Fire Hose Basics

Fire Hose Basics

Fire hose is the most used item in the fire service.
  Larger diameter hose can carry more water at lower pressures.
  Smaller diameter hose can carry less water and will require higher pressure.
  Hose diameter is the most important factor in determining volume of water delivered.
  Attack lines are Booster Lines, 1 3/4, 2 1/2.
  Supply Lines are 3", 4", 5" and 6".
  Fire hose is manufactured in different configurations:
  • Single jacket
  • Double jacket
  • Rubber single jacket
  • Hard rubber noncollapsing types
  Fire Hose Sizes:
  • Each hose is designed for a specific purpose
  • Diameter of fire hose refers to the dimensions of the inside of the hose
  • Fire hose is most commonly cut and coupled into lengths of 50 or 100 feet
  Intake hose is used to connect a fire department pumper or a portable pump to a near-by water source:
  • Hydrant
  • Another Engine
  • Tanker
  • Body of Water
    • Ocean
    • Lake
    • River
    • Stream
    • Pools
    • Ponds
    • Portable Ponds
    • Wells
  There are two groups of intake hose:
  • Soft sleeve transfer water from a pressurized source.
  • Hard suction used primarily to draft water from an open water source.

Hard Suction Hose


NFPA 1961, Standard on Fire Hose Lists specifications for fire hose.
  NFPA 1963, Standard for Fire Hose Connections Lists specifications for fire hose couplings and screw threads.
  NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus Requires pumpers to carry:
  • 15 feet of large soft sleeve hose or 20 feet of hard suction hose
  • 1200 feet of 2 inch or larger supply hose
  • 400 feet of 1 , 1 , or 2 inch attack hose
  NFPA # 1964 - Spray Nozzles:
  • 2-1.1 Rated pressure for spray nozzles shall be 100 psi. The nozzle discharge rating shall be expressed as a rated discharge at a rated pressure [e.g., 60 gpm at 100 psi.]

Hard Suction Hose

Suction Hose

Hard Suction

Hose that is designed to prevent collapse under vacuum conditions so that it can be used for drafting water from below the pump (lakes, rivers, wells, etc.).
  Hard Suction on the Truck         Hard Suction on the Truck           Connecting Hard Suction to the Truck

Soft Suction

Hose that is designed to carry water between:
  • Hydrant to Engine
  • Engine to Engine
  • Tanker to Engine
  Front pumper connection          Rolled soft suction

Hard Suction Hose

Attack Hose

Hose designed to be used to combat fires beyond the incipient stage.
  Attack hose shall have a minimum design operating test pressure of 275 psi.

Attack Hose-1 Booster Line

Rubber Hose:
  • Used for Rubbish, Brush, Washdowns
  • Requires High Pressure (approx. 200 psi)
  • Delivers low volume (approx. 50 gpm)
  • Highly mobile - can be handled by 1 firefighter
  • Uses a fog type nozzle
  Booster line on truck

Attack Hose -1 3/4"

Primary Attack Line for House and Vehicle Fires
  Double Jacketed
  • 275 psi max. operating pressure
  Can be operated by 2 - 3 firefighters
  Can deliver 140 - 200 gpm
  Working pressure and volume varies with nozzle type
  Used with both solid bore and fog type nozzles
  1 3/4 Hose          1 3/4 Hose

Attack Hose - 2 1/2"

Primary attack line in Commercial Buildings and Exterior attacks
  Used to back up smaller hand lines
  Double Jacketed
  • 275 psi max. operating pressure
  Needs 3 - 4 or more firefighters to operate
  Delivers high volume of water (200- 300 gpm)
  Relatively difficult to operate, especially in tight spaces
  Used with both solid bore and fog type nozzles
  2 1/2 Hose         2 1/2 Hose

Hard Suction Hose

Fire Hose Appliances and Hose Tools

Fire Line

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