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!
I'm with the have the line out in front of you crowd. The distance depends on the length of your arms... If you have short arms, 2' in front of you isn't going to work! You should be able to have a hand on the nozzle to adjust if necessary. My big concern is all the people that have their hand on the bail. I prefer that once the line is open, hand comes off the bail. If your hand is on the bail you can partially close the nozzle without even realizing it. If you have something startle you, you can shut down your line when you need it most!
But isn't the idea of keeping your hand on the bail gives you the control that if the nozzle reaction starts to get away from you it can be shut off easily? If it starts to get away your first natural reaction is to grab on tight, at least for me it is..
Sean, don't know about you, I'm not letting go of that line unless it's a last resort! The way I was taught was the bail should be about, like you said, about an arms length out, as you open the bail, slowly (not to slowly of course) if the nozzle reaction pushes the nozzle back to forcefully then you keep your arm straight to close the valve and regain control. If your putting it down to trap it with your body weight I understand, but still that would be down the line of interventions! Take care everyone!
Some years ago, I had an instructor rail on pistol grips. His main concern was that when you hold it so tight to the body, you don't have an extra step if the floor has a hole in it or it decides to give way. He felt that if you held the nozzle out in front of you, you would proceed with more caution.
We have pistol grips on all pre cons. Guys like them.
However; we also have Vindicator, TFT combies, TFT stacked and straight bore. We are not afraid to change nozzles in response to a situation.
The reason that I have taught people to take their hand off the bail for years is that I don't want them to get in the habit of shutting off the nozzle when they have too much back pressure (I assume that is what you mean by getting away from you). If you get in the habit of shutting off the nozzle, you could easily shut it off at a time that you need the protection of that stream. If you are using a fog nozzle on straight stream, I want your reaction to be to turn the pattern to the left (right to fight, left for life) so that you are easing the back pressure by going to a wider pattern, rather than shutting down the line.
I think we may be talking/posting about different circumstances.. I'm talking about it getting away from you because either your really not ready, your pump operator really has your line overpressurized, or both... About to fall on your backside getting away.. Not that this should happen, but... I've personally never been in this situation (yah right), but I saw it happen to a guy once!
I wasn't refering to the normal or even more than normal back pressure that we all should expect. I should have been more accurate.. I was also talking more about being in a standing position... Defensive attack, or grass fire, etc..
We'll be pumping some water on the 12th, and I'll play...
Sounds like someone is stuck in the stone age....ask the moron...er I mean "instructor" why the hell they put it there in the first place and also show him/her the NFPA compliance label...should be interesting discussion....might want to ask your State Office about this....I think they are trying to blow smoke up your butt....Also you should remember the adage..."Those who cannot do......TEACH...."Stay safe Brother.....and use what you got........Paul