Thanks for the comprehensive and no BS response chief! I have been very fortunate to learn from some of the best, including you, and then go to a few fires where the truth comes out very quickly as far as what works and what doesn't. Have you had a chance to check out the article Rob and I put together from our nozzle research?
Sounds like there's a back-up man issue if you are feeling fatigue on the nozzle. The back-up man is suppose to keep the hose steady and keep the pressure off the nozzleman while the nozzleman just waves the nozzle around and put the fire out.
Chris I just saw your reply. I was fortunate to have some outstanding talent pass through our department, and I learned just as much from you guys. Exactly the kind of FIREFIGHTERS that should be showing others along the way. Certianly the future Chief's and leaders of this profession, so hopefully us older folks can move on comfortably knowing the future generation is in the right hands. Maybe I'll head down Ben's way and take up golf! And damn it I'm gonna find me a pistol-grip 5 iron!
No, I didn't see the work you and the eye did. Enlighten me!
If it was perfect world, I would say no to the pistol grip. However, we operate extremely short staffed and it gives us something to pull the line with as we advance. As far as using it as intended, the nozzle is too close to your body, the nozzle needs to be out from your body.
Personally I don't mind the pistol grip during overhaul/hitting spot fire. Though during firefighting operations I do choke back and prefer to be able to whip the nozzle; its just one of those " its there if you need it " features for me. As far as back-up my self prefer to place my chest into the lineman's shoulder, I am then stable and sturdy for any unforeseen jump in line pressure, or sudden fatigue.
Pistol grip nozzles are like so many other things in life. Very little middle ground, either guys love them or hate them.
Well, I am a fan of them, BUT, there are times that sliding my hand back off from the nozzle to allow myself more mobility when working the stream. The pistol grip nozzle gives you the option of using it or operating the line like it isn't there. I can honestly say there has never been a time where having a pistol grip on the nozzle has interfered with how I wanted to use the line.
During hose advance, with a small to intermediate sized hoseline, I prefer the back up person to be far enough back that they can ensure that I have a smooth advance by not running out of hose. If I need to hit the fire without my back up person with me I can pin the hose to the floor with my knee or lay on top of it if I need to to control it.
If we are hitting the fire and advancing I like the back up man to be close, usually within a couple feet of me. I have been playing with the advancing technique of having the backup guy tight to me facing away from the nozzle and with his shoulder on my back pushing on me as he pulls hose for the advance in a knee slide foot push method.
We instruct our members not to use the pistol grip. We instruct them to lay the nozzle at least an arm's length in front of them and to hold the hose just behind the coupling of the nozzle and not the pistol grip to ease fatigue and aid to better movement.
We also instruct our back up firefighter to be on the same side of the line as the nozzleman and at least a person's width behind him to enable the back up man to counter any force and/or movement of the nozzleman with ease.