After reading some blogs and posting in some of them I decided I wanted to start a discussion on hose lines that you might be using and why you use them instead of your cross lays.  Our Chauffeur (Nick Hintz of the Elkhart Fire Dept. also works for the Brotherhood Instructors) on our rig brought back to us an idea after seeing a lay that Chicago uses, we talked about it because I have seen it before in Chicago to but did not think about mentioning it,  so we modified it to fit our rig.  But how we have the line is it consists of 400 ft. of 2 ½ “ hose, dead loaded (not connected to the discharge) with a 2 ½” nozzle that has a blunt tip (tip on the nozzle is a 1 ¼”)  and connected to the tip of the nozzle is 100 ft of 1 ¾” hose with a Elkhart Brass Chief nozzle that breaks off to a smoothbore which is used for our primary attack.  The 1 ¾” hose is reverse horse shoed.  The nozzle for the 2 1/2 is packaged in with the 1 ¾ line.  The reason for that is when the hose line is deployed off the back of the rig then you are not dragging the nozzles.  Now when deploying the hose line the chauffeur will come to the back of the rig to help deploy the line so they know how much hose is off the engine, and then they will know the pressure they need to be pumping at.  When we go to a residential fire and pull that line we automatically pull off 150’ of 2 ½ hose line so in total you have 250’ of hose line, now when deployed say you need to blitz attack before you go in all you have to do is spin off the 1 ¾ line spray your 2 ½ and when done shut your nozzle reattach the 1 ¾ and go right on in and finish putting out the fire or do mop up.   I have been using this line for a little while now and it is my first choice to pull.  This line is also good for if you have to go down an alley, instead of sending your engine down a tight alley it can be deployed, or if you are in a rural area and the house is off the road a little way, another good reason is your engine can pull a little farther past the house so you truck company can have plenty of space to get where they need to be to start their operations.  Another reason as stated you can pull this lay off the rig do a blitz attack and then reattach the 1 ¾ and go in, using this line saves valuable time when you are having to start off with a 2 ½ and then knock the fire down enough you can safely use an 1 ¾.  Now you might ask about the 2 ½ nozzle and how you plan on keeping it open when you have the 1 ¾ hose attached and in service.  Yes it is easy for that 2 ½ to be closed on accident, but there is a quick fix!  All you need is a little webbing, have the bail open and tie the webbing to the bail and then use a clove hitch and it will keep your nozzle open.  You can keep the webbing attached to the bail before hand but you need to make sure that you can get it off fast if you are going to go inside a structure with the 2 ½.   One point I forgot to mention earlier is we use velcro straps to keep the 1 ¾ packaged together so when you take it off the rig it stays together and when you need to deploy the 1 ¾ it is easy to take off and go.  Also another plus we have found so far is that when we pitoted the line when we had 150’ of 2 ½ and took reading and also taking a reading when we added the 1 ¾ both where pumped at 115 and it gave both lines the correct pressures they need to be at. 
What do you have that you can share? 
Do you have something similar to this? 
What are your thoughts?

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A picture is worth a thousand words...
Yeah I just took some photos lol but haven't figured out how to forward it from my phone so I'll probably do it from my laptop tomorrow, I tried to email my FFN account but it didn't go threw.
Short answer to the question is "yes".

Each pump has a bumper line 100' of 1 3/4"...for trash fires, car fires, etc.
2- 200' of 1 3/4" crosslays midships on the engine
2- 200' of 1 3/4" on the hose bed
1- 400' of 2 1/2" static load
1- 400' of 2 1/2" connect to a wye with 100' of 1 3/4"
1- 200' of 2 1/2" blitz line pre-connect off the rear

So we have the option to use a standard crosslay for something like a room and contents, to using the 2 1/2" blitz for quick knockdown and then go in.

