Hose Work

Bearing in mind that we must operate as a team at all times. That is mandatory and not negotiable. (Individuals are best located elsewhere.)
–  2 persons as minimum on a hose.
–  Changing roles on a regular basis, say every 15/20/30 mins.
–  Do it properly/ do it once.
–  Know how to correctly operate the Branches. The 3 basic types with varying 
control functions (see below).

Roles of the Branch operator.

  • –  Assessing the situation before making a rushed move.
  • –  Prepare the fire ground to walk on and protect the hose line.
  • –  Conserve water wherever possible but do the job (a fine line sometimes)
  • – Maintain a suitable water pressure for the job.
  • –  Attacking the worst/most dangerous part of fire first.
  • –  Taking instructions from Crew Leader.
  • –  Know the signals for:
    Water on–Water off–Increase water Pressure–Reduce Water pressure.
  • –  Understand when to use a full water jet or fan the ground.
  • –  Restrict hose length to what is needed.
  • –  Look after branch fittings
  • –  Assist with wind up and correct stowing of hoses.
  • –  Checking all gear is accounted for at the end of a session.
  • –  Report any maintenance issues. (Water leaks, not turning off etc)

Roles of the Hose Assistant.

  • –  Assist with hose laying and taking weight off the line for Branch operator.
  • –  Relaying messages to pump operator, Hand signals.
  • –  Identifying fire target areas.
  • –  Un-snagging hoses.
  • –  Be observant. Checking for dangers/widow makers, hot ground etc.
  • –  Look out for the Branch Operator.
  • –  Assist with wind up and correct stowing of hoses.
  • –  Checking all gear is accounted for at the end of a session.

Roles of the Pump operator

  • –  Stay with the truck at all times. Just because it may be boring, don’t wonder off. 
Your job is at the truck.
  • –  Setting the pressure relief valve (4.4 only )
  • –  Supplying water to hose lines.
  • –  Maintaining visual contact with all hose operators.
  • –  Adjusting water pressures for individual hose lines.
  • –  Maintaining radio communications at all times.
  • –  Monitor foam needs (start on .3, adjust back to .1 when flow commences)
  • –  On 1.4 and L/Tanker, turn recirc off when using foam..


Roles of the Crew leader

  • –  Safety first to protect all crews and equipment.
  • –  “T” card requirements.
  • –  Allocate crew roles/duties.
  • –  Select types and number of hoses to be used.
  • –  Instruct the tasks to be undertaken by each hose line.
  • –  Maintain visual contact with the crew to ensure their safety and the correct procedures are 
being carried out.
  • –  Give constructive criticism. (To say nothing may breed poor standards)
  • –  Communicate with Command.
  • –  Observe weather conditions and report wind/fire behaviour data.


Correct use of Branches
There are basically 3 types we use (there are others which have only minor variations) 
 -Viper/Protec (Water monitor and modern branch)
-Tohl. (Simple brass looking thing. Limited controls)
-Tohl plus. (has on/off handle but no water flow adjustment.)


Controlling Water flow/volume
(Maintaining water supply may be a lifesaver so it should not be wasted unnecessarily)
-Viper and Protec branches,
1.    Adjusting the water on/off value on the branch itself
2.    Adjusting the water delivery setting between 115 and 495 LPM (Not the flush 
setting unless a blockage occurs).
3.  Partly opening or closing the water delivery valve on the truck for each hose
4.  Reducing the pump pressure.

This type of branch is more difficult to control the flow, as it does not have the ability of the other types. Its either on or off and the spray pattern can be changed but
has no water flow adjustment. So it is therefore totally reliant on the control aspects of 3 & 4. above.

-Tohl plus.
Same as the Tohl but has a on/off handle but no water flow adjustment setting. The on/off handle can be use for that purpose.

Correct Spray Patterns
– Apply water first at the highest point of a tree where the fire has reached.
– High pressure jets bounce most of the water away from the target.
-The width of the pattern is determined by the width of the object.
– Ground spraying along a line of fire.