The fire service has seen many improvements in safety. One of these improvements I would like to discuss this month is the remote-control nozzle. Fighting field and grass fires represents a large percentage of calls for most Iowa fire departments. Over the years there have been many adaptations made in equipment to assist in this process. I have seen trucks with cages mounted on the front to allow firefighters to stand on the front bumper area of the apparatus to hold a nozzle. We had an old military tanker that had a nozzle mounted on the top of the tank. It was intended for a firefighter to ride the tank like they were riding a large horse to apply water on the fire! In the risk benefit world this is a terrible risk for us to take. Firefighters should never ride outside of the cab in an unsecured position! The remote-control nozzle is a great way to eliminate this risk. I would highly recommend your department make this investment in safety! I would also strongly recommend that the operation of the nozzle be done by somebody other than the driver!
Although the use of a remote-control nozzle is straight forward, it does take some time to develop a good technique for operating it. One drill that works well is the pump, roll, and shoot the cone drill. Place a few cones in a ditch in random areas on a road. The team will move from position to position applying water to the cones.
Upon completion, the department should be able to…
• Identify the equipment with a remote-control nozzle.
1. • Discus the importance of staying inside of the apparatus in a seat belt while fighting a field/grass fire.
2. • Demonstrate the proper operation of the nozzle.
3. Scott Meinecke is a member of the Sheldon and Granger Volunteer Fire Departments, Director of Safety for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and field staff for the Fire Service Training Bureau. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org