All firefighters must participate in extensive training before they are put on duty fighting fires. A portion of that training involves learning how to roll a fire hose. There are several methods of rolling a hose that can be employed, depending on the situation.
While some of these methods are taught on the job, it is best to be aware of the ones most common to your particular firehouse to ensure you are following protocol.
Roll Hose For Storage Purposes
One of the most basic methods of rolling a fire hose is the straight roll. This method is typically used when the hose is loaded on the back of a fire truck, or when it is placed in storage at the firehouse. To roll a hose using this method, lay the hose flat on a clean surface.
Then, begin to roll the end of the hose that connects to the water source, also known as the male coupling, toward the other end. Make sure the coil is open enough to insert your fingers in the middle.
As the roll increases in size, keep its edge aligned on the remaining hose. This will help keep the roll uniform, according to the state of Illinois’ firefighter protocol. Once you have finished the roll, lay it flat on the ground. Then, use your foot to push down any jutting coils.
Rolling for Direct Use
The donut roll method is best used in situations when the hose is going to be deployed directly for use. This method allows the hose to roll out easier and facilitates connection to other couplings. Similar to the straight roll method, lay the hose flat and without twists.
Then, fold the hose in half, with the male end on top, about two feet away from the opposite, or female, end. Complete the roll from the fold end. After you have finished, check your work and make sure the male coupling is still inside the roll, with the female coupling a few feet ahead of it.
Additional Methods for Firehose Rolling
The donut roll and straight method are the most common rolling methods used by firefighters. However, there are other methods that may be more beneficial for certain situations. For example, the twin donut roll works well for hoses that are approximately 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches thick. It can be done by laying both ends of the hose side by side.
Then, roll the hose up from the fold side, making the hose into two side by side rolls, according to Prichard-Murray Volunteer Fire Department in Idaho. The end fold will have a decreased diameter, making it more compact and easier to carry.
If you want to carry the hose over your shoulder, roll a hose using the self-locking donut roll method. It is basically same as the donut roll method explained above, except has a handle made from the hose itself.