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Thread: Why CAFS?

  1. #1
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    Default Why CAFS?

    A lot of people have questioned me on why we use CAFS and why I say I will NEVER buy another piece without it. My best answer came at a mutual aid call 2 nights ago.

    Scene:
    A 2 story block and frame construction juvenile detention center, used to house around 50 males. Abandoned long enough ago that the trees had grown up on the driveway and blocked access. Fire was through the roof upon arrival of the primary department. Truly exterior attack only.

    Attack apparatus:
    1- 2000 GPM engine, water, 150' 2.5" to wye, 2- 200' 1.75" lines to building

    1- 500 GPM/140CFM CAFS engine, 300' 2.5" to water thief, initial from here was 100' 2.5" to blitzfire and a 200' 1.5" line. Mop up was 1- 200' 1.5" from the end of the blitzfire (yes, nozzle was 600' from pump) in addition to 2-
    200' 1.5" (yes, nozzle 500' from pump) lines.

    These stats are just from our CAFS engine, which I was running:
    Maximum pump pressure 110 psi
    Maximum engine rpm 1600 rpm
    Foam used: 12 gallon
    Water used: 3000 gallons estimated
    Time on scene: < 3 hours
    Number of rekindles: 2, not where foam was used

    That is why I will never buy another rig without CAFS!


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Default

    not to pee in your wheaties, but who's gonna pay for that 12 gallons of foam? Thats pretty expensive stuff to be throwing on a vacant.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    Another common misconception about using Class A foam. Well lets see, 12 gallons of foam @ $15.45 a gallon/55 gallon drum price = $185.40, doesn't appear to be all that much.

    In my 31 years, 22 as Chief, a fire like this we would have been there at least 6 hours and probably returned several times for rekindles with plain water. So, at $4/gallon for diesel, we probably saved that much in fuel by getting out of there in half the time.

    We are not a large, well funded department by no means. But by investing in technology that truly works, we actually save money, but even more so, a lot of my volunteer's TIME. $185, I'd pay for that out of my own pocket for the PRICELESS benefits I get in return.
    5760 likes this.

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    Chief,

    You need to do some bidding on foam. I'm paying $13.60gal Chemguard A+ in pails. Price per gal in pails/drums/totes is same per gal. I don't mess around with the dang drums. PITA

    You're right on all other points.

    Find a way to go CAFS.

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    Default real stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Chief,

    You need to do some bidding on foam. I'm paying $13.60gal Chemguard A+ in pails. Price per gal in pails/drums/totes is same per gal. I don't mess around with the dang drums. PITA

    You're right on all other points.

    Find a way to go CAFS.
    We use phoschek up here in the hills $12/gallon through state warehouse, it has all the approvals for using out in the woods and we dropped our Foam Pro from 0.5% to 0.3%.

    We are at 3 - 5000 feet here so maybe that helps with the foaming

  6. #6
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    Talking Not Just For Structural Fires

    CAFS - Not Just For Structural Fires ! 1 1/2 minutes from opening the nozzle to extinguishment. Darley AutoCAFS Engine (1000 gallon, 1500gpm, 220cfm) front bumper trashline (1 3/4" handline with an Akron 1528 DSO SaberJet 1 1/8" tip), PhosCheck WD-881 Class A Foam at 0.3%, 60gpm at 110psi.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  7. #7
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    Default Pay for foam

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    not to pee in your wheaties, but who's gonna pay for that 12 gallons of foam? Thats pretty expensive stuff to be throwing on a vacant.
    New at this, first time posting.

    At my previous station in North NJ, we would submit the bills for foam or Fit-5 or whatever to the insurance companies. I know it was reimbursed several times, and if I am not mistaking, I believe we never had a rejection from the insurance company. ( I will have to verify that)

    Additionally, CAFS makes the hand lines lighter, easier to maneuver, no kinks, and most important to no rekindles, NO OVERHAUL. My previous company, marshall would call for CAFS immediately if it were a suspect fire, to put the fire out, with the least amount of disruption to possible evidence.

  8. #8
    Forum Member SFD_E73_RET's Avatar
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    Default

    Some people like CAFS some don't but it's a great tool, but your all paying too much for foam. If you would like to pay $11.50 a gallon in square pails (skids of 48) for the only foam Texas A&M will let on their property, pm me.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oper77 View Post
    New at this, first time posting.

