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  1. #21
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Bones, while I agree that pistol grips do not cause poor nozzle handling, they without a doubt promote it. From what I have seen, if the PG is there, people will want to use it. Not so say that proper technique can't be used with a PG nozzle, but without one you don't have a choice.

    Fyred you are spot on with what you said about the majority of guys not knowing what nozzles they have and how they operate. The sad part is, most don't care. We still have people who will tell you to give them 120 PSI on every line regaurdless of nozzle, flow, pressure or hose size. It is a dangerous mentality that is still killing firefighters today.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    One of the things that always amazes me, even to this day after being an instructor for 31 years, is how little most firefighters actually know about the nozzles they use. Let alone the other choiuces that are out there on the market.

    I have more times than I care to remember asked the simple question "How many GPMs are you getting from that crosslay?" Only to be met usually with one of these answers "Enough," "Hell if I know," and on a VERY rare occurrence they will actually know the target flow. Scarier still is when none of the officers know the answer. How do you buy hose and nozzles with no clue what you want to flow?

    You want to see some firefighter's eyes glaze right over? Ask them to tell you what a combination nozzle is. Ask them to tell you the difference between an automatic nozzle, a selectable gallonage nozzle, a constant gallonage nozzle, a smoothbore nozzle and then throw in low pressure nozzles. Most haven't got a clue.

    I like to use the analogy when I am teaching of an auto mechanic and his tools. The good ones can tell you every tool they have in their tool box, where it is, what it is, and what it is used for. How many times do you believe that mechainc has had to use a ratchet in the heat of battle where he may get killed if he doesn't utilize that tool right? So tell me, why does that mechanic know more about his ratchet than you do about the nozzle that you use that may save you or your fellow firefighter's lives?
    I agree completely it is mind blowing to see.
    Rant:
    Which is why i often disagree with people when they say that truck work is the lost art of the fire service. When truely it is not truck work or Engine work. It is the basic firemanship skills that are lost. i truely do not blame the new bucks coming in the door. The blame for this lies with poor instructors who do not have a grasp of the basic. but that is another thread.
    Rant over:

    Back to the nozzles I agree that pistol grips are not the cause of poor hose handling. however to qoute a former captain of my department. "pistol grips promote bad habits." i feel that they are not properly designed. The transffer the reaction forces of the nozzle to smaller muscle groups of the body. Prevent the user from properly being able to sweep the nozzle.

    As for the maintance issues with our TFT duel force autos. We have a horrible time with the slide valves sticking. During unoffical (meaning just company training) we found that in the high pressure "Blue" setting the slide valves were sticking which resulted in only being able to obtain a flow of about 95 GPM. Once you increased the nozzle pressure to about 150 PSI the slide valve would free up suddenly and the flow would increase to about 220 GPM. After repeatly doing this the results were the same. Oddly enough about 5 months prior to this the department had brought in TFT to conduct flow test on all of the nozzles. All the nozzles passed and confirmed by the TFT guro that was there (I want to say he was the head engineer with TFT but not sure). The interesting part is that prior to the test all the nozzles were lubed and worked with the TFT lube and the TFT "chop sticks". In the end we found that by leaving the nozzles in the emergency "red" setting we were able to overcome this issue and achieve our target flows. The added bonus is that we reduced our nozzle pressure to 55 PSI at 150GPM. Combine that with our ponn conquest hose and were reduced our PDP to 90PSI at 150 psi.

    Currently I use the following thought process for fire ground handline selection.

    Small- Bread and Butter Fire- 1 3/4 at 150 GPM
    Med- Fire blowing out a window or two- 1 3/4 at 200 GPM
    Large- Advanced Fire conditions- 2 1/2 at 265 GPM
    O S***- well Involved defensive fire that will change to a offensive fire-2 1/2 at 325 GPM
    O F****- I dont need detail to discribe this- master stream

    To me this is about as basic as I can logicaly make it whilie still keeping some professionalism. i can apply it at 3 am in the rain when pulling up on scene. Any monkey can pull a hose and spray water on the hot stuff. i bet the fire will still go out at some point. However by apply this thought process i have found that we are able to achieve a quick knock down on the fire (nothing is better then the 2nd due pulling up to just steam coming out a burned up house). As you can tell i have no problems using the 2 1/2 as an offensive tool. with proper and regular training and tools this is achievable in my department.

