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Thread: Why CAFS?

  1. #41
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    [QUOTE=chiefengineer11;1295381]
    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    4) Being in an urban area with high hydrant pressure, I am wondering how this will affect the CAFS. Add that to the training of over 300 firefighters on the system.
    QUOTE]
    One thing's for certain, as I and many others have pointed out in other discussions here: You will have to supply your CAFS lines from tank.

    In order to get the CAFS air compressor to produce adequate air pressure and volume, you have to get the engine speed above idle. If you try to operate from hydrant pressure(how high?, ours run 185 psi average), or supply the pump from a hydrant, you will be running the engine pretty much at idle. That won't get you the air you need.

    We and many others have gone to automatic tank fill systems and have spec'd tank to pump plumbing that allows for adequate water flow (850 GPM +/- in our case. If you don't have an automatic tank fill system, your driver/operator is going to have to monitor the tank level constantly.
    I think that has been taken into account. The rear intake has the capablity to switch to auto tank fill. I am not on the engine committee so not 100% sure on the exact spec. I asked about the problem you mentioned and was told they speced the auto tank fill. However the training of the average lay firefigther is going to be a challenge. If using CAFS use the auto tank fill. If not you can use any intake. Getting 300 plus on board with that concept is going to be hard. the 30% of the people that are gung ho firemen no prob, the 10% of the pay check firemen thats another story.

    Not to mention when the bills start to pile up for all the foam that is used during fires.


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    The statement of water running down the stairs and flowing out the door comes from a well developed multi room & contents fire prior to us having CAFS, in a two story 2800 sq ft HORDERS house.
    We called it the Cat House as besides tons of culch stacked eye high in every room the woman had over 250 feral cats.
    The smell was horrendous, cat pee and dead cats everywhere

    The initial knockdown with water was reasonably quick but overhauling all the crap took over 5000 gallons of water to extinguish completely. When we were finished the pile of debris outside in the yard was 8 feet tall outside every window.

    The mutual aid company from a nearby career dept actually had a 1 inch drill bit and started drilling drain holes for the excess water to drain out and relieve the weight from the 2nd story floors so the crew could pull ceilings downstairs.
    With CAFS you can put a thick blanket on the culch piles and it will smother the buried fire and allow overhaul quicker. No magic potion ,just an easier way to get things accomplished.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 09-19-2011 at 05:05 PM.

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    [QUOTE=RFD21C;1295419]
    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post

    I think that has been taken into account. The rear intake has the capablity to switch to auto tank fill. I am not on the engine committee so not 100% sure on the exact spec. I asked about the problem you mentioned and was told they speced the auto tank fill. However the training of the average lay firefigther is going to be a challenge. If using CAFS use the auto tank fill. If not you can use any intake. Getting 300 plus on board with that concept is going to be hard. the 30% of the people that are gung ho firemen no prob, the 10% of the pay check firemen thats another story.

    Not to mention when the bills start to pile up for all the foam that is used during fires.
    Our auto tank fill is a little unique, although I have seen others that are set up and funtion in a similar manner. Our 6" steamer MIV is on the left side (our preference). There is, as required, an intake relief valve ahead of the MIV. Our auto tank fill is teed from the the plumbing to the relief. We have no pony inlet on that side. Our SOP calls for any supply line, regardless of size, to come to to that 6" inlet, which has a 6" NST to 5" Storz elbow semi-permanently attached. Whatever size supply line is brought to that point is attached there, using adapters as needed. The needed adapters are immediately at hand in the engineer's compartment.

    We have gotten to the point that almost all operations are done from tank. Only if we need to go to big water do we open the MIV and send the water directly into the pump. If you need that much water, you're long past a CAFS operation. A good rule of thumb (for us and the way the engine is set up) for when to open the MIV is around the same time you need to go from "Pressure" to "Volume."
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 09-19-2011 at 09:00 PM.

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    Just if you're spec'ing a new CAFS anything... AT LEAST DO A DIRECT TANK FILL or some sort of Automatic Fill Valve. That actually goes for ANY FOAM SYSTEM!

    A MAJOR manufacture has delivered numerous rigs in this area that have foam and CAFS systems without any such means to use the foam once the tank water is depleated. I asked one particular salesman and his reply is simply "They got what they specified."

