Title:
Fire hose roller
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for efficiently removing water from the interior of a fire hose. The device is designed to be rolled, by two individuals, along the underside of the hose, with the length of the hose traversing over the top of the device. The device can also be attached to a vehicle, wherein the vehicle provides the power for rolling the device under the length of the hose. The present fire hose roller comprises a frame that holds three parallel rollers, in the preferred embodiment. Handles are provided on left and right sides of the frame for carrying the device. The handles are designed to be large enough to accomodate a gloved hand.



Inventors:
Mcneese, William D. (Hartsville, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/042394
Publication Date:
07/27/2006
Filing Date:
01/26/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H75/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAUGLAND, SCOTT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SETO PATENTS (SALEM, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device that is adapted for lifting a portion of a hose and for traversing underneath of the hose, thereby removing water from an inside of the hose, the device comprising: a frame, the frame having a left side, a right side and a connection bar that connects the left side and the right side of the frame, the connection bar extending from a bottom of the left side of the frame to a bottom of the right side of the frame, wherein the left side and the right side of the frame have a same width and the connection bar has a width that is less than the width of the left and right sides of the frame; two or more rollers that extend from the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame, each roller comprising an axle, a cylindrical outer casing, and multiple ball bearings between the axle and the cylindrical outer casing, the multiple ball bearings enabling the cylindrical outer casing to rotate around the axle, wherein each axle has a length that is slightly greater than a length of the frame and opposite ends of each axle extend through holes in the left and right sides of the frame; and, two handles, a left handle that is attached to an exterior side of the left side of the frame and a right handle that is attached to an exterior side of the right side of the frame, wherein the handles are designed to support a weight of the device and the portion of the hose.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the two or more rollers are each in a first plane, and wherein the left and the right sides of the frame include at least one hole, each hole having a diameter of at least one-half inch.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein one of the rollers is in a second plane and the second plane is higher than the first plane.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the left and right sides of the frame are each in the shape of an “L” shaped bracket, and a bottom of each “L” shaped bracket points inward toward an interior of the device.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the hose is a fire hose.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the hose is a large diameter fire hose.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein a second connection bar is used to connect the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein the device is connected to a second device by multiple rings thereby creating a two-part device, the second device being substantially the same as the device, the two-part device able to be laid across a top of an obstacle, including a wall.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein a first end and a second end of adjacent sides of the two-part device are each connected by two “D” shaped rings and one circular ring.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein oval shaped rings are used in place of the “D” shaped rings.

11. The device of claim 2, wherein the device is further adapted to be attached to a vehicle, the at least one hole in the sides of the frame being used to facilitate attachment to the vehicle.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the length of the axles is the same as the length of the frame and the axles are attached directly to the sides of the frame.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein the handles are large enough to accept a gloved hand.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein the frame and the rollers are made of one or more metals.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein the rollers have a smooth outer surface.

16. The device of claim 1, wherein the rollers have a textured outer surface.

17. The device of claim 1, wherein a top of the left side of the frame and a top of the right side of the frame each extend at least one inch above a tops of the rollers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of fire fighting equipment and more specifically to a device for efficiently removing the water from fire hoses prior to the hoses being rolled and stored.

Fire hoses are large, reinforced hoses that are capable of carrying and dispensing large amounts of water. Traditional fire hoses have a 3″ (inch) diameter and are made of several layers of material, which make the hoses very durable. Unfortunately the layers of material also make fire hoses quite heavy. A new generation of fire hoses, called Large Diameter Hoses (LDH), are currently being deployed in firehouses throughout the United States. LDH hoses have a 5″ diameter, which allows more water to be delivered to a fire. The new hoses are good for dispensing greater quantities of water however, they are also proportionately heavier than the traditional 3″ diameter hoses.

When a fire has been put out and the firemen are ready to clean up and go back to the station, some of the tasks required of the firemen include rolling up the fire hoses and storing them back on the fire engine. However, before the hoses can be rolled up, the water that is left inside of the hoses must be removed. The traditional method of removing the water is for one or more firemen to lift one end of the hose, at least shoulder height, and then walk, while moving their hands hand over hand, down the length of the hose. This forces the water out of the opposite end of the hose. It also however, requires the firemen to lift the weight of the fire hose and the weight of the water remaining in the hose. While this traditional water removal method works, it is an awful lot to require of tired firemen that just got done fighting a fire.

