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  • Pistol grips on nozzles.

    Anyone still using these on an attack line?
    What are the pros and cons. I, for one, removed them ASAP after only a few uses.

  • #2
    why did you remove them? we find them in general to be usefull.

    ------------------
    Lt Hoffman
    Pensacola Fire Dept.
    local 707

    Comment


    • #3
      Phil,

      I found the pistol grip was being used instead of keeping the line pinned to the nozzleman's hip. I'll try to explain:

      Assume the nozzleman is operating on the left side of the line:

      Holding the pistol grip in the right hand the right elbow needs to be bent slightly so the bale can be reached with the left hand. As the nozzle is opened, the reaction force tends to cause the right elbow to bend more and the nozzle ends up in the operators armpit. I call it, being handcuffed. Perhaps if the handle was placed forward of the bale so the operator could open and close the nozzle with a locked right arm this reaction would be reduced. Unfortunatly, if you are operating a fog tip, you would need to bend the elbow again to reach the tips pattern adjustment.

      With the nozzle in your armpit you greatly reduce control and the size of the arc you can hit without changing your stance.

      With the line,firmly held in the righthand at the operators hip, the line can be pushed out ahead of the operator, just enough so the shut-off or tip can be reached. This also greatly increases the arc that can be hit and offers better control.

      If members used this type of hold with their right hand and used the pistol grip in their left as they operate, I'm sure this nozzle design would work fine. It seems like that grip is too tempting and inviting and takes most members away from a better grip, at the hip.

      My $0.02

      Comment


      • #4
        I would much rather use a pistol grip nozzle on an attack line than a "straight bore" one. There is way more control, I think with a pistol grip. I personally like having that extra gripping area just in case something happens and the line slipped. Granted it can get caught up easier, but that's a small price to pay.

        [This message has been edited by EFDems841 (edited 06-26-2001).]

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        • #5
          I like the pistol grip on attack lines myself, there are several in my dept, that do not like them. Therefore on our engines, there is 1 preconnect with and one with out pistol grip. I think it gives me a little more control and something extra to hold onto. I'm not a really big guy and it seems to help me.

          Comment


          • #6
            E229lt,

            I tend to hold the pistol grip further forward with the hose under my arm, between my arm and body with my elbow on my hip. This tends to give me more control over the hose. I dont have any trouble reaching the tip to adjust my stream. As far as the range of motion I havent had a problem.
            I like our pistol grips. Just a personal preference.

            ------------------
            Shawn M. Cecula
            Captain
            Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like most everybody is the same w/ the pistol grips. I agree, they are much easier to use and control. I'm not sure if I totally understand E229LT's scenario, but lines w/ out the pistol grip end up in my armpit more often than the lines w/ the pistol grip, just because there's really no good way to hold the knob w/ out the pistol grip. We've always had them, so maybe I'm just too used to it. I like 'em though, and they've always worked just fine.

              Stay Safe

              Comment


              • #8
                We have pistol grips on our preconnects. I usually don't use them. I like to get the nozzle a couple of feet out in front of me so I can get more action with it. You are better able to whip it around when you're not holding onto a grip.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As a member of a volunteer department where you may only have one person a line (except for interior attack) it is a whole lot easier to use a pistol grip nozle.



                  ------------------
                  Cory Lee
                  Volunteer Firefighter
                  Winn Parish Fire Dist. #3
                  Jordan Hill Station

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Something I had a chance to try once (and wish I could do it all the time) was to use a seperate pistol grip with a 1 foot section of hose between the grip and the nozzle. This allows you to use the grip to anchor the hose against the body using the grip and the forearm, and the other hand can grip the base of the nozzle and swing it as needed. This allows for an increased range without having to swing the hose behind you. When I was the backup man, I didn't even feel the hose moving as the person on the nozzle was moving the nozzle around. At the right pressure (100 psi), the section of hose between the grip and the nozzle doesn't kink.