    I do thank most of you for reassuring that I was educated on Foam Systems correctly... Everytime I walk into a station to meet with a truck committee, if any type of foam system is mentioned, I spend at least a solid hour or two educating them on pluses and minuses of all the different varieties and how it's going to change thier prospective truck plans as well as their day-to-day operations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Not to mention when the bills start to pile up for all the foam that is used during fires.
    Bill the property owner and/or their insurance company. Also consider having your municipality enact a cost-recovery ordinance (which will get you re-imbursed for things like diesel, kitty litter, foam and other expendible supplies.)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    [QUOTE=chiefengineer11;1295437]
    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post

    Our auto tank fill is a little unique, although I have seen others that are set up and funtion in a similar manner. Our 6" steamer MIV is on the left side (our preference). There is, as required, an intake relief valve ahead of the MIV. Our auto tank fill is teed from the the plumbing to the relief. We have no pony inlet on that side. Our SOP calls for any supply line, regardless of size, to come to to that 6" inlet, which has a 6" NST to 5" Storz elbow semi-permanently attached. Whatever size supply line is brought to that point is attached there, using adapters as needed. The needed adapters are immediately at hand in the engineer's compartment.

    We have gotten to the point that almost all operations are done from tank. Only if we need to go to big water do we open the MIV and send the water directly into the tank. If you need that much water, you're long past a CAFS operation. A good rule of thumb (for us and the way the engine is set up) for when to open the MIV is around the same time you need to go from "Pressure" to "Volume."
    Ours utilizes a similar arrangement with all supply lines no matter what size feeding into the apparatus via the 6" steamer connection on the left side of the apparatus. Water flow into the booster tank is controlled via the Odin AutoFill Valve. The booster tank is 1000 gallon and the AutoFill Valve is set to open when the tank level reaches 500 gallon. Photo # 1 shows the AutoFill Valve assemby in the lower right hand corner of the driver's side pump panel. Photo #2 shows the 6" drivers side inlet with the driver's side pump panel cover installed. Photo #3 shows the Odin AutoFill control located above the tank fill gauge in the upper left hand corner of the officer's side pump panel.
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    Last edited by ejfeicht; 09-20-2011 at 12:14 AM.

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    I just noticed an error and edited my post to correct it. Since my post was quoted, I wanted to correct it here, because it was a significant error.

    I said, "We have gotten to the point that almost all operations are done from tank. Only if we need to go to big water do we open the MIV and send the water directly into the tank."

    That should have read, "...send the water directly into the pump."

    My apologies.

    And ej, yes, looking at yours, it is essentially the same thing, just with very different parts. Thanks for posting the photos.
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 09-19-2011 at 09:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Bill the property owner and/or their insurance company. Also consider having your municipality enact a cost-recovery ordinance (which will get you re-imbursed for things like diesel, kitty litter, foam and other expendible supplies.)
    Easier said then done. We do bill for large use of haz-mat materials on haz-mat calls. Large use of foam is able to be billed in the event on of the many tank farms we have in the city catches on fire.

    However 5 gals of foam here and their would be alot of work to collect the information and bill the property owners, we would hav eto create a job position for just billing foam, kitty litter and such.

    Add that to the number of vacant building we burn, where the city cannot even track down the property owner to pay taxes. I dare say about 50% of our fires are in vacant buildings.

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    [QUOTE=ejfeicht;1295456]
    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post

    Ours utilizes a similar arrangement with all supply lines no matter what size feeding into the apparatus via the 6" steamer connection on the left side of the apparatus. Water flow into the booster tank is controlled via the Odin AutoFill Valve. The booster tank is 1000 gallon and the AutoFill Valve is set to open when the tank level reaches 500 gallon. Photo # 1 shows the AutoFill Valve assemby in the lower right hand corner of the driver's side pump panel. Photo #2 shows the 6" drivers side inlet with the driver's side pump panel cover installed. Photo #3 shows the Odin AutoFill control located above the tank fill guage in the upper left hand corner of the officer's side pump panel.
    That appears similar to what we have speced. I talked to one of the guys on the engine committee tonight. Typically we will connect to a rear intake on the engines when we forward lay and that is what the auto tank fill is hooked up to.

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    Never mind.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-20-2011 at 01:14 AM.
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  11. #51
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    Default Cafs

    My department does not use CAFS due to the initial cost of the systems and maintenance problems in early apparatus. We do carry class A foam and I for one routinely batch mix foam in our booster tank for rapid knockdown of any type of class A fires. While the "air" and "foam" components do not absorb BTU's, the foam does allow the water to penetrate to the seat of the fire. It's a simple reduction in surface tension of the water. If you have the option of extinguishing a fire with 2500 gallons or 300 gallons, isn't the choice logical? The stuff works.

