Engine Company Operations

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Beyond the Academy: Engine Company Operations


The engine company is the most basic unit of the fire service and no fireground task is more important than putting water on the fire.  This course reviews and expands upon member’s previous engine company skills. 

Hose Stretching Options – This station introduces members to several pre-connect and dead load stretching options.  Hose bed packing and storage options are as numerous and must compliment apparatus design and response area.  Participants will practice packing and stretching various pre-connect hose loads and review the pros and cons of each.  Dead load hose beds are not a thing of the past and cannot be replaced by pre-connects.  The versatility provided by a dead load is unparalleled.   Members will review and practice various dead load stretching options.  Basic hoseline management and stretching fundamentals will be reinforced the entire time.

Operating Hoseline Advance– This portion of the class reviews and practices moving the hoseline towards the fire.  Basic firefighter training normally involves crawling to the room that is on fire with the hoseline and operating the stream into the fire room from that point.  This portion of the class expands on that skill by practicing the techniques and steps necessary to advance a charged hoseline up or down stairs, down a hallway, or through multiple rooms with the stream operating on the fire the entire time.

Standpipe Operations – Fighting fires in standpipe-equipped buildings requires firefighters to have knowledge of these systems as well as the associated firefighting procedures.  This rotation will review the requirements of NFPA 14 and NFPA 25 as they relate to the installation, testing, inspection, and maintenance of standpipe systems and their relationship to firefighting operations.  Various options for standpipe hose set-ups and auxiliary equipment to be carried will be reviewed.  Students will have the opportunity to hook up to and operate off of a standpipe or simulated standpipe system.

Overcoming Obstacles – This rotation focuses on overcoming various obstacles that may present a challenge to engine company firefighters while in the process of positioning or operating a hoseline.  Techniques such as a rope stretch to reduce the overall length of a hoseline, replacing a damaged or burst length, correcting a short stretch, overcoming a damaged hydrant, etc. will be reviewed and practiced. 

Nozzle & Hose Myths & Realities – This rotation will explore the relationship between pressure, GPM, and various nozzles and hose combinations.  Do you know exactly how much friction loss is created by 100’ of YOUR fire hose?  Do you know how YOUR nozzles operate under reduced pressure conditions?  How much of an effect do obstructions have on various nozzles? Do you know how much nozzle reaction various nozzles create?  Our instructors will set up demonstrations using flow meters, in line pressure gauges, and scales to demonstrate the above-mentioned situations. 

Pump Operations – This rotation is a great refresher for seasoned pump operators and a good beginning for new operators.  Water supply considerations, hydrant hook-up options, GPM, pressure, friction loss, hose calculations, nozzle considerations, and more will be reviewed and practiced.  Additional skills such as setting up a water relay, drafting operation, or foam operation can be added if desired.

This course can be offered as a one-day 8-hour (most common) course or broken up into segments and delivered as crew or company drills.  A firehouse, training center, or other similar location is suitable for conducting this course. 

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