I would venture to guess that every fire department in the country uses some type of hose bundle for some type of application. While there are a variety of hose bundles and bundled finishes are used in engine companies across the country, bundles are typically a secondary operation. Straight loads such as the triple layer still seem to rule the land for primary deployments on preconnects. Straight loads can be quickly deployed but are often limited in applications for stretches that are beyond a standard “curb to the door.”
The key takeaway is that if we recognize hose bundles will be needed at some point for a secondary operation why not incorporate them into our primary operations. The potential upside is saved equipment costs, storage space and improved operations. Fire Sprinkler-Pendent
For this piece I will show how to simply build and usea 100-foot modified minuteman bundle to finish your hose loads. The 100-foot modified minuteman finish provides a hose package that can be shoulder loaded and preconnected to a flat load of like-sized hose, a larger leader line reduced by an adapter or nozzle, and even a wye for alley stretches, extended reach, or reverse lays. It can also be broken from the preconnected load and taken forward to be dropped down from an upper floor on an exterior vertical stretch.
Some complaints about bundles versus a flat or straight load is that they are too difficult to build and that they don’t always deploy the same way. If too much variance in building them is allowed, these statements are true. If hose bundles are built by a firefighter sitting on the ground and snaking hose back and forth with no parameters other than their leg, the result will be tall firefighters making long bundles and short firefighters building short bundles. A few years ago we began to use a 6-foot roof hook as the base for constructing the modified minuteman bundles and, as you will see, it improves consistency and has operational benefits.
Using the 6-foot hook as a baseline, the bundle will be 6 feet long. When shoulder loaded, the hang down on chest and back will be less than 3 feet, a length easily managed by even our shortest firefighters. The 6-foot mark also allows a perfect split in the bundle at the 50-foot midpoint, if you are with a department that purchases 50-foot hose sections. This split at the coupling allows for that first coupling to advance with the nozzle on the first push over a threshold or around a stair well.
Set the nozzle at the tip of the hook and run the hose on edge back. At the other end make a fold and bring the hose back on itself to the tip again. Do this twice, taking up a total of 24 feet of hose. The next fold back from the nozzle will run about a foot long, return it back to the nozzle creating a loop and now consumes 38 feet of hose.
Now finish with a standard down and back fold using the final 12 feet of hose and finishing the coupling near the nozzle. Shift this coupling slightly behind the nozzle if needed to provide a compact load.
The method is then reversed with the second section of hose so that from the back of the bundle from left to right you observe 2 folds, loop, two folds, loop, two folds. At the front you observe nozzle, 3 folds, coupling section, and 3 folds. The finished bundle can be loaded loose, tied, or strapped with lightweight tape or hook-and-loop straps.
Drop the bundle with the nozzle to the objective and remove the straps. Grab the two loops and stretch back until the bundle is opened up.
Walk up the line to the nozzle, dressing as necessary, and call for water. With a properly built bundle, deployment is simple and clean with 100 feet of hose payed out in 25 feet of space with the nozzle and first coupling at the door. Slight changes in the flake out can further reduce this distance or adjust to the setting.
I would not be surprised to hear that there are 10 different versions of the minuteman bundle alone and hundreds of different hose bundle options. This post is by no means “the way,” but it is a way. I hope that this is a clear enough presentation of one option to lead your engine company to consider getting hooked up with a hose bundle. For more, please see the Training Minutes videos below.
Flexible Joint Coupling Brian Brush is a 20-plus-year veteran of the fire service. His experience includes rural and metro-sized departments. He is the chief of training for the Midwest City (OK) Fire Department. Brush is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, has a master’s degree in fire and emergency management from Oklahoma State University, and has Chief Training Officer designation from the CPSE. He frequently contributes to Fire Engineering and has served as a classroom and H.O.T. instructor at FDIC International for 10 years.