Because there is no better teacher than experience, our training today consisted of getting behind each hose and nozzle to know how the other guy holding the hose feels when the PSI is cranked up. The example we used today was based on 50 PSI, 75 PSI, and 100 PSI. Depending on the hose you use 1 3/4″ or 2 1/2″ coupled with the type of nozzle that is attached to the end of the hose makes a dramatic difference on how much force is actually applied to the person holding the hose.

Some nozzles and hoses can drain an entire fire truck in roughly 3 minutes of use, which can leave the truck, victim, or fire in a bad spot if done incorrectly. Other nozzles can allow the users to spray for 30 or more minutes. There are nozzles that are used when a fire might be explosive like a fuel truck or when firefighters just can’t get any closer to the flame. These allow the firefighters to pray an upwards of 50 to 100 ft away depending on wind conditions and other factors.

While there is different views on how much PSI is too much or too little. The average that is used at Station 20 is around 75 PSI. To the one actually holding the hose the difference can range from using a strong watering hose with some kick to holding a 100lb man under your arm with a decent kick. I am by no means a small man at 6’2″ and 250 lbs , but some of those hoses and nozzles are incredibly hard to move without a two man team stabilizing me from behind. This is why you will often see two people operating a hose instead of one.

However, there are procedures and techniques that allow a single occupant who is way smaller and lighter than me to operate some of the larger hoses than I can. Wrapping the hoses into a large circular position then sitting on it allows a single occupant to spray and control a hose that might not have been controllable single handed before.

We encourage every person find a way to serve their local community. Fire fighting is just one way but is a fun way to gain useful knowledge and impact a community in a large way.

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