Vancouver (WA) Installs Velcro Straps to Secure Hoses on Fire Apparatus

After a fire hose fell off the back of a Vancouver Fire Department truck and caused a three-car crash, department officials installed velcro straps on all 10 of their engines.

The crash Feb. 12 happened when emergency crews were on their way to a crash between a semi-truck and a car on I-205. The fire hose — held into place by gravity — fell off the fire engine and caused the second collision.

No one was hurt, but the cars were badly damaged.

After that, VFD officials said they would investigate what happened and make modifications to prevent it from happening again.

“On that particular evening we had that strong east wind and the fold of the hose, particularly in front, could blow up from the wind and the speed of the truck,” said Vancouver Fire Division Chief Steve Eldred. “So we installed these straps across the back and the front so that if that did occur it wouldn’t lift off the hose bed, it would stay down in the hose bed.”

Eldred said the velcro straps are a temporary solution. He also said there is some concern the velcro straps might slow down a response at the scene of a fire.

“This strap is a beta test in that the straps are held on with velcro and when the hose is deployed, when it hits that velcro, it should just come apart,” he said.

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