Rollers are well-known in the field of roller paths systems and conveyer belts. A traditional roller includes an axle and an outer cylinder with multiple ball bearings held in place between the axle and the outer cylinder that allow the cylinder to rotate around the axle. In a typically roller path system, tens or even hundred of rollers are placed parallel to each other with each roller being held by a long two-sided frame that extends from point A to point B. Boxes and cartons are efficiently moved, from point A to point B, by placing them on the roller path and pushing them along the rows of rollers. Non-motorized roller path systems usually have the destination end at a lower height than the loading end so movement of the boxes is assisted by gravity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A device that is adapted for lifting a portion of a hose and for traversing along the underside of the hose, thereby removing water from the inside of the hose. The device comprises a frame with handles and two or more rollers that are secured within the frame. The frame has a left side, a right side and a connection bar that connects the left and right sides. The connection bar extends from the bottom of the left side of the frame across to the bottom of the right side of the frame. The left and right sides of the frame have the same width and the connection bar has a width that is less than the width of the sides of the frame. The two or more rollers extend from the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame. Each roller comprises an axle, a cylindrical outer casing, and multiple ball bearings between the axle and the cylindrical outer casing. The multiple ball bearings allow the cylindrical outer casing to freely rotate around the axle. Each axle has a length that is slightly greater than a length of the frame, in the preferred embodiment, and opposite ends of the axles extend through holes in the left and right sides of the frame. One of the handles is attached to the exterior side of the left side of the frame and the second handle is attached to the exterior side of the right side of the frame. The handles are designed to support the weight of the device and the portion of the hose.

In the preferred embodiment each of the two or more rollers are level with each other, i.e., in the same plane. Further, the left and the right sides of the frame each include at least one hole, for connection to a second roller device or for connection of the device to a vehicle. Each hole has a diameter of at least one-half inch. The left and right sides of the frame are each in the shape of an “L” shaped bracket, and the bottom of each “L” shaped bracket points inward toward an interior of the device.

In an alternative embodiment, more than one connection bar is used to connect the left and right sides of the frame. In a third embodiment, one of the rollers is elevated so that it exists is in a plane that is higher than the plane of the other rollers. In a fourth embodiment, two devices are connected together by circular and “D” rings, and the connected devices are used for extending a fire hose over an obstacle, such as the wall of a building.

It is an object of the present invention to efficiently remove the water from the Inside of a fire hose so that the hose can then be rolled and stored.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a water removal device that can either be carried by two individuals or attached to a vehicle, for traversing underneath of a fire hose.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a two-part roller devices that can be used to efficiently extend a fire hose over an obstacle, such as a wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention of the present application will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, given only by way of example, in which:

FIG. 1 is top view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a frontal view of another alternative embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a top view of yet another alternative embodiment; and,

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of still another alternative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present fire hose roller is intended to be used to force the water out of a fire hose prior storing the fire hose. The present invention does not roll a fire hose into a coil, rather it is carried underneath of a fire hose and the fire hose slides over the top of the present invention. By starting at one end of the hose and rolling the fire hose roller underneath the length of the hose to the opposite end, all of the water in the hose is forced out of the hose. The hose is then ready to be rolled into a coil and stored; usually back on a fire truck. FIG. 1 is a top view of the preferred embodiment 100, wherein three rollers 105, 110, and 115 are held within a frame. The frame has a left side 120, a right side 125 and a connection bar 155 that connects the left and right sides of the frame. Each roller 105, 110 and 115 is supported by, and rotates around, an axle 130, 135 and 140, respectively. In the preferred embodiment, each axle 130, 135 and 140 protrudes through holes in the left and right sides 120 and 125 of the frame. Each side of the frame is equipped with a handle 145 and 150 for lifting and carrying the fire hose roller 100. The handles 145 and 150 are large enough to allow a person with firemen gloves on to carry the fire hose roller 100. Both left and right sides 120 and 125 of the frame are “L” shaped brackets that face inward. At each end of each bracket are holes 160, 165, 170 and 175. The holes can be used to fasten the fire hose roller 100 to a vehicle or to connect two individual fire hose rollers 100 together. By attaching the fire hose roller 100 to a vehicle, the vehicle can supply the power needed to move the fire hose roller 100 under the length of a hose. The hose may then be rolled into a coil as it enters the vehicle. The fire hose roller can be attached to the vehicle by bolts or by locking carabiners, also called “D” rings. The use of two fire hose rollers that are connected together is discussed further below, in conjunction with FIG. 4. The present invention takes advantage of gravity and physical force for removing water from a hose. By lifting the hose on top of the fire hose roller 100 the water is forced downward by gravity and out of the opposite end of the hose. Further, by letting the hose collapse as each section of the hose passes over the top of the fire hose roller 100 water is also pushed out of the hose by physical force.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment 200 of the present invention. In this embodiment 200, there are two connection bars 205 and 210 that are used to connect the left side of the frame 120 to the right side of the frame 125. All other parts of the fire hose roller are the same as those shown in FIG. 1 and like reference numbers have been used to indicate such. The rollers 105, 110 and 115 in FIG. 2 have been shown with a textured pattern so that the two connection bars 205 and 210 can be easily distinguished. While in the preferred embodiment the rollers 105, 110 and 115 have a smooth outer casing, the outer casing of the rollers may include some texture for better gripping of the hose as it passes over the rollers.

