In March of 2005 our county fire dept of whom I work EMS for was dispatched to a structure fire. Both my partner and I are full time firefighters for other counties and responded with our paramedic unit to the scene to assist. We, along with the Fire Chief were first to arrive and found a single story, wood frame residential structure with smoke and flame showing from the C side.
I made my way to the hydrant as the FD has only one man trucks and depends on volunteer firefighters responding as well. Once at the hyrdrant about 500 feet from the scene, I stopped the first due engine and took the LDH from the hose bed and wrapped the hydrant. I then took a hydrant wrench and told the driver to go.
I observed the first coupling hit the ground with no problems and I went to work. This is where it gets really foggy. I remember the hose tightening up on the hydrant and then a loud metallic pop. The next thing I know I am on my back and looking at the blue sky! When I attempted to get up I got two surprises, the first was a lot of pain in my right leg. The second, the plug was now on its side in the middle of the street. Two bystanders assisted me in getting back to the scene where I told them that they did not have any water.
While at the hospital I found out that the driver “may” have been driving at an excessive speed, this was told to me by two different witnesses. I also found out that firefighters had used one inch webbing across the hose bed to keep the LDH from coming out while in normal driving operations. Well it appears that it caught a coupling and held it up, along with the speed was enough to break a hydrant off at the flange.
As for me, well I am still in the diagnosis phase and have been out for about a week and a half. If anything can be learned from this, Drivers MUST slow down while laying lines out and please do not use anything but hose bed covers and dutchmans in your hose bed.