    At my previous station in North NJ, we would submit the bills for foam or Fit-5 or whatever to the insurance companies. I know it was reimbursed several times, and if I am not mistaking, I believe we never had a rejection from the insurance company. ( I will have to verify that)

    Additionally, CAFS makes the hand lines lighter, easier to maneuver, no kinks, and most important to no rekindles, NO OVERHAUL. My previous company, marshall would call for CAFS immediately if it were a suspect fire, to put the fire out, with the least amount of disruption to possible evidence.
    Hate to break it to you but Cafs DOES NOT prevent Rekindles. Does it HELP? Yes, as does the application of any surficant. PROPER OVERHAUL prevents Rekindles as it has for over 100 years.Around here the Marshall doesn't call for anything unless it's lights or bodies. Cafs good? Absolutely but ONLY if used Correctly and a lot of places.............well ,there are some still learning. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 09-15-2011 at 09:31 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I concur, proper overhaul prevents rekindles. Foam may help, but it doesn't fix the problem. Its very disturbing to see on firehouse.com, rekindles turning good stops into total losses or a fire rekindling multiple times. We really are losing basic fireman skills.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PrestoC125 View Post
    A lot of people have questioned me on why we use CAFS and why I say I will NEVER buy another piece without it. My best answer came at a mutual aid call 2 nights ago.

    Scene:
    A 2 story block and frame construction juvenile detention center, used to house around 50 males. Abandoned long enough ago that the trees had grown up on the driveway and blocked access. Fire was through the roof upon arrival of the primary department. Truly exterior attack only.

    Attack apparatus:
    1- 2000 GPM engine, water, 150' 2.5" to wye, 2- 200' 1.75" lines to building

    1- 500 GPM/140CFM CAFS engine, 300' 2.5" to water thief, initial from here was 100' 2.5" to blitzfire and a 200' 1.5" line. Mop up was 1- 200' 1.5" from the end of the blitzfire (yes, nozzle was 600' from pump) in addition to 2-
    200' 1.5" (yes, nozzle 500' from pump) lines.

    These stats are just from our CAFS engine, which I was running:
    Maximum pump pressure 110 psi
    Maximum engine rpm 1600 rpm
    Foam used: 12 gallon
    Water used: 3000 gallons estimated
    Time on scene: < 3 hours
    Number of rekindles: 2, not where foam was used

    That is why I will never buy another rig without CAFS!
    Let me see if I have this right. You have a 2 story building with fire through the roof and the first in engine attacks the fire with 2 - 1 3/4 inch lines from a gated wye on a 2 1/2? Then the CAFs engine arrives and you use a Blitzfire and 2 handlines with CAFs.

    Why would you restrict a 2000 gpm pumper to around 300 gpm? Maybe the CAFs wouldn't have worked if you had only pulled 2 small handlines. Maybe the water would have worked if you had used a Blitzfire to flow water.

    I don't care whether you use CAFs or don't use CAFs, but at least do a fair comparison. My career and POC FDs use Class A foam. If we want thick foam we use an aerating nozzle. It works just fine for us.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  12. #12
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Default

    in the FWIW column..........we have a Foam-Pro around the pump system preset @ 0.4 % for attack and it gives us good knock down.......we dont use it on every fire...........and you are all getting GREAT deals on foam as we are paying more than that for Silvex (I think).......glad it works for you but for us it can get pricey.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  13. #13
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oper77 View Post
    New at this, first time posting.

    At my previous station in North NJ, we would submit the bills for foam or Fit-5 or whatever to the insurance companies. I know it was reimbursed several times, and if I am not mistaking, I believe we never had a rejection from the insurance company. ( I will have to verify that)

    Additionally, CAFS makes the hand lines lighter, easier to maneuver, no kinks, and most important to no rekindles, NO OVERHAUL. My previous company, marshall would call for CAFS immediately if it were a suspect fire, to put the fire out, with the least amount of disruption to possible evidence.
    For the record, I am PRO-CAFS, fully aware of all of it's capabilities, and was on a committee that spec'd out a custom stainless cafs 1500GPM pumper. I personally would just be hesitant to use it on a vacant building- who's going to pay for it??? Who insures a vacant building???
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Hate to break it to you but Cafs DOES NOT prevent Rekindles. Does it HELP? Yes, as does the application of any surficant. PROPER OVERHAUL prevents Rekindles as it has for over 100 years.Arounf here the Marshall doesn't call for anything unless it's lights or bodies. Cafs good? Absolutely but ONLY if used Correctly and a lot of places.............well ,there are some still learning. T.C.
    You are absolutely correct. It was my first post, and I guess I was quick to comment. Re-reading it, I did have many inaccuracies as you pointed out.
    Right, it doesnt 'prevent rekindles' if used properly it assists in protecting against a rekindle.