FIG. 3 is a frontal view of another alternative embodiment 300 of the present invention. In this embodiment, one of the rollers 110 is raised slightly above the other rollers, so that the roller 110 exists in a plane that is higher than the plane in which the other rollers exist. Different textured patterns have been used with the rollers 110 and 115 so that the rollers can be easily distinguished from each other. In this embodiment, the rollers' axles 135 and 140 do not protrude through holes in the sides 120 and 125 of the frame, but rather are connected directly to the sides of the frame. Handles 145 and 150 are also provided on the sides for lifting and carrying the fire hose roller 300. This frontal view shows that the sides 120 and 125 of the fire hose roller 300 extend higher than the rollers 110 and 115. This is done to prevent the fire hose from slipping off of the top of the fire hose roller 300, when the fire hose roller is being used for its intended purpose. The high sides 120 and 125 keep the fire hose on top of the rollers 110 and 115 even when the fire hose roller 300 is not level while being carried; as may happen when two firemen of different heights are carrying the fire hose roller 300. This “high sides” feature is also present on the preferred embodiment (shown in FIG. 1) even though it is not easily evident because of the top view provided in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a top view of a fourth embodiment 400 of the present fire hose roller. While the first three embodiments are primarily for removing water from a fire hose, this fourth embodiment 400 is primarily for sliding a fire hose over an obstacle, such as a wall or window sill. When firefighters are fighting a fire on the roof of a building, the fire hose must be pulled up and over the side of the building in order to reach the roof. Most buildings are made of hard, rough materials such as bricks or concrete. Pulling a fire hose across the edge of a brick or concrete wall causes tearing, or abrasion, of the hose. The large coefficient of friction of bricks and concrete also makes it very hard to advance the hose. The two-part embodiment 400 shown is FIG. 4 can be laid over the top of the wall over which a fire hose must be advanced. The rollers 105, 110, 115, 405, 410 and 415 in this embodiment make advancing the fire hose over the wall much easier. This embodiment 400 of the fire hose roller can be used to advance fire hoses that are charged with water pressure and hoses that have not yet been charged with water pressure. The two sections of this embodiment 400 are preferably connected using three rings on each side of the frames. The left side 420 of the first section is connected to the left side 120 of the second section by two “D” rings 485 and 495, and one circular ring 490. “D” ring 485 passes through hole 465 in the left side 420 of the first section. And, “D” ring 495 passes through hole 160 in the left side 120 of the second section. Circular ring 490 connects the two “D” rings 485 and 495. Similarly, the right side 425 of the first section is connected to the right side 125 of the second section by two more “D” rings 470 and 480, and another circular ring 475. “D” ring 470 passes through hole 460 in the right side 425 of the first section. And, “D” ring 480 passes through hole 165 in the right side 125 of the second section. The circular ring 475 is used to connect the two “D” rings 470 and 480. Each “D” ring is preferably a locking carabiner, which allows for disconnection of the two sections. Of course, other shaped rings, such as oval, may also be used. When the second (lower) section is disconnected from the first section, the second section may be used in the same manner as the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1. In fact, the lower section in this embodiment 400 is the same fire hose roller that is shown in FIG. 1, and like reference numbers have been used in labeling like parts. The first (upper) section in this embodiment 400 also has similar parts as the preferred embodiment including, three rollers 405, 410 and 415, each roller having an axle 430, 435 and 440 respectively, that protrudes through the sides 420 and 425 of the frame. A connection bar 455 is used to connect the left and right sides of the frame. The upper section also has a handle 445 and 450 on each side of the frame, so that this embodiment 400 can be lifted and maneuvered from either side.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment 500 of the present fire hose roller. In this embodiment, only two rollers 515 and 520 are used. Each roller 515 and 520 has an axle 530 and 535, respectively, that is connected to each side 505 and 510 of the frame of the fire hose roller 500. In this embodiment, the sides 505 and 510 do not the form of an “L” shaped bracket. Rather, the sides 505 and 510 of the frame are simple flat plates. The sides of the frame are connected to each other by connection bar 525. And, each side is provided with a handle for lifting and carrying the fire hose roller 500. Only handle 540 is visible in this view. This perspective view shows that the sides 505 and 510 of the frame extend above the height of the rollers 515 and 520. The high sides allow the fire hose roller 500 to be carried unevenly without having to worry about the hose slipping off of the rollers. All parts of the present fire hose roller are preferably made of a light weight metal, such as aluminum, however other materials may be used with the only limitation being that the material be strong enough to support the weight of a fire hose filled with water.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology of terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.