# Thread: Was pondering this gpm vs application quandary

1. ## Was pondering this gpm vs application quandary

So I was thinking...

I might do a round table discussion about needed fire flows and the formula to figure that then I starting thinking about disproving the formula by showing that improper application of your stream can affect the calculation.

I was thinking maybe a throw away couch or something that I can get a measurement and come up with a NFF on then use a 2 1/2 gal APW to show that even though you're flowing high enough gpm, improper application won't put the fire out.

What are your thoughts on this?

2. Originally Posted by Bingebob
So I was thinking...

I might do a round table discussion about needed fire flows and the formula to figure that then I starting thinking about disproving the formula by showing that improper application of your stream can affect the calculation.

I was thinking maybe a throw away couch or something that I can get a measurement and come up with a NFF on then use a 2 1/2 gal APW to show that even though you're flowing high enough gpm, improper application won't put the fire out.

What are your thoughts on this?
I think you'd be wasting your time to a large extent because that's a pretty obvious conclusion (at least to me).

3. The knowledge base of the people that ill be demonstrating to on fire flows is extremely limited to "water come out truck. Me put water on hotness"

I'd like to highlight the importance of application technique as well as throw in some pump operator math. Most of these guys have some real talent and could really benefit from some extra information that isn't really "required" (at that level) but good to know

4. If they are as basic as your caveman talk implies then time would be better spent on basic skills and fire behavior.

5. Originally Posted by FyredUp
If they are as basic as your caveman talk implies then time would be better spent on basic skills and fire behavior.

If they talk like cavemen.. don't waste your time trying to explain gpm vs. BTUs and pump operations... they are truckies. They will relate to a course on opening up and breaking stuff!

6. We are volunteers. Most of them have FF1 from the state. It's been a while since I went through the academy but I don't remember getting very much fire flow in ff1+2.

I think it would be beneficial to show the science behind the gpm's vs application to get a good grasp on the theory.

We don't have a ladder truck. But like i said these guys all have a lot of talent and the drive to get some use out of it.

I'm more interested in whether my experiment would even work.

7. The problem comes in if you don't do a fire behavior class including proper application of water all it is is a dog and pony show.

Is the attack a direct attack? Indirect attack? Combination attack? What? I would think teaching attack techniques would be time far better spent.

8. Originally Posted by FyredUp
The problem comes in if you don't do a fire behavior class including proper application of water all it is is a dog and pony show.

Is the attack a direct attack? Indirect attack? Combination attack? What? I would think teaching attack techniques would be time far better spent.
Here is the issue with most basic firefighter programs around the country. We spend too much time teaching how to fold salvage covers and roll hose and not enough time teach behavior. If it isn't vital to life safety it can be taught once that person gets to a department/company. I could care less if you can roll hose 4 different ways but can't rattle off the stages of fire without having to look it up.

9. Hear, hear!

It'd be tough to find a guy that has any level of certification that doesn't know to spray fire with water. The real challenge is to find a guy that is knowledgeable enough to know why he's doing it on a scientific level (and understand it).

A fire behavior class is a great idea. I can probably incorporate that into my discussion AND my practical presentation.

10. Originally Posted by FyredUp
I would think teaching attack techniques would be time far better spent.
I feel like we could go over different attack techniques but to make it a closed circle they would have to know why we use different techniques and when to use each one. I feel like the missing puzzle piece is that bit of science to validate your initial training.

11. Bingebob,

To truly make this sink in you need something like a motel or cubicles. That way you can use a uniform container (room) with a uniform fire load (sofa) and apply water using different flows and techniques. I've found through past experience that if you only expose them to the idea they will revert back to what has always been done. If you show them the difference, then they will consider using it.

Good luck,
Walt

12. I think it a decent idea. Anytime you can show or have the group participate is better than just standing up front telling them that no matter what the GPM if you don't apply it correctly it won't be effective or at least efficient. While this seems pretty basic you can see it daily on more news stories than not, particularly defensive fires where the FD blasts copious amounts of water into the tongues of flames and then wonder why it took so long. We seem to be great at putting the water on the burning material when the nozzleman is inside but as soon as it changes to defensive basic application theory goes out the window. Maybe spouting stupid lines like "put the wet stuff on the red stuff" minimizes the actual tactics, while on the other side some are paralyzed from action by an overwhelming need to figure out every variable before making a decision. Maybe it should be "put the wet stuff just below or at the base of the red stuff" ?

Of course the best of these experiments are ones that are repeatable, thus cribbed wood or stacked pallets works nice, try finding the same couch for next years class! It often takes a lot of "proof" to erase what people think they know and virtually none to disprove anything new.

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