    Great disccusion so far!

  3. #23
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I was teaching a class on nozzles to a group of rural firefighters at a county fire meeting. We were flowing a variety of nozzles testing for gpm and engine pressure. We had inline pressure gauges at the pump panel and right behind the nozzle. Everything was going along smoothly until we put a TFT 50-350 automatic nozzle on the line. It wouldn't go over 70 psi at the nozzle no matter what discharge pressure we pumped. I turned the thing to flush and "BANG!" it went right to 100 psi and stayed there until we closed the bale. Once the bale was closed and then reopened it would rev ert to 70 psi until the pattern was turned to flush, then it would hop up to 100 psi.

    I asked them if this was a low pressure nozzle, they said no. I asked if they had ever had it maintained or lubricated they said no. This nozzle belonged to a small rural department. They don't run a ton of calls, yet here is a TFT obviously malfunctioning. My belief is the TFT automatic is a good nozzle, when maintained it does exactly what it is supposed to do. That doesn't diminish the fact that for the most part all of the problems with the nozzle appear to be human in nature. Failure to understand how the nozzle operates,and failure to maintain it, are leading problems.

    We use a constant gallonage low pressure nozzle that is rated at 200 gpm at 75 psi, with a 1 1/4 inch slug behind the combo tip, and put that on 2 inch hose. We underpump to flow around 160 gpm at 55 psi, we can go to 200 gpm at 75, or toss the combo tip and flow 300 gpm at just over 40 psi. Similar to what RFD21C does but with just one hoseline size.

    A smart man once told me "Every type of nozzle is putting out fire somewhere in the world everyday. It is less about the nozzle and more about the firefighter using it to the best of their ability."
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  4. #24
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Reflecting back 25 years ago (pre-TFT), we had guys yelling back out the line, "more pressure"..."give me more pressure".. or.. "tell him to cut back on the pressure"... etc.

    The decision at the time was to move the control of the GPM to the nozzleman in the fire, and we went to TFT's.

    Pump operator's job got a bit easier, if not quieter. Set the line to 150 psi and you were good to go. 150 feet of 1 3/4 and you had up to about 200GPM.

    Those nozzles are still in service with limited maintenance (and I mean limited) and in the case of our first due they ride on the rear of the engine in the salt spray and dust. Work fine, never had a failure or issue that wasn't caught during the bi-weekly engineer's check.

    I'm enjoying the thread and have no issue with the other nozzles out there.. as everyone else has said and I certainly agree.. it's the operator not the nozzle.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  5. #25
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    ...Currently I use the following thought process for fire ground handline selection.

    Small- Bread and Butter Fire- 1 3/4 at 150 GPM
    Med- Fire blowing out a window or two- 1 3/4 at 200 GPM
    Large- Advanced Fire conditions- 2 1/2 at 265 GPM
    O S***- well Involved defensive fire that will change to a offensive fire-2 1/2 at 325 GPM
    O F****- I dont need detail to discribe this- master stream

    ...
    We go a step simpler...

    1 3/4 lines flow 160gpm. Whether the adjustable tip is on the line or the tip removed and slug being used. (ya, it may go up to 170 with the tip removed)

    2 1/2 lines flow 260gpm.

    That's how they get pumped. If the nozzle operator gates it back...that is their choice, but the line is being pumped the same way.


    Again, nice to see civil discussion continuing here guys...
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    .

    Currently I use the following thought process for fire ground handline selection.

    Small- Bread and Butter Fire- 1 3/4 at 150 GPM
    Med- Fire blowing out a window or two- 1 3/4 at 200 GPM
    Large- Advanced Fire conditions- 2 1/2 at 265 GPM
    O S***- well Involved defensive fire that will change to a offensive fire-2 1/2 at 325 GPM
    O F****- I dont need detail to discribe this- master stream
    This is a great way to look at it! I particularly like the last two categories! In my experience, that's exactly what the entire crew of the first due says as they pull up. Amazing how a lil fire can get 6 very different people to all say the exact same thing at the same time.

    Category 5 was also known as a two octave fire in my dept. Simply because that's what the chief's voice did on the radio as he called a working fire.

    Occasionally, at a cat 4, you'll get a pump operator with an understanding of how an automatic nozzle works. Combine that with a bad case of the "OH SNAP"'s, and you get the nozzle crew being lifted up off the ground...

