks Frank. Thats what they trained us to do at the academy. Ill admit the combination nozzle with that technique did have less force behind it but going onto the smooth bore literally threw me onto the ground. The gyms at my station always told me i was going to get thrown around by the hose because im so light and all the times ive been on a hose line that was the first time a hose had thrown me to the ground lol
True that lol. But yea man thanks for your insight. This monday during my drill ill see if the guys will pull out our engine and ill try out what your saying by only holding the hose.
well we use straight up fog nozzles for everything Structures, sheds, car fires, etc. we use a pistol grip for our brush truck. and the bubblecup nozzles to apply foam at woods fires. we have stacked tips for our deck guns but other than that we are just a fog nozzle department. although i will admit using a pistol grip is sometimes eaiser.
my dept used the pistol grip nozzle only some times do we hold it by the grip most of the time we was trained to hold it in front of us at about arms legnth is about right and to only crank open the nozzle at with you want to spray and hold the hose and use your weak hand to guid with it extreamly easy that way
My Department doesn't have any pistol grips. And, we use combination nozzles.
We always have two in on the hoseline. The back-up usually controls the back pressure, so that the nozzle man can control the direction of the water. I like to hold the hose about 1' to 18" bhind the nozzle, with my right hand, and control the nozzle with my left.
As far as your academy goes, I don't understand the concern with the pistol grip. They should worry more about teaching proper techniques and tactics, than being "man" enough to hold the hose.
I've worked extensively with both, and I don't have any heartburn either way. My current department favors TFT combination nozzles, with pistol grips. I haven't found anyone who doesn't like them. The major advantages I've seen over the Akrons I previously used are being able to adjust the nozzle pressure at the tip, and having a more precise pattern.
Either nozzle works for me, combination or straight stream. They both have their purposes in the fire service. Something I have not seen written in any responses is the lack of having a hand free while using the nozzle. With 2 hands on the line (when theirs no pistol grip) it is easier at times, but you also lose the hand that should be sounding the floor or feeling for obstructions. With a real smoker the pistol grip will get you better drag power with one arm while your other one senses problems ahead. If your going to be in a fixed scenerio spraying a nozzle I don't use the pistol grip because it seems to require less force to sit and balance with the nozzle under the arm as noted above. You do maintain better control of the hoseline you have once you get to the fire when being 18" behind the nozzle. In a fire your hands are your eyes at times, and if you are spending the entire time dragging hose without feeling for where you are you can open up a can of worms. This problem can also be averted with 3 person teams, thermal imaging camera's and more training to build efficiency.
I'm not afraid to say I love the pistol grip, it allows me to put a little more forward pressure on the nozzle, which helps when the pump operator decides you need more pressure (when you don't.. lol). I had to operate off a ladder into a window at a fire once without the pistol grip and it was a complete pain in the ass. We use fog nozzles here (of course with straight stream capabilities as well). We have deluge guns with stacked tips on them on the pumps, but those are more for reach and volume. The fog is great; left for life!!!
Spanner, I agree. I love having the fog capability in a nozzle for protection and for smoke avoidance.

As far as holding onto the hose behind the nozzle, you have to be careful not to hold it too far back, lest a kink develop - especially with the smoothbore. I had that happen once, and the resulting hose-whip laid me out on the deck with a broken face shield and glasses too.

And as far as Ted's comment about over-pumping the line with a SB on: that's what I thought too until we did some detailed testing last year. We had an in-line flow meter between the hydrant and pump inlet; a pitot gauge and in-line pressure gauge at the nozzle. Here are a couple of data points:

1 3/4 hose 15/16 smoothbore 173 psi pump pressure 50 psi pitot pressure 186 gpm
1 3/4 hose 1 1/2 Vindicator 150 psi pump pressure 50 psi gauge pressure 191 gpm

This is for 200 feet of brand new 1 3/4 inch line. If we pumped to the vindicator with 170 psi the GPM was 207.

I don't know; I don't consider myself a wimp but holding onto that smoothbore really kicked my ass, and most of the other guys too. The vindicator for some reason is easier to hang on to.
I use the pistol grip for one thing and one thing only, whether it be 1 3/4 or a 2 1/2 inch line, fog, smooth bore or stacked nozzle, and that's humpin hose while making a push. One hand on the grip, the other free hand feeling out in front of me.
When actually putting the wet stuff on the red stuff with the 1 3/4 line I hold the line about a foot to two feet in front of me with one hand on the bale. If using the 2 1/2 I utilize my hose rope tool and still keep it one to two feet in front of me.
In my experience using the pistol grip while actually flowing water does nothing but tire you out more quickly. I say, Keep that line out in front of you! You will have more leverage, more play in the line, and it will be easier on your arms. Although I do see Spanner's point when the engineer decides you need more pressure. However, I haven't encountered that problem much.

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