The Fire Fighting Nozzle – The Backbone of a Fire Department
The fire fighting nozzle is the backbone tool of a fire department. Like any weapon, it must be taken care of and maintained in order to perform to its full potential. It’s also important to understand how different types of nozzles work, their reaction forces and how they are used for specific applications.
There are many different nozzles available to firefighters that can deliver varying stream types and fire flows. Some have been around a long time, others are improved versions of older designs and still others have come to the market in recent years.
All firefighters must know the type of nozzle they are operating and have the ability to transition from one style to another. For example, if you operate a constant gallonage fog nozzle and need to change to a straight stream, you must be able to adapt your water flow, pressure rate, pattern, etc.
Whether you’re working in an apartment building or a road tunnel, you must be prepared for multiple scenarios. You may need to open your nozzle in low visibility and use foam, or you might need to pierce through a wall to gain access for defensive operations. In either scenario, you need to be able to make these adjustments without having to leave your nozzle.
A good nozzle team consists of an engine officer, a nozzle firefighter and a backup firefighter. The engine officer provides support and encouragement to the nozzle firefighter and is ready to take over if they get injured or fatigued. The nozzle firefighter is the “eyes and ears” of the fire crew, staying low or crouched to observe conditions and react quickly to changes in the situation. The backup firefighter is there to assist if the nozzle firefighter needs to rest or switch positions.