    Our engines used to be set up with the first crosslay having a 15/16 tip, and the rest having TFT Handlines. At some point in time, the decision was made to switch to 1.75" (from2"), and crosslays were reduced to 2 per rig- 1 200', and 1 300'. A 2.5" was moved to the crosslay, as well. The smoothbores got relegated to the engineer's compartment... We get new tools, hose, and nozzles with each new rig, so a fleet wide replacement doesn't happen. The 2.5's get playpipes, either TFT or Elkhart. The TFT's have automatics- they're non break aparts. The Elkharts are breakaparts, with stacked tips, or SM-20's ( yeah, I didn't understand the sm-20 thing either), The smoothbore is normally in place.

    I vividly recall providing an engine for the academy intermediate class one evening. (depts took turns providing apparatus for the class to use) That night was a live fire class in the structural trainer. When students pulled the first line, they were confused by the smoothbore nozzle!! Apparently, we were very much in the minority carrying one on a preconnect... The student on the knob asked if I had a different nozzle for it, so I gave him the spare TFT. Kinda surprised and dismayed me that none of these students wanted to even try it out... I ended up pumping two 2" ers and a 2.5 simultaneously, and dropping my intake pressure to >10 psi, through a 100' section of 5". Apparently, the water main back there is small, and doesn't like 5" hose and big pumps!

    At another session, an excited student nearly charged my supply bed before the instructor saw what he was doing, and shut the line down... Had to pull 100' of full 5" off the hosebed, and the whole class got a stern lecture from the instructor on WHY you wait for the pump to CALL for water before charging the line...

    The instructors used to watch for students gating back on the nozzle and would mess with them unmercifully. This is a propane burn building, and they'd either not allow the fire to go out, or they'd keep reigniting it, and beat the stuffing out of you. Afterwards, they'd tell you about how gating back reduced your flow, and if they'd wanted a booster line pulled, they'd ask for it. You can tell people in drills/ classes etc until you're blue in the face about gating back on the nozzle, but they never get it like they do when you SHOW them.

  7. #27
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Sm-20 on a 2.5?? Strange that
    Bring enough hose.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    Sm-20 on a 2.5?? Strange that
    That's what I said! I think the SM-30 is for the bigger lines. My guess is that since we keep the smoothbore tips on the nozzle... Plus, ISO wants a playpipe with tips. The auto tip is just another option. I, personally, have never seen the selectomatic tip used on this line at a real fire. If all you need to flow is 200gpm, why pull the big line?

  9. #29
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozzle nut 22 View Post
    That's what I said! I think the SM-30 is for the bigger lines. My guess is that since we keep the smoothbore tips on the nozzle... Plus, ISO wants a playpipe with tips. The auto tip is just another option. I, personally, have never seen the selectomatic tip used on this line at a real fire. If all you need to flow is 200gpm, why pull the big line?
    The SM-20's max flow is 200 GPM. Having one on a 2.5" line makes no sense. The SM-30's max flow is 325 GPM. This is a much better option.

    Where did you hear that ISO requires play pipes and stack tips? As far as I know all they want to see is 2 smooth bores and 2 fogs for your 2.5" lines per engine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  10. #30
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    I personally think any fstandard og on a 2 1/2 is a paperweight 99 percent of the time. To much pressure and reaction force when compared to a 2 1/2 with a SB.

    And having a fog on your 2 1/2 inch high rise pack is a horrible Idea.

    With a 1 1/8 SB I can hold a 2 1/2 by myself. I cannot do that with a fog nozzle.

    Now that is with a 100psi fog on the 2 1/2. I have never flowed a low pressure fog on one.

    Just like when you see a stack tip with a 1 inch tip on the 2 1/2. Why? 210 GPM out of a 2 1/2 why not just flow 200 out of an 1 3/4.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    The SM-20's max flow is 200 GPM. Having one on a 2.5" line makes no sense. The SM-30's max flow is 325 GPM. This is a much better option.

    Where did you hear that ISO requires play pipes and stack tips? As far as I know all they want to see is 2 smooth bores and 2 fogs for your 2.5" lines per engine.
    I agree 100%, but I wasn't in charge of purchasing... Your second paragraph is likely the reason they were purchased- to have fog tips for them, even if we never plan on using them.

