01-31-2001, 11:40 AM #1Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
'New-Wave' uses of Water-fog Nozzles.
Chris Bud', a firefighter from North Carolina, writes -
'I am a firefighter in North Carolina and I have used both the fog nozzle and the smooth bore. The smooth bore nozzle saves lives nad puts out fires much more efficiantly than the fog. The steam produced by the fog nozzle is enough to fry you. You can risk your life if you want to but that is your choice. I am just glad I am not a resident in your neighborhood'.........
Chris visited my website located at www.firetactics.com but made a common error. He failed to read any of the information there and sought to base his argument upon outdated views.
I just wish to emphasise that we are promoting a 'new' use of water-fog - this is not necessarily a form of fire attack but rather a means of making safe the approach to a fire. By utilising the nozzle 'pulsing' techniques that have become so popular in europe a firefighter is able to achieve greater control over the environment he (she) occupies whilst advancing upon the fire; before reverting to straight stream to complete extinguishment.
Understand this vital point and you are on the way to realising that 'fog nozzles' are not ready for the scrap-heap........far from it! In fact, they are your greatest weapon!
This is not an attempt to revive an old 'battle' ground ie; straight .v. fog etc......but please at least study our approach before trying to condemn it! If it were not innovative then many of the world's top scientists, the FDNY themselves, US Navy, and 70 percent of the world's firefighting forces would not be approving these water-fog techniques........think about it?
01-31-2001, 01:09 PM #2Company40Firehouse.com Guest
How do you suggest going about an interior attack using the 'new wave' technique? Do you suggest pulsing a fog stream into fire and gases rolling along the ceiling as you work your way to the seat of the fire? Once in a well involved room, do you adjust your pattern to a straight stream and attack the seat of the fire as if you were using a straight bore nozzle? From what I've read about this topic, I'm led to believe that the 'new wave' technique is a method to cool overhead gases to prevent flashover while making your way to the seat of the fire. Am I correct in this assumption?
01-31-2001, 05:58 PM #3Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Co.40 writes - 'From what I've read about this topic, I'm led to believe that the 'new wave' technique is a method to cool overhead gases to prevent flashover'.........
Everything in your post is right on the button.....you obviously have researched the topic effectively! I would just add that as well as 'cooling' the gases the pulsed introduction of water droplets will have other effects similar to 'inerting' the flammable gas layers that form and transport above firefighter's heads on the approach route - the existence of this dangerous gas formation is so often neglected by advancing firefighters.
01-31-2001, 10:48 PM #4MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
Maybe I need a refresher... or maybe I have been doing the "new wave" the old fashioned way for 20 years?
Back in 1980 when I started in the fire service, all we had were combination (i.e. fog) nozzles. We carried them set at 95GMP (on the 1 1/2") at semi-fog. The plan of attack in a well involved room was to open at semi-fog aimed at the ceiling, then closing to straight stream and deflecting the stream off the ceiling. Then you would re-direct the straight stream on the seat of the fire.
The theory was that the semi-fog would cool the gases above you, then the straight stream at the ceiling would reduce the flash-over potential by cooling more of the room, and then the straight stream would put out the fire. The full fog was used as your "safety" should things turn sour. You open to full fog to put the water curtain between you and the fire while you backed out.
So, have I been doing it in an acceptable manner all these years, or have I just been lucky??
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
02-01-2001, 03:45 AM #5AZ3 Erik PragerFirehouse.com Guest
Speaking from experience, the US Navy has been using the 'pulse-fog' technique for years, manipulating the bail open and shut in short 2-3 second bursts to cool the compartment and air ahead of them. We also use fog on the fore itself, instead of solid stream. Due to the enclosed spaces that we work in, it is extremely important to cool the gases and space quickly, as to allow the entry team to make an effective attack. As a nozzleman and team leader, I've seen the positive effects, and while at times it adds steam to the space, I think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
AZ2 Erik Prager
USS Kitty Hawk(CV-63)
***These statements do not neccessarily reflect the views of my command, the US Navy, or the US Government. They are strictly my own.
02-01-2001, 07:01 AM #6Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Richard - You have been doing it right! The techniques you describe are recognised internationally as a means of attacking a room and contents (compartment) fire. However, the 'new-wave' uses of 3D water-fog are employed to deal with the gases and hostile environment in the hallway and rooms on the approach route to that very room fire. Also, Erik is correct in his reference to 'pulsing' the fog pattern in an attempt to avoid steam. Inevitably, in the confines of a ship there is likely to be some steam, especially if you are using the technique to extinguish the fuel source as well.
'Pulsing' is using short bursts(0.5 to 2 or 3 secs) of water-fog on a variable 30-60 degree cone to ensure most of the water vaporizes in the gases and not wholly on the heated wall/ceiling linings. The water flow-rate; droplet sizing and nozzle pressure are all contributory factors to a successful application but none moreso than nozzle technique, which is learned during simulator burns in containers where temperatures up to 600 deg C may be encountered as the gas layers ignite during repeated rollovers.
Don't necessarily alter your tactics in the fire room but address your tactics on the approach.......and then, with experience, a firefighter will learn to optimise the application rate on fires also - as the application rate is variable depending upon compartmental volume and involved fire load.
