YOU room OPERATING INSIDE A fire building when suddenly you discover that you are lost, disoriented, and separated from your crew. Together you attempt to find a wall or a window, you come in contact with a hoseline. Which way is out? If you locate the coupling, you have the right to determine which direction leads to the exit. Or have the right to you?

The procedure for following the hoseline to safety and security in Essentials the Fire Fighting states, “Follow the hoseline out if possible (the male coupling is the closest come the exit; the female is the closest to the fire).”1

Yet time and again during training, when firefighters find the hoseline and also follow it come the coupling, they end up being hesitant and also indecisive: i beg your pardon coupling leader out? I have actually seen firefighters effort to uncouple a hoseline to determine which coupling has actually the swivel. I have seen too plenty of firefighters rotate toward the fire and also wind up at the nozzle once they might have been the end of the building had they unable to do in the contrary direction. As soon as members are questioned about the problems encountered in ~ the coupling, countless times the response is that they just didn’t mental or fully understand the way it was described in the text.

You are watching: Smooth bump bump to the pump

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If the firefighter go remember to monitor the male coupling out, there might still it is in confusion once the coupling is located. If the firefighter is in ~ the midpoint of the hose in between couplings, the an initial coupling he will encounter on the method toward the leave will be the female. The firefighter construed that he was to monitor the male finish to the exit, so the firefighter turns in the various other direction and heads towards the masculine end, towards the fire. Plenty of have declared that they have actually a an excellent grasp that the concept until their face piece is obscured.

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Here’s a simple memory help I learned and also have mutual that appears to have actually helped firefighters psychic the proper direction towards the exit: Bumps to the pumps. If the firefighter find the hoseline and also follows it come the coupling, the bump (lugs) cause the pumps (engine on the exterior) (photos 1, 2). It’s straightforward to remember and understand and also reduces or eliminates the confusion and also hesitation at the coupling. Once a firefighter is low on air, disoriented and alone, the time spent at the coupling may be an ext time than he can afford to be able to get the end safely. It also reduces the stress of gift unable to identify the proper way out. This translates into better air administration for the firefighter in distress.

Of course, this technique is not a cure-all because that every situation and every circumstance. It works ideal with threaded couplings that have actually rocker lugs. The masculine coupling has actually lugs top top the shank. The female coupling has a smooth shank through lugs top top the swivel (photo 3). The firefighter deserve to feel the rocker lugs v a gloved hand under zero visibility conditions and determine the ideal direction to the exit.

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Some may ask around a instance in i m sorry the hose is advanced into a framework with the female end first. If this is the situation, the firefighter will need to identify this case prior to entering the building. Some departments might use attack hose v storz-type couplings. In this situation, there will certainly be no male or woman couplings (photo 4). In this case, it will be challenging to identify the direction of the exit. However, tools that show the method toward the departure are commercially available. Because that example, one such machine that deserve to be slipped over a hose has a raised arrowhead marking a firefighter have the right to feel to recognize the direction the the exit. This might be a great alternative for your situation.

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A rapid drill on this technique involves utilizing a solitary length that hose and a firefighter wearing gloves. Connect the couplings to develop a constant loop (photo 5). Ar the firefighter at the midpoint of the hoseline, and have him monitor the hose to the coupling. When the member get the coupling, asking him to determine, there is no looking at the coupling, whether he is headed in the direction the the exit.

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As v all other firefighter survive techniques, this technique needs come be exercised to develop and also maintain a high level that proficiency. A thorough understanding of your department’s equipment and procedures is important. Being acquainted with any kind of mutual-aid department’s devices is same important.

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Perhaps you have actually heard the this an approach before. Perhaps you execute not like it or feel much more comfortable with your own. I’ve found that this works for me and also has aided those who have actually had problems during maintain evolutions. What is most essential is the if things go wrong, you space able to recognize which method is out. ■


1. Essentials of Fire Fighting, fourth edition. Stillwater, OK: Fire security Publications, 1998, 108.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR- ■ MICHAEL ALLORA is a lieutenant and also a 10-year veteran v the Clifton (NJ) Fire Department. He is a Level 2 fire instructor at the Passaic and Sussex counties’ public safety and security academies. Allora has actually an associate’s level in fire science from Passaic County neighborhood College.