    Our Marshall at the time was our chief, and arson investigator. If the fire was deemed more than accidental, or had a recovery. We often, would go CAFS and try to limit the overhaul and CAFS the structure, to attempt to better preserve evidence.

    With any tool in the fire service, it is only as good as the training and soon the experience behind it.

    I will try to be more critical and careful what, and how I post. However I am here to try to learn and offer feed back with whatever I can.

    It seems you are here to inform and 'keep it real' which is a great thing, keeping people from walking away from here being miss-informed is a great tool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    For the record, I am PRO-CAFS, fully aware of all of it's capabilities, and was on a committee that spec'd out a custom stainless cafs 1500GPM pumper. I personally would just be hesitant to use it on a vacant building- who's going to pay for it??? Who insures a vacant building???
    Good point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Let me see if I have this right. You have a 2 story building with fire through the roof and the first in engine attacks the fire with 2 - 1 3/4 inch lines from a gated wye on a 2 1/2? Then the CAFs engine arrives and you use a Blitzfire and 2 handlines with CAFs.

    Why would you restrict a 2000 gpm pumper to around 300 gpm? Maybe the CAFs wouldn't have worked if you had only pulled 2 small handlines. Maybe the water would have worked if you had used a Blitzfire to flow water.

    I don't care whether you use CAFs or don't use CAFs, but at least do a fair comparison. My career and POC FDs use Class A foam. If we want thick foam we use an aerating nozzle. It works just fine for us.
    but facts don't help the sales pitch.
    "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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    but facts don't help the sales pitch.
    Bones,Tide RECEDE yet? T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Bones,Tide RECEDE yet? T.C.
    I'm on dry ground right now. Other parts of the state though...still wet.
    "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?

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    The problem with CAFS is that everybody forgets that H2O is what absorbs BTUs. With CAFS, you're flowing less gpm of water, to accommodate the air in the line for the CAFS. With a smaller fire, with proper ventilation, no problem. Or an exterior attack where you're not putting people in the heat and a quick knockdown is less urgent. With a good hot and pressurized (and perhaps multi-room) job, not so much. There's simply not enough water flow in a CAFS line to adequately and QUICKLY cool the fire environment otherwise. I know a couple guys that got slightly roasted when the IC decided to tell their pump operator to switch to CAFS. The fire was way too hot and without enough ventilation to dump the extra water. There have also been several firefighter fatalities in the last few years due to the misapplication of CAFS and the equipment used. CAFS is really meant to be used with solid-bore nozzles. The droplet/bubble size has a greater surface to volume ratio than that produced by fog nozzles. Ergo, the mixture is disrupted by the fog nozzle, thus reducing what heat absorption properties that CAFS DOES have.The "CAFS line" may actually end up only being a 90gpm line with a little foam in it. Yet I see many CAFS lines set up with standard automatic nozzles. I'll take the 15/16ths and the extra 90gpm thank you very much.
    Last edited by mtngael; 09-14-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngael View Post
    The problem with CAFS is that everybody forgets that H2O is what absorbs BTUs. With CAFS, you're flowing less gpm of water, to accommodate the air in the line for the CAFS. With a smaller fire, with proper ventilation, no problem. Or an exterior attack where you're not putting people in the heat and a quick knockdown is less urgent. With a good hot and pressurized (and perhaps multi-room) job, not so much. There's simply not enough water flow in a CAFS line to adequately and QUICKLY cool the fire environment otherwise. I know a couple guys that got slightly roasted when the IC decided to tell their pump operator to switch to CAFS. The fire was way too hot and without enough ventilation to dump the extra water. There have also been several firefighter fatalities in the last few years due to the misapplication of CAFS and the equipment used. CAFS is really meant to be used with solid-bore nozzles. The droplet/bubble size has a greater surface to volume ratio than that produced by fog nozzles. Ergo, the mixture is disrupted by the fog nozzle, thus reducing what heat absorption properties that CAFS DOES have.The "CAFS line" may actually end up only being a 90gpm line with a little foam in it. Yet I see many CAFS lines set up with standard automatic nozzles. I'll take the 15/16ths and the extra 90gpm thank you very much.
    Intrigued and now concerned.
    Can you provide data about fatalities due to the misapplication of CAFS? I would love to read up on it.

    Previous co I was with, I went in, on the nut, multi tip flowing CAFS on a large volume of fire (residential) and had an awesome knockdown.

    Was I just lucky?

    My new co is talking about CAFS. Is there some lessons learned that we can tap off of?

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