You are an engine company, not an Italian restaurant.
Despite what hoseload you choose to use, how you configure your hosebed and the number of members arriving as an engine company there is no excuse for spaghetti. It is even made worse when the engine is nosed in or "beached". Your 150' or 200' hoseline is a bundle of kinks at the driver's feet when after positioning on the front yard you may only need two or three lengths at the most. The video below is an example, one of many departments that has positioned poorly and did not stretch the hoseline but grabbed the nozzle and ran for the door.
Being a disciplined and proficient engine company means not simply estimating what hoseline to pull, but knowing how, being able to break it down into fewer lengths if needed. It means that all members act as a company, making sure the first hoseline is free of kinks and properly charged before going to work.
Remember, as the first line goes, so goes the fire. What you may think was a successful knock may just be dumb luck on your part. Do you want to make that the foundation of your engine company?
Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the FireEMSBlogs.com network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.
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