Engine Company Tools Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Firefighter Exams
The engine apparatus contains an abundance of hoses, nozzles, tips, fittings, and appliances needed for firefighting operations.
Hoses are classified by inside diameter and construction material. A length of hose is approximately 50 feet, with a male coupling (connector) on one end and a female coupling (connector) on the other end. Hose couplings can be standard type (male/female threaded) or hermaphrodite type (identical, nonthreaded).
A male coupling has a nonswiveling (solid) connection whose threads are located externally. A female coupling has a swiveling connection whose threads are located internally. A hermaphrodite coupling is a quick connect coupling having no threads; identical connections are found at both ends of this type hose. Generally, connections are made on hermaphrodite couplings using a half-turn rotational action.
A booster tank hose is a small diameter (–half to one inch), rubber-covered hose preconnected to the pump and water (booster) tank of the engine apparatus. It can be used by one firefighter as a handline stretched off an apparatus reel to extinguish small, outdoor fires.
A handline (attack) hose is a handheld hose line with a fabric, polymer, or rubber covering. It provides approximately 150 to 250 gallons per minute (GPM) and generally requires more than two firefighters to stretch and operate as an interior attack hose line. It is stretched off the back/side hose bed of the apparatus to extinguish fires inside buildings during interior structural firefighting operations.
A supply (large diameter) hose is a hose line generally three to six inches in diameter having a covering of fabric, polymer, or rubber. It is used to provide water at greater than 250 GPM to fire apparatus, large caliber stream appliances, and building fire extinguishing systems.
Nozzles and Tips
Nozzles and tips are designed to provide a fire stream of water or foam extinguishing agent. Nozzles are attached to handlines and have shut-off mechanisms designed to close, open, and regulate hose streams. Tips are also attached to handlines but do not have shut-offs and are placed on nozzles and fire extinguishing appliances to provide a fire stream in various patterns (straight, narrow, wide, fog). A smooth solid bore, straight stream tip is, for example, designed to produce a compact, penetrating stream with little break-up; a fog nozzle provides a wide or narrow patterned water stream composed of fine droplets; and a foam nozzle mixes water, foam concentrate, and air to produce a foam extinguishing agent stream.
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