The 2 1/2" to 1 3/4" line is what you are describing here as the "Chicago load". We call it the Lead line and is great for those structures set back away from the street or garden apartments. Only difference is we have the wye on the 2 1/2" so would have to put a nozzle on to use it. Otherwise a high rise pack is hooked onto the wye for a back-up line. RIT will pull a third line off a different pump.
For your lead line you can actually do what Chicago does. They have a 2 1/2 nozzles connected to a gated wye, now instead of a 2 1/2 to 2, 1 3/4 outlets, it's all 1 3/4 I'll get that picture posted to. (thy actually run with 700 ft dead load and this line is times 2 on there hosebed
My rig has 100 ft of 1 3/4 preconnect with a chief nozzle with the spin off for smoothbore but that line is basically our car fire or trash fire line.
2 midship cross lays 1 3/4 one smoothbore the other has a chief nozzle with the spin off tip.
Drivers side rear 200 ft of 2 1/2 hose with a smoothbore then the officers side is the line above and 1000 ft of 5inch.
Yeah, I understand what Chicago uses, that is where we got the idea from. The difference is we have a 2 1/2" to two 1 3/4" wye, with 100" of 1 3/4" hose connected to one end of the wye. If the 2 1/2" is to be used we would have to take the wye off to put on a 2 1/2" nozzle. This is why we have a static load of 2 1/2" as well as the blitz line.

We do pull the lead line quite a bit since we have incorporated it, but we still have many structures where a crosslay will easily suffice. I like the versatility of the lead line, but isn't always practical in every situation we encounter.
Ok I didnt know if you knew you could add a nozzle before the wye so in turn you didn't have to go get a 2 1/2 nozzle and add it in. I do agree it's not always the line to pull but it sure is a great option.
Here are the pictures I hope they come up! Since I could only pick 3, the last one is a picture of Chicago's nozzle to wye but the other 2 are from ours, I have more and when I get a chance I'll add them I have my baby girl to contend with today and also need to take one of the boys snack to school since he left it behind this morning, you guys have a safe day!
My current full-time gig (combo department) uses crosslays for our 1 3/4" and a pre-connected load in the hosebed for the 2 1/2".

My volunteer department uses a similair setup with the exception of one engine which has 2 13/4" preconnects on the front bumper in addition to 2 13/4" and 1 2 1/2" crosslay preconnects. There is also a 300' 1 3/4" deadload crosslay.

My previous volunteer department in the northeast used reels to store attack hose instead of crosslays. Each reel held 400' of 13/4" line. The truck also had 2 200' 1 3/4" preconnects and 2 2 1/2" preconnects in the hosebed. The reels were used when we needed a line other than 200' in length, which included trash fires, some vehicle fires, brush fires and non-typical structire fire stretches.

It also was used quite a bit for daytime operations as it could be easily reloaded by one firefighter if needed.

The first truck to be setup this way was purchased in 1991. All engines purchased since then have had this setup.
It looks like an interesting concept. In my dept the only other loads we have are 1.75 trash lines, an alley lay set up of the rear, and booster reels for grass fires.
1 3/4 trash line and two 2 1/2 rear discharges.
The original concept was the ability to carry a heavier line for vehicle and trash fires without having to repack a load when we were shortahanded. It then evolved into simply not specifying a booster line on new trucks and loading both reels with 1.75".

It does very work well for those 100', 300' and 400' strretches where that 200' crosslay or rearmount load is either too long or too short. The downside to it is that it does take slightly longer to deploy if your members are proficient at deploying the crosslays without making a tangled mess. If deploying crosslays are an issue, utilizing a reel is actually faster as it's impossible to create a tangled mess.
that is not a bad idea at all! One way to help someone that is having problems with crosslay deployment, they need to do the norm grab the dog ears when they pull the load onto there shoulder make sure they flip it so if they do walk out a 100' then they don't get snapped back and the hose comes right off the top. Now if they go to the door they are about to go into they put the load down, grab the knuckles at the 50' mark, walk out the line and usually you can walk it out so your line is flaked and ready to go in. Pending on room you might have to do some more flaking but it normally works great! I am going to try to get some video's of this and also deploying the elkhart load.

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