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  • Nozzleman attack position

    I need some literature/training sources on the follow topic.. Several years ago a local fire academy taught that when attacking a fire the nozzleman should be in the prone position. I have never seen this anywhere in text. I, as well as several other instructors believe that this is "unsafe". You cannot move the nozzle with ease, and cannot move quickly to adjust to changing fire conditions. I talked to one instructor that used to teach this "prone" position tactic, and he stated that it was only to be used in conditions of high heat... Q - if it is that hot, that you have to be flat on the floor... its time to leave the room?????
    What do you think??/ and any text to back this up?????

  • #2
    Aside from an emergency procedure of holding the line in place briefly.....the concept seems stupid to me. If its that hot, and you have water flowing, but still are driven to the floor....then yes its time to back out. Besides, the prone position will put you on the path of boiling water run off. If your knees can be burned through bunkers, think what can happen to you when laying prone.
    IACOJ Member

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    • #3
      Yes, it is time to leave the room if it is that hot and the fire forces you to the floor. Thats what I learned going through flashover survival.

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      • #4
        Exactly Vinnie....I've had the leg burns through bunker pants....Cant imagine lying on a floor with hot water everywhere. Also, how do you advance the line?? Best position in my opinion for advancing (which you should be doing anyway) is crouching (NOT on knees) with a good back-up man or a wall to lean into, Leg outstretched in front sounding the floor. I dont agree with the "Its too hot if you have to be prone." What if you need to hold your position so the Brothers can back out. It may be extremly hot...open up and pace your advance a little slower, but try to keep moving!
        Last edited by MattyJ; 11-11-2006, 04:53 PM.

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        • #5
          I like the ole duck walk.
          RK
          cell #901-494-9437

          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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          • #6
            Generally speaking, the nozzle man should be kneeling on the hose with one leg out in front of him for balance and to feel for holes in the floor. etc. The nozzle should be advancing which means it has to keep moving; it’s difficult to move when lying in a prone position. If the line cannot be advanced due to high heat the OIC needs to know this. It could be a lack of ventilation, wind driven fire, insufficient GPM, etc.

            An excellent resource on Engine Company operations is a series of articles in Fire Engineering magazine, written by Lt. Andy Fredericks, RIP 9/11/01. You can search FE’s archives on their website but it require a subscription.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MemphisE34a
              I like the ole duck walk.
              So do I... only instead of carrying a line or a guitar (props to Chuck Berry!) I have the TIC!
              ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
              Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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              • #8
                ..........................
                Last edited by Nine3Probie; 07-28-2013, 07:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  I have been taught to spray with a nozzle in the prone position. I am able to move the hose and nozzle around just fine. You can advance the line as well although it is slower. It was never explained that it had to be done this way, it was just another option.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BKDRAFT
                    I have been taught to spray with a nozzle in the prone position. I am able to move the hose and nozzle around just fine. You can advance the line as well although it is slower. It was never explained that it had to be done this way, it was just another option.
                    Care to tell us exactly how???????!!!!!!! In a burn building...with no obstructions sure....in real life....BS. Anyone with a far amount of real nozzle jobs under thier belt will surly disagree. And if you think you can advance the line while prone and effectivley knock fire down....while NOT getting your body parbroiled.....you are sadly mistaken. Laying in one spot throwing water around is one thing....advancing is another. And as stated by the OP....if its that hot and the water you have is not doing anything.....then....back up, increase GPM, bring in another line, or a bigger line, or improve the venting....but for ANY instructor to say Prone is an acceptible method should have thier credentials revoked....and I would question thier "experiance". I can't recall a single job that once I started flowing water...the run off was not boiling. Again...if you are advancing....and the heat forces you low to the ground...and you are a hose team....back up...and operate....dont go prone and advance....you might as well stand straight up if you are going prone...the effects will be the same.

                    Going prone is something the truck would do...to either make those last few feet for a grab, get control of a door, making thier way out of a project hallway thats getting bad...etc, etc.

                    Getting low, on close to a wall, lowering your head so that the top of your helmet is facing forward and "hugging" the line is acceptable when the nozzle team MUST hold an area so others can get out......Laying on you back is too. You will be resting on your mask, and you can lift your rear end up by setting up on your heels....and if need be...the brothers can pull you can the line out together as one unit.

                    But hey....if you think its ok...then more the power to you....I know from my experiances that and good job in a PD or MD...the floor is even too hot for my knees to touch.....if you think you can do it...have at it...but I am guessing you will only make that mistake once.
                    Last edited by VinnieB; 11-13-2006, 05:32 PM.
                    IACOJ Member

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BKDRAFT
                      I have been taught to spray with a nozzle in the prone position. I am able to move the hose and nozzle around just fine. You can advance the line as well although it is slower. It was never explained that it had to be done this way, it was just another option.
                      You were told this...but have you or the instructor actually ever done this?

                      FTM-PTB

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                      • #12
                        the nozzle man should be kneeling on the hose
                        I'd love to see a picture of this. I can't imagine kneeling on the hose as a nozzleman. What the hell is your backup guy doing if you are holding the hose on the floor with your knee? And where is the nozzle - at ankle height?
                        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                        • #13
                          The only time prone position came up was in my Flashover training and thats when you get low and wave the pipe around using a fog during a flash. This being the very last resort. Other then that the Duck walk is my favorite. Other then that look at hard it is to look up when kneeling I couldnt see you doing this in the prone.
                          Was the Instructor a Military sniper at one point?
                          Last edited by JAFA62; 11-13-2006, 09:17 PM. Reason: Canadian Spelling

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                          • #14
                            Bones, I'll look for a picture, but in the meantime will try to explain the kneel on it method. We started doing it quite a while back when we decided we wanted to flow 180 to 200 GPM on a line but found that we didn't always have the guys to do it. Basically picture your left arm extended with your hand on the bail and your right hand on the hose. As you get into position to open up your right knee rotates over the hose and your shin ends up pinning it to the ground. What your left with is enough hose to sweep the ceiling, floor and side to side. I find with a little practice it is comfortable, keeps you low and your knee off the floor. As far as advancing, in most cases we are dealing with SFDs and Garden Apartments, in most cases the reach of the stream allows us to hit, knockdown, shutdown partially and move in to mop up. Might not be for everyone but it works.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Halligan84
                              Bones, I'll look for a picture, but in the meantime will try to explain the kneel on it method. We started doing it quite a while back when we decided we wanted to flow 180 to 200 GPM on a line but found that we didn't always have the guys to do it. Basically picture your left arm extended with your hand on the bail and your right hand on the hose. As you get into position to open up your right knee rotates over the hose and your shin ends up pinning it to the ground. What your left with is enough hose to sweep the ceiling, floor and side to side. I find with a little practice it is comfortable, keeps you low and your knee off the floor. As far as advancing, in most cases we are dealing with SFDs and Garden Apartments, in most cases the reach of the stream allows us to hit, knockdown, shutdown partially and move in to mop up. Might not be for everyone but it works.
                              Your hand shouldnt be on the bale. It makes it much more difficult to manuever the hose around to hit the ceiling and floor. The nozzle should be out far enough where you can reach it if necessary, but far enough away where your arms are able to swing the hose around in a clockwise direction.
                              Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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