Disorientation Drill

To Setup the Drill you will need an area where you can run multiple sections of hose and charge it.

Materials Needed

  1. 300 feet of 1.5 or 1.75 fire hose
  2. Two nozzles
  3. Two instructors

When locating a coupling to gain orientation and get out of the structure. One saying that is used is ” Smooth Bump Bump and to the Pump” Referring to running your hand from the smooth shank portion of the female coupling to the lugs and then the lugs on the male coupling.

Firefighters should be in full PPE including SCBA and vision blocked.

6 Comments

  • I’ve watched Firestudent1′s post for some time, expecting a response. I’m very surprised this thread has been in place since 01.12.2011 and there hasn’t been a single response. Nothing. How can this be?

    Aside from the knowledge a participant gains about coupling positions and intricacies of following potentially tangled and overlapping hoselines, this drill provides great opportunities to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your abilities, protective clothing, and SCBA. Anyway, here are some thoughts I’ve had since the first day this thread was posted:

    1. Unless you are searching for someone in the structure, maintain contact with the hoseline AT ALL TIMES. If you lose contact with the hoseline, your priority is to FIND THE HOSELINE.

    2. Your next, super-important priority is to remain calm. Panic and excitement increase your respiratory rate. You need maximum benefit from every breath in your SCBA cylinder.

    3. The line (and couplings) will lead you to one of two places: the nozzle or to an exit. Find the hoseline!

    4. If you have the hoseline, or find the hoseline if you lost contact, and are still disoriented, call a MAYDAY!

    5. After you call the MAYDAY, activate your pass device. Yes, the noise is very loud….. That loud noise is a tremendous help for other firefighters to locate you and guide you to safety. Activate your PASS device NOW!

    6. Get busy on following the line and identifying which hose coupling you find. Listen for the sound of rescuers searching for you and coming to your aid. Make additional noise, etc. to help the rescue team find you.

    This drill is easy to set up. Don’t have a training tower or burn building? Make use of your engine bay! Set up obstacles using folding chairs, tables, etc. If the students quickly defeat your initial hoseline problem, add a second hoseline into the mix. Use a hoseline of the same size or a larger or smaller hoseline.

    Besides reinforcing basic hoseline and coupling identification skills, this exercise helps identify PPE and SCBA shortfalls, including: a) turnout pants riding up and exposing the calf area while crawling; b)many students will remove a glove to manipulate radio knobs, buttons, etc.; c) stretching the air supply as long as possible; d)location of the PASS device manual activation controls.

    Firefighters, get out into the bay and get to working on problems. Company officers, get out of the lazyboy and set the example for our impressionable subordinate members. Lead or get out of the way!

    Folks, I’m tire of going to LODD funerals. I’m tired of recieving LODD notices in my inbox. The buck stops with us. Let’s all step to the plate and do something to end line of duty injuries and deaths.

    The internet may now resume normal programming…..

  • It was late when I posted my comment. I found an error. Item #4 should read, ” If you have the hoseline, or find the hoseline if you lost contact, and/OR are still disoriented, call a MAYDAY”!

  • Terrence M Doyle says:

    Freddie… Thanks for sharing this. I am as surprised as you to find hardly any responses. This drill can never be practiced too much. Someday, many firefighters may have to rely on this method in a structure fire where things have gone South very quickly. Stay calm, conserve your air ! The Male’s the bail ! Stay safe !

  • anchorpoint1 says:

    Long Lug Out.
    I it is a good drill. This is one of those things that should be muscle memory. It’s too easy.

  • Rob Young says:

    “Referring to running your hand from the smooth shank portion of the male coupling to the lugs and then the lugs on the female coupling.”

    Isn’t this backwards? The Female coupling has the smooth end then short lugs. The Male end has only long lugs. If you come to the smooth end first then the lugs it’s smooth sailing, but if you come to the lugs first, it’s a bumpy road ahead. (assuming your objective is to get out)

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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