    I review NIOSH firefighter fatality reports and have never seen CAFS mentioned as a factor in any death or injury. I could have missed it, but I would like more info on that claim.

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    I am pro cafs. I have used it on class A fires many times.

    I ride with a new company.

    Next week we plan of going to the academy, and doing a fuel pad fire simulation. I understand from a Deputy Chief a sister company or two will be bringing CAFS Engines for us to "demo"

    Question for the group, what do I need to know about CAFS on liquid fires?

    Never worked with it on a liquids fire, I am assuming a thicker, blanketing foam is best, start at one end and try to cover the entire liquids pad, offering a blanket, trying not to disrupt the blanket, and try not to forcefully apply the foam so not to disrupt the underlying liquids.

    Anyone have some wisdom they can share

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    Quote Originally Posted by oper77 View Post
    I am pro cafs. I have used it on class A fires many times.

    I ride with a new company.

    Next week we plan of going to the academy, and doing a fuel pad fire simulation. I understand from a Deputy Chief a sister company or two will be bringing CAFS Engines for us to "demo"

    Question for the group, what do I need to know about CAFS on liquid fires?

    Never worked with it on a liquids fire, I am assuming a thicker, blanketing foam is best, start at one end and try to cover the entire liquids pad, offering a blanket, trying not to disrupt the blanket, and try not to forcefully apply the foam so not to disrupt the underlying liquids.

    Anyone have some wisdom they can share
    You want to use class A foam on a class B fire? If you do get it extinguished, don't expect the blanket to last. Re-ignition will be a definite possibility. If any polar solvents are involved don't expect to actually put it out, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oper77 View Post
    I am pro cafs. I have used it on class A fires many times.

    I ride with a new company.

    Next week we plan of going to the academy, and doing a fuel pad fire simulation. I understand from a Deputy Chief a sister company or two will be bringing CAFS Engines for us to "demo"

    Question for the group, what do I need to know about CAFS on liquid fires?

    Never worked with it on a liquids fire, I am assuming a thicker, blanketing foam is best, start at one end and try to cover the entire liquids pad, offering a blanket, trying not to disrupt the blanket, and try not to forcefully apply the foam so not to disrupt the underlying liquids.

    Anyone have some wisdom they can share
    Experiment and LEARN. I think there will be a lesson in this for you. Not sure you will be real impressed depending on who's foam you use. At the least,you'll find out what you DON'T want to do. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Experiment and LEARN. I think there will be a lesson in this for you. Not sure you will be real impressed depending on who's foam you use. At the least,you'll find out what you DON'T want to do. T.C.
    Good point T.C. Thanks.

    I was shocked when the DChief stated that we have people bring CAFS engines for us to demo. I stated, Deputy, the website states we are doing fuel pads and liquid fires. He said I understand that, and that is what we plan on doing.

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    Hello All,

    Why CAFS? Because it works great!

    My department has been using CAFS since 1998. We are a combination fire department located in Northern NJ. We use CAF on all fires we go to that we would or could use water on to extinguish. If you can extinguish a fire with plain water, you will do it much more efficiently and safer with CAFS. CAFS is like any other tool we have in the fire service you have to learn about and train with it. CAFS is not complicated, just a little different.

    Here is a picture of a residential structure fire we had a couple months ago. It is showing the rear, exterior deck that the fire started on and burned into the house.

    My guys attacked this fire, entering thru the front door with an 1 3/4" CAFS line, flowing approximately 100gpm utilizing a straight bore15/16" tip. We used 147 gallons of water (CAFS) to knockdown this fire and 475 gallons total to extinguish and overhaul.

    CAFS is not a magic potion nor are my firefighters wizards. CAFS is simply a tool that when put in the hands of knowledgeable and trained firefighters works, makes the fire scene safer for firefighters and causes far less water damage.

    Hope this helps.

    Be safe,

    Chief Lou
    "Got Foam?"
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    Last edited by CaptLou; 09-21-2011 at 07:33 PM.

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    Lou,

    I think you are the reason my past company purchased CAFS. I remember meeting you on some Demo.

    We appreciated everything you showed us back then, and since then have purchased two units.

    I am now in Delaware, and my new company is also contemplating purchasing a CAFS piece


    Quote Originally Posted by CaptLou View Post
    Hello All,

    Why CAFS? Because it works great!

