Thread: CAFS in Texas

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    Default CAFS in Texas

    I am a fire captain in Corpus Christi, TX about to receive a brand new pumper with a CAFS system on it. As a department we have no training on CAFS or Class A foam. From what I have read there are many advantages to using CAFS in a structure fire. The one negative that I saw no answer for was the high steam production caused with CAFS. I have seen the data from Los Angeles and Boston. If there is a greater amount of steam production is it safe to use in an occuppied structure?
    Second, we are looking for a department that has been using CAFS, preferably in Texas, that we might come visit and discuss the attributes of CAFS. If we could use some it would be great too!! The company delivering the engine will give 6 days of training but I would like some real firefighter experiences.

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    if i recall correctly (which probably is not) houston fire dept runs CAFS on their engines. we have a CAFS unit on our brush truck and it works great. we did use it once on a structure fire and we had knockdown and containment confined to a corner of the room. we don't run the numbers you are looking for but hopefully this helps somehow.

    also, have you tried the company you are buying from to get references on who has brought CAFS pumpers before?
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    Here's an in-depth look at the pros and cons, whens and when-not-tos:

    http://www.firetactics.com/CAFS.htm
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    I believe that the CAFS that you are receiving is a Waterous Eclipse system. If so, you will receive training with the system. All Waterous/Pneumax CAF trainers are firefighters and CAF users. They will be able to speak from experience. If you have questions prior to your training let me know.

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    Houston does not currently use CAFS on their engines, although I think they may be considering it on the next batch of new pumpers.

    If you want to talk to a dept with lots of CAFS experience, check out Pfluegerville, TX. I believe they have been using it successfully for a number of years.

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    glad someone was able to confirm about houston. i know there is a large fire dept in texas somewhere that uses CAFS on their engines, just can't recall where at.
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    If you are looking for a department that has some experience with CAFS, you may try contacting Spring Fire Dept. All 7 of there pumpers are CAFS equiped.

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    thanks for all the help and info. It has proven invaluable.

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    We are getting our first CAFS unit too this spring, and to learn a bit more about it, I went to the Southwest CAFS Symposium in Rosenburg. It was great. And promises to be better this year. We are taking 6 this year. I would highly recommend it, and it is TFS approved for training funding support. It will be Feb 9-11, and last time I checked there were only about 12 places left. If interested, call John Gill at 281-799-1122

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    Houston had a couple of pumpers converted to CAFS and they were universally despised, but they were conversions.

    Bellaire uses CAFS and loves it.

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    Longview TX has it on almost all of thier engines. Only department locally I know of.

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    Fort Worth runs a couple of cafs engines. But i have never used cafs so i dont really have an opinion, but to me it looks like it would be good for exposure protection. But I prefer having a fog nozzle when inside.
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    As I'm not from Texas .We do run a CAFS engine and it's amazing that the fires we respond to, the houses are being rebuilt these days and not knocked down from having so much water damage or what not.

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    Default Cafs

    STA3,

    Check with Bob Yancy with Casco Industries. He sells you the foam and also knows of all the FD's in the south Texas area and Valley with CAF's.

    He also has the same system at his station north of Houston.

    If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Annaville have CAFs?

    And several Depts around San Antonio?

    JT

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    you guys realize this thread was back in 2002.
    "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
    you guys realize this thread was back in 2002.
    Quiet, you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    you guys realize this thread was back in 2002.
    hey Bones, someone finally used the search function instead of starting a new thread?

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    San Antonio is putting 19 new Pierce CAFS pumpers in service next month. It will be interesting to see how well they are put to use.

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    Default CAFS info and training

    Quote Originally Posted by sta3capt View Post
    ...As a department we have no training on CAFS or Class A foam. From what I have read there are many advantages to using CAFS in a structure fire...
    Invest in the IFSTA Principles of Foam Firefighting Second Edition. I just used this manual to develop a powerpoint for our department, and it is an excellent reference. We use CAFS on our pumper and two brush/fast attack pickups. After reading the IFSTA book I realized how much our department needed some additional training to fully realize all the advantages.

    You mentioned the steam factor...when I was in Emmitsburg a couple years back, there were a couple of career guys (from Ponderosa, TX I thought) that were saying that CAFS do produce a lot more steam and that it was not good for incidents where victims may be inside.

    However, the IFSTA book mentioned above states on page 147 that "As plain water travels through heated air en route to the burning material, it vaporizes and creates large amounts of steam. Water that does reach the burning fuel tends to roll off the fuel and further vaporize. Finished foam is somewhat insulated from heat; therefore, only a small percentage of it converts to steam as it travels through the fire to the fuel. Furthermore, the excellent penetration quality of finished foam stops combustion more quickly than water, reducing the amount of byproducts created by incomplete cumbustion that enter the atmosphere. The use of Class A finished foam also enables faster absorption of heat, thereby reducing temperatures in the firefighting environment."

    So if I'm reading all that right, finished foam is more beneficial than plain water when people may be inside.

    Either way, if you are getting a CAFS, get that book or some other material dedicated using foam for suppression.

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    Default Advanced CAFS Info

    Quote Originally Posted by hilltopvfd View Post
    We are getting our first CAFS unit too this spring, and to learn a bit more about it, I went to the Southwest CAFS Symposium in Rosenburg. It was great. And promises to be better this year. We are taking 6 this year. I would highly recommend it, and it is TFS approved for training funding support. It will be Feb 9-11, and last time I checked there were only about 12 places left. If interested, call John Gill at 281-799-1122
    Glad you mentioned the Symposium. The Feb. 2007 session will present a lot of new CAFS applications and presentations to help clear up some of the misconceptions about nozzle size and how much less water you need to flow into the hose with CAFS to extinguish structural fires (it's a LOT less) and how to fight interior fires with a CAFS straight stream (shape the stream into a fan pattern with your fingers). And we will try to discuss some important new concepts with fire extinguishing gases and chemicals added to the foam mixture to greatly increase the CAFS fire extinguishing capability.
    There will be some new CAFS concept units demonstrated that don't need to be mounted on your pumper, connect a 1-1/2 hose to them and you have a full blown CAFS capability at a very low price and very simple to maintain and operate. Hope to see you there.
    Mark Cummins

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    Default Cafs

    San Antonio was at Pierce last week when i was there doing the final on my Enforcer Rear Mount Rescue Pumper. They did the final on the last 9 of 19 Quantums while i was there. Sharp rigs, my Engine in 2007 we are speccing will have CAFS.

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    Fort Worth has switched over to buying rosenbauer rearmounts with cafs a few years ago, I think about half their engines are now CAFS equiped.

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    We have been using cafs for two years now, and I can say from experience that there is very little if any conversion to steam, and it also seems as though the temperature in the structure is lowered quicker when using cafs.

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