02-02-2001, 03:24 PM #7Jolly RogerFirehouse.com Guest
I've been using hte pulse technique for two years now, and have no complaints! Thanks Paul for posting on it!
02-02-2001, 05:04 PM #8benson911Firehouse.com Guest
As usual, Paul is the man! I wish I had known of his technique several years ago when I burnt my ears in a very hot fire. I could've used his technique then and avoided all the extra heat and thus the burns!
At your next practice burn, set up a nice hot fire that banks all the way down to the floor just before flashover stage and use the pulseing technique to cool the atmosphere. It's wonderful, the atmosphere cools and the attack line can attack the seat of the fire with greater efficiency and safety.
We had the backup line at our last practice burn use the technique before the attack line entered the house to keep the fire from involving too much area. The backup team had heard of the technique but not tried it - they were impressed. They used very little water and did not create steam.
It's a great technique - if you haven't read his book, get it and read it. It's worth your time and effort and it's not a long book. It just may save YOUR ears sometime!
I do not know Paul Grimwood personally or professionally except through this forum and his web page where I requested a copy of his book. This endorsement was given without request from Paul and is based on real world experience with his technique.
02-07-2001, 05:31 AM #9BFD 210Firehouse.com Guest
I have used the "new wave Method" and I did see that the method worked but I do not believe that the purported benefits actually exceed the dangers of using a fog stream inside a fire compartment. I still believe through actual and analytic use and through technical study that the direct attack,including the cooling of the overhead gases with a straight or solid stream is the best method of firefighter advance and attack.
The use of a fog stream in the chaotic period that a firefighter is encountering during a flashover is too technical a task. I belive that the nozzleman does not have the time to change his nozzle setting to the proper position prior to becoming a victim of the flash. The use of a solid or straight stream requires no adjustment from the firefighter and will knockdown a flashover. The 3d water fog will perform in a similiar fashion but requires time to perform the adjustments prior to proper application.
How many times have you been trying to make a room with your nozzle set in a postion and noticed when you open it that you are in the 90 degree position?
Again, i am not saying that the 3d method does not work. What I am saying is that the benefits of using this method are not superior to the smooth bore handline flowing 180gpm hitting the ceiling killing the impending flashover.
Like David McGrail of he Denver FD says"don't just treat the disease,kill it" and that is precisely what the firefighter does while using the straight/solid stream nozzle.
I use "I" in this post because these are my opinions.
And by the way I am the Chris Budzinski that you are talking about. The e-mail you received was sent to you by my brother Tim using my mail account but you could'nt have known that. Anyway have a safe day,
02-07-2001, 11:19 AM #10Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
I am pleased for the US firefighters who have found the 3D approach effective. Many have taken the time and effort to research and experiment with the techniques and I am certain, as time goes on and their experience of these water-fog applications increases they will become even more comfortable with such an approach.
Thanks for your comments Chris and I have to say, from somebody who only last year strongly voiced his opposition against such uses of water-fog, you certainly seem to have accepted (at least in part) the potential of 3D water applications.
Please be aware that such uses of water-fog demand about 6-12 evolutions in a flashover simulator before a firefighter grasps the basic concepts and application technique. Following on from this a further period of experimentation and familiarisation with the 'pulsing' of water droplets enables him/her to become more 'expert'.
Although these 'new-wave' applications can be used to extinguish burning gases I prefer the straight stream smooth-bore attack when actually occupying the fire room (compartment) as you so rightly suggest. However, it is not so much a matter of opiniuon but more one of scientific fact that a pulsing fog application on the APPROACH route will be far more effective at cooling and 'inerting' hot gas layers than will a straight stream bounced off the ceiling - even if used in 'pulsing' on/off fashion.
We have found (I can speak for several nations of firefighters) that the application techniques can be learned in a day. They are easy and safe to apply whilst on the approach to a fire and the use of a spray pattern should be pre-conditioned during this phase. Where only superheated smoke is encountered along this path the use of a straight stream will have little effect but the use of 'pulsed' fog WILL have great effect on preventing flashover/backdraft.
I agree that - as flashover is occurring - there is little time to think about nozzle technique; spray cone settings etc - but we believe the pulsing of water-fog will assist in flashover prevention and is the safest action a firefighter can take when he immerses him(her)self in those gases whilst advancing towards the main body of fire.
Be aware, this style of firefighting demands experienced instructors training in safe and approved structures, although I appreciate the examples given above as innovative experimentation under 'controlled' settings.
I wish you the best Chris and hope you and your brother can move closer to accepting that such uses of a combination nozzle do have a place in firefighter safety during (some) structural firefighting operations.
02-11-2001, 02:25 PM #11Larry WelleFirehouse.com Guest
Cool! I,ve ben doing it rite for over 23 year's. get it with 500 gallon's,or were going to be here a while.
02-11-2001, 02:54 PM #12Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Many firefighters have been approaching the firefight just as you say.......it's just that even though some were using that 500 gpm line they weren't there for a while......in fact they never came back from it! A good friend of mine died in a flashover and I don't see a problem with pursuing this quest of preventing even more brothers & sisters losing out this way. You can carry on as you are - or you can allow your 23 years of experience to remind you that - 'it ain't never too late to learn something in this job'!
Stay safe Larry.........
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