    My department has been using CAFS since 1998. We are a combination fire department located in Northern NJ. We use CAF on all fires we go to that we would or could use water on to extinguish. If you can extinguish a fire with plain water, you will do it much more efficiently and safer with CAFS. CAFS is like any other tool we have in the fire service you have to learn about and train with it. CAFS is not complicated, just a little different.

    Here is a picture of a residential structure fire we had a couple months ago. It is showing the rear, exterior deck that the fire started on and burned into the house.



    My guys attacked this fire, entering thru the front door with an 1 3/4" CAFS line, flowing approximately 100gpm utilizing a straight bore15/16" tip. We used 147 gallons of water (CAFS) to knockdown this fire and 475 gallons total to extinguish and overhaul.

    CAFS is not a magic potion nor are my firefighters wizards. CAFS is simply a tool that when put in the hands of knowledgeable and trained firefighters works, makes the fire scene safer for firefighters and causes far less water damage.

    Hope this helps.

    Be safe,

    Chief Lou
    "Got Foam?"

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    Chief Lou-

    You say that you crew was flowing 100GPM. I am trying to figure out what effects the reduced GPM flow of the handline has in regards to structural firefighting. The way that i understand it the reduced surface tension of the water increases the amount of BTUs that the water can realisticly absorb. So a fire that with plain water would require a 200 GPM flow would only reguire a 100GPM flows (numbers just made up). Is that correct?

    I assume that the GPM flow changes based on how wet or dry the finished foam is. Is that correct?

    My biggest red flag with CAFS is the lack of negatives about it. I find very little in regards to the cons or pitfalls of CAFS. As with anything in the fire service there has to be positive and negatives. Most of the info i read on CAFS read like a carefully constructed National foam advertisment. Or when you read the fine print the test performed was paid for and sponsered by a bussiness that has a special interest in CAFS. I find it hard to believe that it is the goose that layed the golden egg as it is often presented. Just my two cents.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    My biggest red flag with CAFS is the lack of negatives about it. I find very little in regards to the cons or pitfalls of CAFS.
    RFD,

    While Chief Lou can probably give you far more information on the technical aspects of CAFS, I can just give you a little information about my personal experience.

    When we were in the early stages of spec'ing the new pumper at home, we had Goochland bring one of the new new CAFS pumpers over for us to use during an acquired structure burn. Although we're hardly scientists, we tried to simulate each fire in each room exactly the same so we could use timers, heat detectors, and TICs to evaulate the effectiveness of CAFS versus straight water. We found that while the straight water was slightly more effective in lowering the initial ceiling temperature, the CAFS lines would cool the fire more quickly, used far less water, made the hoselines more manuervable, and made the seat of the fire far harder to re-start when we tried to.

    We used a 2.5" CAFS line outside, and a single member was able to place, move, and use the line with no difficulty.

    I was talking last week to a fire chief in rural Virginia locality who purchased a CAFS engine and standard tanker at the same time a few years ago. He only half-jokingly said that if he'd known how effective CAFS was going to be, he wouldn't have spent the $200,000 on the tanker that's only used for mutual aid calls now.

    Give me a couple of days, and I'll see if I can dig up our test results from the burn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    RFD,

    While Chief Lou can probably give you far more information on the technical aspects of CAFS, I can just give you a little information about my personal experience.

    When we were in the early stages of spec'ing the new pumper at home, we had Goochland bring one of the new new CAFS pumpers over for us to use during an acquired structure burn. Although we're hardly scientists, we tried to simulate each fire in each room exactly the same so we could use timers, heat detectors, and TICs to evaulate the effectiveness of CAFS versus straight water. We found that while the straight water was slightly more effective in lowering the initial ceiling temperature, the CAFS lines would cool the fire more quickly, used far less water, made the hoselines more manuervable, and made the seat of the fire far harder to re-start when we tried to.

    We used a 2.5" CAFS line outside, and a single member was able to place, move, and use the line with no difficulty.

    I was talking last week to a fire chief in rural Virginia locality who purchased a CAFS engine and standard tanker at the same time a few years ago. He only half-jokingly said that if he'd known how effective CAFS was going to be, he wouldn't have spent the $200,000 on the tanker that's only used for mutual aid calls now.

    Give me a couple of days, and I'll see if I can dig up our test results from the burn.

    Thanks I am trying to get in on a meeting with that guy from goochland through my part itme job. We were suppose to meet when hurricane irene decided to alter the plans slightly.

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