Fire engines have several types of hoses connected to the truck, and each has its specific role in putting out fires. Also called lines, hoses will use different amounts of water depending on the length, diameter, and the amount of pressure in the pump. When dealing with a house fire, firefighters will immediately pull of the crosslay hoses. These lines lay out in the open and are light so they are easy to get off the fire engine. Crosslays are usually 200 feet long, a diameter of 1.5 inches, and can issue water at 95 gallons per minute. Now for a smaller fire, wood fires or chimney fires, the small booster line works just fine. Booster lines are the smallest hose on a fire truck and have a diameter of about an inch.
The deluge gun or the deck gun or the master stream, is the water cannon we usually associate with firefighters fighting fires. It is used to drench large fires, and can put out in excess of 1,000 gallons per minute. Fire trucks also have at least three lines called preconnects. These lines are preconnected to the truck in order to save time at the fire scene. One is on the driver’s side, on the back, and one on the captain’s side. The line meant to hook up to fire hydrants is located on top of the truck, totaled at 1,000 feet of line and stored in 100-foot sections. There is usually extra line in one section of the truck (25 feet) and one other in another compartment (50 feet) in case a fire hydrant is located nearby, to save firefighters from using another 100 foot section.
A hose pack, another iconic hose associated with fire engines, is a small bundled hose that can be taken to the higher levels of a building. It’s banded to make it easier to carry up a ladder. A firefighter can just throw it over his or her shoulder and take it up through a window. Typically hose packs are used when the other lines cannot reach inside. It may be assumed that firefighters have a one-size-fights-all when it comes to their hose equipment. That is not true. It takes a great deal of courage to run into a blazing building while everyone else is running out. It also takes a person of great skill to handle the several different and specific gear necessary to complete the job. Check out our Firefighters’ Contest at our Facebook page as we do what we can to thank the brave men and women who do what needs to be done!