                    Never tried it with a smooth bore nozzle.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tend not to use the pistol grip for the same reasons that E299LT stated. I like pushing the knob out a little bit further from my body than would be possible if I used the pistol grip. That is just my personal preference. The person on the knob needs to do what is most comfortable for them and allows them to operate the most effciently.

                      My $0.02

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great post, E229!

                        Pet peeve of mine is very, very few firefighters have ever been taught how to work with a nozzle! (Or for that matter, how to back someone up!)

                        The hand nearest the nozzle isn't supposed to do much work -- point the nozzle, adjust volume & patter..

                        The hand further back is the one that should take the pressure of the nozzle (which shouldn't be much if you're being properly backed up), and uses leverage hold the line.

                        Assuming your right handed, set the flow & pattern and hold the nozzle with your left hand just behind the nozzle. Position your right hand about a foot back, preferably where you can help brace it with your body (so much easier to show than write about it!) Use your left to point the nob.

                        If you're making an exterior knock down, don't be afraid to shove the nozzle all the way in the window/opening and whip it around, even if your left hand is 3' behind the nozzle and your right is 4'. Roles are reversed a bit -- the left hand is a pivot, the right moves around, whipping the nozzle around.

                        Just remember to always keep a hand on the hose -- similiar to rope work, keep one hand in place and move the other to meet it before moving the nozzle closer or further from you.

                        Your backup man should have both hands on the hose, pulling forward (absorbing the reaction) and should be pushing his body into yours. Done properly, very little of the nozzle reaction is being born by the nozzle man. In buildings, you have the added advantage of the floor and walls to take advantage of to absorb force.

                        When you use a pistol grip, the firefighters tend to use it with their right hand, keeping the hose aligned with their right arm -- after all, that's how you feel the "strongest" holding it. The left then if anything ends up resting on the pattern control. Unfortunately, you've lost the force of leverage to make stream movement easy, and you can't move the line in as big of an arc, so you have to move your whole body (which means your backup is continually having to readjust, meaning your continually getting more force on you...etc)

                        The one situation I like Pistol grips is if your doing a high flow/small line exterior attack from a standing position -- say 180gpm straight stream + from a 100psi combo nozzle. Then you can get your self set, open the nozzle up to full volume of 180-250gpm or whatever, and while you can't work the nozzle as easily, since your standing and probably further back from the fire (don't get up close and personal on many 250gpm exterior knockdowns!) you can still move the nozzle adequately.

                        [This message has been edited by Dalmatian90 (edited 06-26-2001).]

                        [This message has been edited by Dalmatian90 (edited 06-26-2001).]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Im with 229 on this.. a more severe problem I have seen is the line getting driven so far back the bale starts to close! Here is the problem as I see it (and why it may not be a problem for some of the other posters) The higher flow handlines have greater nozzle reaction. If you are flowing 150 gpm or so and maybe gating that back or using a wider angle fog, the pistol grip would work fine. When you flow closer to 200 gpm and use straight streams or smooth bores, the reaction force is more than you can handle with one outstretched arm for any period of time. There are plenty of methods for handling this flow (E229 offered one, I like to drop a knee across the line, which allows the back up some flexibility)that don't rely on the nozzle for control.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Take 'em or leave 'em. I would like to say that I saw a video where this guy from FDNY punched out the roll pins on a 2 and a half smooth bore and called it, "The Bronx Bazooka."

                            I like that set up real well. Damn handles get in the way.

                            Just my opinion, of course.



                            ------------------
                            AAD
                            Eng. Co. 9
                            RFD

                            "In all of us there are heroes... speak to them and they will come forth."

                            "In order for us to achieve all that is demanded of us, we must regard ourselves as greater than we are."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would have to agree with 229 on this one as well. My first dept had them and it caused many bad habits. The Dept that I am with now doesn't have them. If given the choice I would rather not have them on my handline.

                              Two cents from a fireman.

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