    I saw that in an article in an issue of Fire Rescue magazine, about how one dept improved their rating from a 9 to a 4. The inspector didn't give them credit for 2, 250 gpm fog playpipes. It may well have been that the issue was that they weren't breakaparts, and thus the strait tips they had couldn't be used on them.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    I personally think any fstandard og on a 2 1/2 is a paperweight 99 percent of the time. To much pressure and reaction force when compared to a 2 1/2 with a SB.

    And having a fog on your 2 1/2 inch high rise pack is a horrible Idea.

    With a 1 1/8 SB I can hold a 2 1/2 by myself. I cannot do that with a fog nozzle.

    Now that is with a 100psi fog on the 2 1/2. I have never flowed a low pressure fog on one.

    Just like when you see a stack tip with a 1 inch tip on the 2 1/2. Why? 210 GPM out of a 2 1/2 why not just flow 200 out of an 1 3/4.
    I couldn't agree more, and I'll go one further: I'd vastly prefer a regular smoothbore nozzle to a playpipe- esp if the line is being used offensively. PP's just seem clunky to me.

    If I pulled the 2.5", I always made sure the 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 tip was on it. If you're gonna go with the big line, you might as well be able to flow the big water.

  13. #33
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozzle nut 22 View Post
    I agree 100%, but I wasn't in charge of purchasing... Your second paragraph is likely the reason they were purchased- to have fog tips for them, even if we never plan on using them.

    I saw that in an article in an issue of Fire Rescue magazine, about how one dept improved their rating from a 9 to a 4. The inspector didn't give them credit for 2, 250 gpm fog playpipes. It may well have been that the issue was that they weren't breakaparts, and thus the strait tips they had couldn't be used on them.
    So you're saying the department in question had two shutoffs with 4 nozzles, 2 smooth bore and 2 fog, and because they couldnt interchange them they didn't get credit? Unless something is different from the last "Engine Company" equipment list, they want 2 2.5" fog nozzles with shutoffs and 2 2.5" smooth bore nozzles with shutoffs. So I guess the above situation makes sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  14. #34
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozzle nut 22 View Post
    I couldn't agree more, and I'll go one further: I'd vastly prefer a regular smoothbore nozzle to a playpipe- esp if the line is being used offensively. PP's just seem clunky to me.

    If I pulled the 2.5", I always made sure the 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 tip was on it. If you're gonna go with the big line, you might as well be able to flow the big water.
    We use playpipes with stacked tips on our 2.5s here, 1", "1 1/8, 1 1/4, 1 1/2 tips. We only pull them for large structures, Break it down to the 1 1/2 tip and you can loop and sit a get somewhere around 480 gpm.
    Bring enough hose.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    So you're saying the department in question had two shutoffs with 4 nozzles, 2 smooth bore and 2 fog, and because they couldnt interchange them they didn't get credit? Unless something is different from the last "Engine Company" equipment list, they want 2 2.5" fog nozzles with shutoffs and 2 2.5" smooth bore nozzles with shutoffs. So I guess the above situation makes sense.
    I suppose I should have mentioned that this was an older issue. I can't remember if the why was explained, and I do not have that issue with me...

    I just remember seeing a photo of their engineer's cmpt, with two of the old style all chrome Akron fog playpipes. There were some sets of stacked tips in there as well. Perhaps I got it backwards, and ISO wanted 4 separate nozzles, not two with interchangable tips... Seems a bit excessive to need FOUR 2.5" nozzles per company. I can't recall ever seeing that many 2.5's in use from 1 rig, or even that many 2.5" lines ON a single rig.

    We carry 2 per rig, usually ON preconnects. Our old Pierce has 3 2.5" lines- 2 with nozzles, and a third with a wye for use with hose packs. The handlines don't get used very much- really big fires are rare here.

  16. #36
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    [QUOTE=GTRider245;1288049]Bones, while I agree that pistol grips do not cause poor nozzle handling, they without a doubt promote it. QUOTE]

    Well said.

    I am a user of a CAFS engine with 150 to 200 ft. of preconnect 1 3/4 and 2 1/2 smoothbore pistol grips. They work very well for us. I think it all goes to training and size up on how you operate your line, not necessarily the nozzle. Alot of fire, alot of (soapy) water. I would much rather flow excess water out of a smoothbore than not enough out of a incorrectly or wrongly-accidently set combo nozzle. I know the PSI that will be running on my line so in my opinion I shouldn't have to set a GPM to run at on my nozzle. It only causes more problems.

