Academy Blog; Battalion 50: Wk 4, Hose Lays, Chainsaw Workshop, 24’ Ladder Ops

Written by Cadet Mahoney,

September 12, 2018

 Our day began at 0630 with cadets “staging” their gear in a uniform and orderly fashion with respects to company order. After making sure all of our gear was in order with our helmets, turnout jackets, bunker pants/ boots and self contained breathing apparatus were in line; our company officers set off to attend an officer briefing at 0650 to be assigned our duties and rotation times/ locations for the day. The meeting was set in Captain Crudo’s office where she would delegate responsibility to each company for setting up our rotations, determining times of moving to the next station, the location of the stations and radio distribution.

 At 0700 we started our workout of the day. The workout was a specified circuit run by Cadet Rocha. The circuit consisted of hose pack tower runs (10 flights of stairs), 50 feet dummy drags that weigh 170 pounds, 50 feet tire drags, pull ups, lunges, tractor tire flips, 35 pound kettle bell swings, and hose drag sprints/ pulls for 75 feet. This day we had a change up; we would be wearing our turn out jackets during physical training, which made working out a little more difficult.

 At 0745, with a wet and salty shirt Battalion 50 made our way to set up stations for the day. Alpha Company was tasked with make sure all of the engines that would be used had 150 feet of 1 ¾ inch hose in the cross lay (pre-connected portion) of the engine, Bravo Company was assigned to set up the chainsaw workshop in the apparatus bay. Bravo needed to put out 4 chainsaws, screnches (chainsaw tool) and sharpening jigs. Charlie Company had to set up “rehab” which consists of 5 gallon Gatorade containers filled with water distributed to each station and cone set up to block off the stations. Finally, Delta Company was tasked with setting up (2) 14-foot aluminum solid beam roof ladders and (5) 24-foot aluminum solid beam extension ladder to ladderland (battalion 50’s favorite station). Hygiene would be from 0830 to 0850 and we would be at our stations ready to work at 0855.

 The first station was Forward Hose Lays, lead by Captain Kearns and Captain Peters of The Los Angeles City Fire Department. Building off what we learned on Monday, cadets would pull a 4-inch supply line with a 4-way valve at the female end and wrap a dry hydrant and yell for the engineer to “TAKE OFF”. After the apparatus got to the objective, the Engineer would disconnect the supply line from the hydrant and couple the line to the suction inlet on the apparatus. After the supply line is connected, Fire fighter 1 and the Captain would begin pulling “folds” off the hose bed of 2 ½ inch hose to the desired length. FF1 and the Captain would then advance the desired length of hose to the fire and would call for “WATER”. With the Engineer acknowledging the call for water and respond with “WATER COMING” would uncouple the 2 ½ in attack line at couple it to the discharge. At this point the evolution would be finished and cadets would break down and prepare for the next group.

 The next station was the Reverse Hose Lay. Engineer Ketaily and Captain Jacalone of Los Angeles Fire Department ran this station. This operation is very similar to Forward hose lays. First, Fire fighter 1 and Firefighter 2 would start pulling an attack line to the objective at a desired length. Once the length is achieved Fire fighter 1 will stand at the nozzle and call “WATER” mean while Fire fighter 2 will disconnect the attack line and place it next to the a Wye that the engineer put on the ground to connect the lines. While this is going on, the Captain would remove a 14-foot roof ladder and axe and place it on the ground off to the side to be used. After the Captain grounds the ladder and axe, he/ she would return to the opposite hose bed and remove the 4-inch line, walks 5 steps from the apparatus, steps on the line and tells the engineer to “TAKE OFF”. After the apparatus reaches the hydrant, the engineer connects the a line to the suction and opens the discharge after the FF2 connects the attack line to the discharge.

The next station is Ladderland. Today we worked with Captain Hundley of Oxnard Fire Department. Captain Hundley gave us a basic intro in two people throwing of a 24-foot Aluminum solid beam extension ladder. The station consisted of loudness, hard work, sweat and Captain Hundley working with us on our technique.

 The final station was an intro chain saw workshop led by Firefighter Mac of the United Forest Service flight crew in Santa Barbara. The start of the workshop consisted of Firefighter Mac teaching us how to properly maintain a chainsaw, from removing the bar/ chain, clutch assembly, properly tension a chain and sharpen a chain. From there we went out side to learn how to properly start the saws, identify how the saw should sound when its running properly and engage the chain brake.

 As we get more hands on experience with the tools and procedures explained above, we have find that muscle memory is starting to kick in and we are working really well as a team.