MAKING THE PUSH
For many of you, when you hear “Nozzle Forward” in the fire service, you know exactly what that name encompasses. For those of you who are not familiar with what nozzle forward is all about, you are missing out! So…., what is Nozzle Forward you ask? Well…., In the terms of Aaron Fields “General Badassery”! The Nozzle forward skillset has been battle tested and proven to be effective and efficient.
The goal of Nozzle forward is to increase engine company effectiveness and efficiency. The course consists of three major components of engine company work.
1. Fire Behavior
2. Hose management and fire attack
3. Engine company tactics
I recently had the privilege to attend a Nozzle Forward class in Colorado Springs, CO. From the immediate start of the class (lecture), I knew that this class was going to be phenomenal! Not only did this class meet my expectations, it exceeded them by leaps and bounds. In class we saw how easily gases can be controlled and pushed to vent points, allowing for a better chance of survival for any occupants in the room, to include ourselves. This is not to be confused with pushing fire, as we know that we cannot do so. We were shown videos with rapid temperature decreases in a matter of seconds when water was applied. The simple act of putting water in the IDLH environment with the correct stream (straight or solid) can, has, and will continue to save lives. The majority of the class was spent outside performing an array of evolutions. We used the crawl, walk, run method of learning. We built a solid foundation of hose deployment, hose management, body mechanics and proper positioning on the hoseline, to prepare us for the second day of evolutions. As each evolution followed, we were now collecting more and more pieces to the effective and efficient engine company puzzle that we were putting together.
On day two we hit it hard from the start, using everything that we learned on day one. We were now advancing lines into the structure while flowing water, making turns while flowing, and reaching our objective in a timely manner. The beauty of it all is that the class was made up of firefighters from over twenty different departments, and everyone was on the same page, speaking the same language, and shared the same common goal. The pieces to the puzzle were now falling into place. By the end of the 13 hour day, the energy was getting low, the morale was high, and a bond had been formed with everyone involved. It did not matter whether it was a 1 ¾ line, or a 2 ½ attack line, everyone was making the push, the line was going in, and the fire was going out! Sounds like “Winning” to me!
If you see a Nozzle Forward class near you, I suggest that you sign up the first day, as theses classes fill rapidly. If there isn’t a class near you, you may want to travel to check out the class. For our class in Colorado, we had guys travel from Cedar Rapids, IA, and Wisconsin, just to see what the Nozzle Forward movement is about. These guys will tell you that the trip was well worth it, and probably one of the best classes that they have ever attended!