Many people think that the Door position on a handline attack is a rigid position, relegating that firefighter to station themselves at an assigned door buck. While the door position’s name speaks its primary position, it entails more. Allowing movement in any position has benefits and risks and requires balance to work effectively. Needing to be at your post is important and so is needing to fulfill the duties of that post. Many firefighters just get lucky with leaving their post and are sprung back into position when the call for more line is announced – we can do better than that.
If you stay at your post, you may be perfectly fine, depending upon the length of the stretch, or the placement of additional people on an extended stretch. Sometimes, departments don’t want the originally-assigned firefighter replaced at their assigned position. If an extended stretch occurs, or a multiple turn stretch is in progress, the door position often needs to be more fluid. The ability to either move up and cover another area or, handle multiple turns at once, is a common responsibility. I would say most firefighters can cover two turns without falling behind on hose advancement if they know how to stage hose.
The door position is the helping hand to moving the line forward and it often requires staging hose for advancement. This becomes especially important when distances get longer and pairs of turns are encountered. Staging hose can be accomplished anywhere room allows. Some will create a vertically ring of hose while others simply lay it on the floor. I’m not a big fan of vertical hose storage, but that’s for another post. Staging hose is done when there is opportunity during the advance, when firefighting becomes stationary or the advance is interrupted. The door firefighter should be already thinking about staging hose before its need arises.
When two turns are encountered and both would impact the advance you need to stage hose past the first turn, eliminating it as a friction point. You can now move up to the most forward turn, which becomes a managed friction point. Tight turns are the enemy of hoseline advance; this is why hoselines are not stretched tight to turns. Extra space around turns allows us to advance and supplies cushion time to handle the next crisis.
The door firefighter needs to also check on room extinguishment for the nozzle team as they move past it to other points of attack. This job entails evaluating the attack as it relates to fire regrowth potential, and if it’s necessary for the nozzle team to return or not. This is the primer for calling for the backup line. You are free to move about just don’t forget where you came from as the original need may pop up again. Support and protect your fire attack by having a door firefighter in your corner.
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