What are the Yellow Hoses Attached to Fire Trucks?

Fire trucks are cool. Does your child ever ask you questions about fire trucks? There is so much to learn about the unique abilities of fire trucks and how they save lives. Specifically, what are the yellow hoses attached to fire trucks used for? I guess we have a lot to learn. You’ve clicked on the right article because we’re going to talk all about the yellow hoses attached to fire trucks.

What is the Yellow Hose?

A fire truck has many different hoses for multiple reasons geared towards hosing down a fire. Each hose holds a various amount of water depending on the hose length. The wide yellow hose located in the back of the truck carries water from the hydrant to the fire engine. Firefighters hook it up to the hydrant and continue to break the flames. Before using one, firefighters needed to be trained to learn how to use a yellow hose or any hose on the truck.

Where is the Yellow Hose Stored?

Firefighters store a 5-inch-diameter hose at the top of the truck. In total there are 1,000 feet (305 m) of this yellow line, but it is stored in 100-foot sections so it is easier to access. There’s also another 2.5-inch line stored on top of the truck.

How is a Yellow Hose Manufactured?

In order to withstand putting out a fire, these yellow hoses have to be tough in order to get the job done. Yellow hoses are made out of woven nylon fabrics and other types of rubber. Over the decades, fire hoses have changed. Hoses are manufactured in various configurations such as:

  • Single Jacket
  • Double Jacket
  • Rubber Single Jacket
  • Hard Rubber Noncollapsing Types

Fun Facts about a Yellow Fire Hose

Time to learn some special facts regarding details about yellow fire hoses. Hoses are the most important and most used item out of any fire service. 

  1. Yellow Fire hoses are the largest in diameter carrying more water at lower pressures
  2. The diameter of the hose is one of the most important factors in determining the volume
  3. Yellow Fire hoses are most commonly cut into lengths of 50 to 100 feet long

Hoses Connect to Fire Engine

An extra set of 5-inch, 25-foot and 50-foot yellow hoses is kept in the compartments on the captain’s side of the truck. These two sections are known as curb jumpers. While don’t necessarily jump on the curb, they only lay on the curb. 

Fires are very stressful, so firefighters need all the time they can get to connect the hose to the fire hydrant. These sections give firefighters more lines to connect to a fire hydrant without having to get another 100-foot section down.

What is a Fire Hydrant

This is a bit of a segway in the article, but it is important to know the official duty of fire hydrants and their line of duty. Right under the ground contains a world of pipes leading from a large water supply system. Have you ever been at the scene of a fire? Notice that the first thing a firefighter does is connect a hose to the fire hydrant?

Only authorized officials are allowed to use fire hydrants because the spray of water is so dangerous that it could injure someone. Using a set of special tools, the top of the hydrant is turned, opening a valve that is deep underground. Connecting the yellow hose, the water runs through the pump, increasing water pressure in the truck, dividing the supply of water between multiple hoses.

Where Does the Water in Hydrant Come From?

We are glad that you asked. Typically the water to put out the flames comes from the hydrant, leading to the engine or a tanker from a big body of water.

  • Water Sources
  • Ocean
  • Lake
  • River
  • Stream
  • Portable Ponds
  • Wells

Hoses on a Fire Truck

In order to save fire trucks time at the scene of the fire, The truck has at least three lines called preconnects. One the preconnects is located on the driver’s side, while another is on the back and the final is on the captain’s side of the truck. These hoses are between 1.5 and 2.5 inches in diameter and can put out 250 gallons per minute.

Types of Hoses on a Fire Truck

  • Lines: A term for hoses
  • Crosslay Hoses: Hose to use for a house fire
  • Booster Line: Smallest hose (1-inch diameter) on the truck
  • Deluge Gun(or a Deck Gun): Master stream. Located above the pump panel 
  • Delivery Hose: Has two prime directives
  • Percolating Hose: Used for forest fires
  • Non-Percolating Hose: Generally used to deliver water

Suction Hoses

  • Suction Hose: Resists internal and external pressure and is strong enough to resist hydrant pressure.
  • Hard Suction: Hose that is designed to avoid collapse under vacuum conditions so that it can be utilized for drafting water from below the pump (lakes, rivers, wells, etc.).
  • Soft Suction: Hose that is designed to carry water between the hydrant to the engine

Prevents Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Aside from their use to spraying down fires, yellow hoses are also used to capture the exhaust of the running truck and transmits the gas outside the building, rather than letting it suffocate the whole building. Carbon monoxide is not healthy for the lungs so these yellow hoses save lives in more ways than one.

Every time the truck returns back to base, the yellow hose must be reconnected at all times in order to prevent these toxic fumes from suffocating the team members in the building. The hose contains an exhaust removal system mountain the ceiling to fan the exhaust gases outside.

Removing Fire Truck’s Fume Exhaust

Direct-Source Capture System: This system uses the increasingly common orange or yellow flexible hose. These hoses are attached directly to the apparatus exhaust pipe. The equipment captures the engine emissions before leaving the vehicle’s exhaust system.

The discharge exhaust hose supports the exiting vehicle along a track until the vehicle reaches a pre-determined threshold. Then the exhaust hose releases from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe, retracting back to its original position.

How do Firefighters Take Care of a Yellow Hose?

Every hose in the building of the fire department requires special care. Fire hoses need to be regularly inspected, cleaned, and repaired so they can continue doing their job. If a hose is not properly cleaned residual water causes damage to the hose materials. A certified technician should regularly inspect the safety of a fire trucks’ hoses before they are used in any fire situation.