Engine Company Tools Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Firefighter Exams (page 2)
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.
Fittings are devices used in conjunction with hose line couplings to solve hose connection problems. An increaser has larger-sized male coupling threads than female threads, whereas a reducer has larger-sized female coupling threads than male threads. A double male connection is a fitting with male coupling threads on both ends, used for connecting two female couplings together, a double female connection, a fitting with female coupling threads on both ends is used for connecting two male couplings together.
A National Standard Adapter is a fitting permitting National Standard appliances, fittings, and hoses to be used with local fire department equipment. It has local fire department threads at the female end and the National Standard thread at the male end.
Appliances are connected to hose lines or hydrants and are used to control, augment, divide, and discharge water streams or fire extinguishing agent. A ball valve is a flow control appliance used to open and close the flow of water in a supply hose line. They are in the open position (water flowing) when the handle is in line with the hose and closed when the handle is at a right angle to the hose. A gate valve is used to open and close the flow of water from a hydrant. It has a baffle that moves up and down through the turning of a handle.
A wye is an appliance that divides a supply hose line entering through its female inlet into two equal hose lines of smaller diameter out its male outlets. It may or may not have control handles (gates) for its male outlets.
A water thief is an appliance that divides a supply hose into three hose lines, one of the three being of larger diameter than the other two.
A Siamese is an appliance used to augment a supply hose line or building fire extinguishing equipment. It consists of two or more female inlets and one male outlet.
A hose jacket is a metal or leather encasing appliance used to reduce leakage from cut, damaged, or improperly coupled hose lines.
Master (deluge) nozzles are appliances (generally straight stream) with smooth solid bore tip(s) used to direct a large (300+) GPM water stream. They are connected to a Siamese in order to ensure an adequate water supply.
Monitor nozzles are used from the ground position. Deck pipes are mounted atop the engine company's apparatus. Ladder pipes are attached to the lead ladder section of a ladder company's aerial apparatus.
A distributor is an appliance with swiveling/rotating outlet heads attached to a supply hose line. It is used to produce a circular, spray pattern of water in hard-to-access (basements, cellars, piers) areas. It is equipped with handles so it can be supported when suspended through the opening it is operating into.
A cellar pipe is a cylindrical appliance with a control handle consisting of one or two straight tips. It is attached to a supply hose line to produce a horizontal water stream through flooring into sublevel areas.
Additional Engine Company Firefighter Tools
Other tools commonly carried by and used by an engine company include the following:
A hose bridge is a ramp appliance permitting vehicles to roll over hose and couplings without damaging them.
A hydrant wrench is a tool (box wrench or adjustable wrench) used to open the valve of a fire hydrant.
A hose spanner is a rigid metal tool used to loosen and tighten hose line couplings.
A hose roller hoist is a curved, metal device with two or more rollers designed to fit over a windowsill or edge of a roof. It is used in conjunction with rope to safely raise or lower hose and equipment.
A hose strap is a short length of rope with an eye-loop at one end and a metal hook at the other end. It is wrapped around hose and tied off to a banister or railing to support the weight of hose couplings when hose lines are stretched vertically up stairwells and fire escapes and charged with water.
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