Thread: Foam

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    Cool Foam

    How many departments out there use foam? How often? What for?

    Also, any Training Officers have any training material on foam?

    Thanks

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    Wink

    We took delivery of a Pierce last year with a CAFS unit last year. We use it for everything except grass/brush fires. Can't figure out why we did not do this sooner.

    Stay safe
    Ron

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    Ron, I've heard great things about CAFS. I have yet to see it in action, though.

    We use foam for any stubborn fire, but given it's cost, we try to use it judiciously. Most car fires end up getting it (AFFF).
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    I am going to a CAFS demonstration sponsored by Pierce tomorrow. Should be interesting.
    We probably don't use foam as much as we could. Only time we have used it is for a flammable liquid fire. Not something we use a lot here but very important to have when needed. Hopefully someone else here can fill us in and we can all learn more about foam.

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    Best use of foam I ever saw was at Fire College several years ago. I was in the flammable liquid class and we ran the pit over. We had fire flowing down the big ditch, set a car on fire, had grass burning. The Chanute AFB rig was there. They opened up their cannon with foam and put it out in nothing flat.
    We have only used foam on oil tank fires. Here, too, its the cost that prohibits its use any more than absolutly necessary. Course, we've only got 2 buckets in the whole station. CAFS wasn't even a consideration when we speced our new engine. Haven't seen it work but I wish I could.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    I personally have not seen it used much, we went mutual aid over the weekend to neighboring dept for a barn fire, when we arrived, another neighboring dept had just gotten there. We knocked the fire down real quick and then they started using foam for the overhaul process. It seemed to work really slick. Our dept doesn't use foam, (we have it but never use it) and I was just trying to get ideas. Thanks

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    Foam is just another tool in the tool box , mostly used for flamable liquids, works for car fires(you can recoupe the loss)tried it on hay bails once didn't work to bad. we always seem to forget about those 5gal pails, don't no why . to expensive to train with , unless the foam shelf life is expired. If it's outdated it's no good , so foam away.

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    we ocassionally use 1 5 gal pail of foam in the booster tank for overhaul if it 6 % (I think)and you put it in the 750 gla booster tanmk makes a CRAP LOAD of 3 # foam ....... we do it for a genreal dsousing of large structures and ocassionally grass fires...... the only downside is you really gotta flush out the pump/tank as foam is a degreaser of sorts .........so we dont do it to often especialy inclement weather........ thanks for allowing me my Ohio 2 cents .......where do I pay please ?
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    Went to the CAFS siminar today. It was very informative and helped me remember most of what I had forgoten about foam. The classroom portion covered the basics of class A and B foams and how to make it. It also covered the CAFS and how it works. Very interesting and was very impressed with advantages of class A foam. The afternoon class was hands on demonstrations. Set piles of pallets on fire and extinguished 1 with water only, 1 with Class A foam, and 1 with CAFS.
    A heavy rain shower came after doing the CAFS and was supprised how much foam was still on the pile after the rain.

    We probably will never be able to aford a CAFS system but it was impressive to see in action. The class was sponsored by Pierce but was not a selling class it was very unbiased and informative.

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    Default It makes the grass green too!

    In 22 years, I can count the number of times we used it on both hands. Copious amounts of water usually did the trick. Had to learn to put them out without foam. The trustees at the time had a fit if we used it.
    Artie (E229lt) says that protein foam works great on the grass. So if you have any old foam, make sure you shoot it towards the grass.
    I don't suppose it will kill dandelions though. Hmmmmmm.
    CAFS is the wave.
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    We've historically never used much either in 20 years. We have been doing some training with some recently. The few times we've used it at working fires has been a silo fire(but the foam was way outdated) and a couple of car fires. We will be doing more training with it this summer. With an ethanol plant next door to our district, we need to be better trained.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


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    We've used foam on hay and afew combine fires and it seemed to work well but like stated above it gets cashy.

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    Where did I see that you can make training foam by putting a bottle of cheap dish soap in a 5 gal. bucket of water? Anybody ever try that?
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    What are you guys doing for training with it? Just curious.
    Thanks

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    We use class A on all house fires and AFFF on car fires if the fire has gone beyond the engine compartment. Our three Vollie trucks have 40 gallons of A and B. The new Duty truck has CAFS and it seems to work very well on structures.

