New hose-laying system streamlines firefighting

In many ways, firefighting presents itself as a traditional, almost innovation-resistant profession.

American firefighters still wear the large helmets their great-grandfathers fought blazes with, and why not? With iconic images of firemen charging towards a blazing inferno with hose draped over their shoulder it only paves the way for more of the same.

Hero figures breed hero figures – no matter how much smoke they’re breathing in or how ill-equipped they may be. In fact, it’s almost more heroic to be less equipped.

However, this is not quite how Sebastian Jacobs, Managing Director of QuickLay Fire Attack, sees it. Jacobs and his team have invented a more effective and streamlined system. The system allows firefighters to get a fire hose from a pressurised water supply to the fire in the fastest possible time with the minimum of amount of issues.

After observing the way American firefighters combat wildfires, Jacobs began thinking about putting a hose in a backpack. By coiling it while flat, when water is introduced the backpack bursts open to reveal a neatly pressurised and coiled hose.

The end result of R&D, extensive trialling and consultation with fire departments around the world is the QuickLay System. It consists of a ‘Lay Pack’ and an ‘Attack Pack’. These packs combine to provide a solution to the common requirements found at a fire incident.

Firstly, the hose needs to be stretched or laid from a pressurised water supply to a point near the fire entry point, where a second hose needs to be deployed in a coil so that it can be easily advanced into the combusting environment.

Apart from the obvious advantages for fire departments, the hose deployment packs provide emergency response teams with a reliable and safe solution to wage a more significant attack in their initial response.

Jacobs’ vision is to equip ERTs and security teams with his invention.

“For a cost that is approximately 0.2 per cent of the current hydrant and alarm system used by firefighters, the onsite first responders can be equipped with a hose and nozzle that will certainly contain and probably extinguish a fire found in its infancy.”

Jacobs, who has just finalised distribution agreements in the US, UK and the Middle East, says his system is particularly well suited to non-professionals.

“Say you’re on a cruise ship and the people who have to deal with a fire are actually waiters. They may have had good training but limited real life firefighting experience and they may speak different languages. These packs are simple. They are colour-coded, so it is clear the blue pack lays the hose, and the red pack deploys the hose into a coil ready to attack the fire.”

In the modern firefighting industry, hero figures are made by responding quickly, efficiently and effectively – ultimately saving more civilian lives while protecting the firefighter.

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