Which Way is Out?

This may seem a bit simplistic, but I am always surprised when I ask someone to close their eyes and hand this prop to them. After I hand them the hose I ask which way they would go to get out of a building?

Follow the Male Lugs Out

This is typically with no gloves on and they are just standing or sitting there, so they are not stressed or in a tough situation. But, most get it wrong.  Why?

Well, I say it is because of the lack of fundamentals and not enough training on the simple stuff.  In this instance it is basics of hose, in my humble opinion anyway.

If you are well versed in hose operations and how the hose is deployed and which end of an attack line is at the truck and which end is inside the building, you should have no problem with this “pop quiz.”

Take the time to learn about your hose.  More on hose lays later, but this little drill that can be done anywhere and any time is valuable and a good discussion starter.

By the way, when they tell you which way they would follow, make them tell you “why” so that you know they aren’t just guessing and watch them squirm.

Remember the fundamentals and stay safe.


  • Marques Bush says:

    If they can remember “Smooth, Bump, Bump, and to the Pump” That does not give an excuse for not practicing though.

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    Not simplistic, BASICS! This is when teaching and review come in to play Bosses!

  • Shelby Fire1 says:

    Bumps to the pump. Just did mayday/rit drills yesterday.

  • Shari says:

    WOW – I cannot tell you how glad I am that you posted this. Just at FRI2010 some guy was “selling” a plastic “tool” that was reflective to help with this issue. But when the crap hits the fan all that is needed is good training. Why waste money on something that will just create more of a crutch.

  • Dale G. Pekel says:

    Nice Post Jason!

    We teach Smooth Shank of the female coupling = “SMOOTH Sailing Ahead”……. Rough Shank (spanner lugs) of the male coupling = “ROUGH Road Ahead – Turn around”. This is based on what you come across/feel first.

    Whatever a Department or FF chooses to use, this simple but effective prop reinforces muscle memory and the importance of practicing what you learned. Keep up the great work!

    Here’s a sight that some may want to check out – http://www.flashbackerlabel.com

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