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    I am interested in the use of foam on car fires. It has never occurred to me to use AFFF for that purpose. I have never had a problem with good ole H2O. Jay, engine23, help a brother out. What am I missing?
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Well, Duffmeister, lemme tell you a little story....

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a skinny little weasel of a guy joined a volunteer fire department. The second fire he was ever on in his life happend to be a pickup on fire on a country road in the middle of nowhere. Some genie-*** decided to put this dingaling on the nozzle. And so, after flaking out his preconnect, he proceded to attack the fire, which had control of the engine and cab. He thought all was going well, except that the fire didn't seem to be going out. In fact, all the water he was applying seemed to have no effect. It was then that his backup guy (a captain, no less), tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, Jay! I think the grass fire on the other side is out. Let's try hitting the truck now." That knucklehead had managed to put the better part of 500 gallons in one window and out the other. Well, our engines carry 1000 gal, but 500 still wasn't enough to put this stubborn bastard out (too many plastics?). So we drug the foam out. I think it was out after about 30 gals of finished solution was applied.

    So, now we foam 'em if they don't cooperate and go out easily. I'd say that in the last seven years or so, we've foamed maybe half a dozen.


    On a side note:
    I've seen it mentioned here about shelf life and old foam. I seem to want to remember that certain foam-- was it fluoroprotien?-- would go bad after a spell. But our first batch of AFFF lasted nearly 10 years in the tank and seemed to work okay. Is there something I am missing?
    Last edited by jaybird210; 04-30-2003 at 08:48 PM.
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    It's important to make the distinction between Class B foam (AFFF or ATC/ARC) and Class A foam. Class B foam is expensive and you really are wasting it if you use it on other than flammable liquid fires, especially as it is educted at either 3 or 6 per cent normally. Class A foam however is much cheaper, used at ratios of 0.1 to 1 per cent and just the ideal thing for fully involved car fires, dumpsters and other pain in the butt, don't want to go out fires. We use Class A foam regularly on both my career and vollie depts, we use a lot less AFFF (maybe only a couple of times a year at my career station in a 1500 run total.)

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    Thanks Jay.

    Class A foam makes sense to me. Using AFFF regularly for cars, hay bales etc. does seem like a waste. In the end what matter is that the fire goes out. If it takes a few gallons of AFFF then so be it. Money cannot be the driving force behind our tactics and strategies.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Duffman, nice to see you here again. You're right, money shouldn't be the driving force. Try to tell that to trustees in certian districts and you'll get a different answer.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


    Proud to be IACOJ Flatlander Division

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    Does anyone know what the shelf life is for 3M AFFF?
    This thread got me wondering if our foam is out of date. Looked
    at the buckets and did not find an experation date. Also spent an hour or so web surfing tonight and still have found out nothing except that 3M does not make it any longer.

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    I have found that after doing some searching and posting this thread form the begining, that our depts. foam expired in 1989!!!

    However, I have talked to some firefighters at the Airport and they said as long as they have not been opened and are in the original containers they should still be good. They said they have some that are in the same boat.

    I am still trying to locate some ideas for "simulators" for training with foam, if anyone can help me out. (besides the pan fire stuff)
    Thanks

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    well Yogi.............there is part of Jellystone you could light a little patch of fire in ? or the Rangers shack ??????? LOL>>>>>>>>.... sorry I just couldnt resist !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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    Hey all, haven't replied in a very long time, been hiding....We use foam every now and again on car fires and such. Seen the CAFS work, man thing can punch out a fire. I don't know if anyone else has tried it, but if you want to train and not use your foam, bust out a $1.99 bottle of dawn dish soap, same concept, works great and the cost is zilch. It also works great at brush fires with those stubborn trees that won't go out, cut a hole at the base and fill it with dawn, add a little wet stuff and go home. i know...i know...call me a redneck but it really does work. We all have to be something, i have seen VCFPD's dad waste more foam at grass fires and such....sorry Ty, you know what i am talking about.

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    DJ should have read this forum before Friday night. He climbed up a tree and dumped 2000 gallons of water down a hole in to try to put it out. It was still smoking when they left. We're gonna try the dish soap stuff in a couple of weeks. I'll tell you how it works.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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