    More often than not, your ventilation in a volunteer response area will not be spot on coordinated with your attack lines. So the smoothbore will drastically lower the chance of getting steam burns.

    We carry combos on our engines, however the preconnects are smoothbores.

  17. #37
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    GT, I bet you talked to Mac McGarrity, didn't you? He basically sold you the exact same thing that he sold my department a few years back. While I like those two nozzles, and the Key Combat hose that we bought with them, that guy is a salesman first and foremost, and a VERY opinionated one at that.

    I took a high rise class from him and a guy from Chicago Fire, and the class turned into a giant sales pitch for a product that hadn't been released yet, was projected to cost upwards of $40,000, and is only suitable for large departments with lots of money and lots of large high rises that catch fire all the time.

    We use the same setup with the Chief nozzle, and we also have the smoothbore. However, we use a 1" long-taper tip with a stream straightener behind it. The 1" tip because we're using Key Combat 1 3/4" hose that is nearly 2" hose once you pressurize it.

  18. #38
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    GT, I bet you talked to Mac McGarrity, didn't you? He basically sold you the exact same thing that he sold my department a few years back. While I like those two nozzles, and the Key Combat hose that we bought with them, that guy is a salesman first and foremost, and a VERY opinionated one at that.

    I took a high rise class from him and a guy from Chicago Fire, and the class turned into a giant sales pitch for a product that hadn't been released yet, was projected to cost upwards of $40,000, and is only suitable for large departments with lots of money and lots of large high rises that catch fire all the time.

    We use the same setup with the Chief nozzle, and we also have the smoothbore. However, we use a 1" long-taper tip with a stream straightener behind it. The 1" tip because we're using Key Combat 1 3/4" hose that is nearly 2" hose once you pressurize it.
    Hey man,

    I just saw this post from a few weeks ago. Yes, I dealt with Mac McGarry on the nozzles. I have taken a few of his engine ops classes as well as a high rise class. He is a very knoweledgeable individual when it comes to this stuff.

    While I agree that he can be opinionated (after all, he works for Elkhart), I don't know if I would go as far as to say he is a salesman first. Main reason I say that is because the exact setup he pushes is made up of the lowest priced products that Elkhart sells. He will tell you right off the bat that he can get you 3 smooth bores for the price of a single Select-O-Matic, and then tell you the reasons why the SB is a better choice (depending on application). The other reasons he gives for choosing Elkhart over competition can all be discovered on your own (all metal construction, service history, etc.). I spent almost an hour on the phone with him when we were going through our specs and it doesn't take long to figure out that he has his heart in this business.

    As far as the class expirience goes, I am assuming you are talking about Elkhart's Hero Pipe system. I agree with you- impractical for most fire departments.

    Our nozzles came in today, and we will be training with them tonight. I am waiting for the new fiscal year to come in so we can order some Ponn Conquest to match them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    With so few actual fires, and so many actual medical calls, we tried to totally simplify our operations.
    Sounds like us. To simplify our operations we now pull up and throw 1000cc bags of normal saline at the fire until it goes out. Doesn't work very well but every medic can do it......

    Seriously though, we changed overt to Elkhart Chief 150gpm@50psi fogs about two years ago from SM-20's on all preconected 1-3/4 fog lines, our other 1-3/4 preconects are 15/16" SB's. I am in no way a nozzle expert but I will say that whatever you go to make sure that training is conducted for ALL positions. We made flow charts using in-line pressure gauges for EACH of our preconnects. Remember that not all hose gives you the same friction loss and pump pressures need to be adjusted accordingly so you get proper nozzle operation. It took putting some of our drivers on the nozzle and pumping them at the pressures they were giving us to make them realize that CQ squared L can give you WAY too much. The flow charts also help some of the medics when they step up to drive, now if they could only get the pump in gear.............
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    I have more of a question to go along with this discussion than a comment. We have selectomatics, phantom adjustable gallonage and chief break apart nozzles where I work. Who has much experience with any of these and in your opinion what are the up/downsides of each?? Also where in your opinion does the adjustable gallonage come into play if at all??? I personally believe there are much better options for a nozzle to take into a structure fire than adjustable gallonage.

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