Recently, my business partner and I instructed a fire skills session at a CFA fire training ground for an underground mine rescue company.


During the pre-training safety briefing, the manager of the training ground said that under no circumstances were members to drag or operate a hose over their shoulder (regardless of how many operators are on the hose), as depicted below.




He cited two main issues:


1) Manual handling risks


2) Balance (loss of)



Thoughts from anyone else?


Is this still an accepted and taught practice in your department?


Do you agree or disagree?

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If you can maintain control of the hose, then the technique is fine.

If the base of the fire is below you, then you need to be elevate the nozzle and angle it down to hit the fire.
The over-the-shoulder technique allows for this.

My department uses 50 PSI nozzles that have less nozzle reaction than conventional 100 PSI nozzles, but even 100-PSI nozzles can be handled as shown if the nozzleman has the strength and technique and the backup firefighter propery counteracts the nozzle reaction.
I see no problem with this technique I personaly put the hose over my shoulder all the time I think it just depends on the situation and yes we do teach this as part of hose training.
You can't drag a hose like that? I disagree, the way to get good purchase on a hose, especially a charged one it to sling it across your chest.

I can see his point, but I've got to go with Ben and Allen on this one.
I only use that method if I am fighting a car fire or grass fire, where I do not need a lot of pressure. I personally do not think the over the shoulder method is good for a structure fire
His (the manager) reasons are valid. One makes themselves "top heavy" so there is a chance of loss of balance or losing the line. However his blanket statement of "under no circumstances" is in my opinion too narrow minded. Perhaps he is looking at it from a facility liability issue.

There can be circumstances where it is acceptable to use this method safely and effectively. I show my trainees that it is an option available, and I let them practice it. But I also also point out that it is generally safer and less work, keeping the nozzle closer to their center of gravity.
Perhaps he is looking at it from a facility liability issue.
Absolutely! He's definitely looking at a liability issue on his training ground....
My department uses the over the shoulder method all the time. In certain situations it is needed as Ben stated above. Last shift I responded to a car fire and I used this method myself. I agree that it is a safe technique to use if you are able to physically.
If the backup firefighter is properly absorbing the nozzle reaction, there will be no "top heavy" balance prblem for the nozzleman.

Ditto for low pressure (50 psi) nozzles.
i find using the hose over my shoulder for blacking out much easy and more effective then just holding it normally.
Three words begin with the letter L...
Liability, Lawyers and Lawsuits.

The faciiity manager is afraid of all three...

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge has the "over the shoulder" carry for one of the events, and it is an acceptable method for hose handling, dependant on the situation.
I like the over the shoulder especially with a pistol grip nozzel & if standing, as shown in the pic. I use it quite often. I have found with the proper footing & nozzel control, it is easier to balance yourself with high flow rates. If nealing or using a nozzel without a grip, I like the under the arm method.
Great answer and I agree completely.

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