Laying A Supply Line

Laying a supply line is a critical element to fire ground success. When fighting fires that require more water than the booster tank holds; It is vitally important to get a continuous water supply established. When laying a supply you first have to establish which type of lay is to be conducted. Which lay will you conduct? A Forward Lay, which goes from the water source to the fire. A Split Lay, where the hose is dropped from a certain point (i.e on the corner or 1st and Kinswood) and then is tied into and taken to the water source. A Reverse Lay, which is from the fire back to the water source. The key element is for the Driver/Operator to be trained in how to do all of them and your departments procedures on conducting them. Mistakes that are often made on the fire ground are Driver/Operators that lay their line down the middle of the street or block  intersections that other apparatus need to come through. Driver/operators have to figure out a way to get the hose to one side of the road. I do understand there are times it is not possible. The mindset of the Driver/Operator has to be on establishing water supply quickly and  other incoming apparatus and the roles they play in achieving fire ground success. One of the tips that I will offer is when laying a line to one side of the street if there is firm ground and/or a sidewalk I will put my tires on the edge of it and lay it. I have found this practice to be very helpful when laying supply lines to other apparatus.  Some Driver/Operators take laying a supply for granted, but I encourage you to practice and train on these skills. Don’t be the firefighter who jammed up the scene because of  a poorly laid supply line.

Image Courtesy of Fire Protection Publications/IFSTA

1 Comment

  • R L Walker says:

    Succinct and clear: objectives and parameters. “Keep It Simple, Specialist!” applies especially to combat, and no combat is more vital than on the fire scene. Fire cannot be bluffed, intimidated, or distracted. It can only be outmaneuvered and knocked down, and speed with decisiveness, not haste and mistakes, nor hesitation and muddling, is key to victory. Clear thought, clear purpose, clear action, are the lobes of that key. Well taught lesson! For all else is done to make way for water, and this lesson cuts straight to that, with no delay.

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