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  1. #1
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    Default Working with CAFS

    We have just purchased a new Pierce Contender equiped with an Hercules CAFS system. I would like to have more info on training with this system.
    Thaks


  2. #2
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    Default CAFS vs Gasoline

    Gasoline is a tuff fire to fight. In most cases it's best to let it burn unless it's threatining lives. But if it's NOT burning be VERY CAREFUL, it can ruin your whole day. You can use the new technology like the CAFS.

    Fighting a gasoline fire with water doesn't work very well because gasoline is a hydrocarbon that does not mix well with water and hitting a gasoline fire with it just stirs up the vapors and makes the fire worse.

    Try a demonstration by mixing a little gasoline and water in a soda container (preferably plastic) and shake it, you will see the two mix then rapidly searate. This happens when you fight a gasoline fire with water. Next, add a little dish detergent (or foaming agent) and shake, you will see an emulsion form that does not separate for a much longer time. In fact, some detergents will permanantly hold the gasoline in this emulsified state. This happens when you fight a gasoline fire with the clas A foam. The surface of the fuel becomes emulsified underneath the flames and the water in the emulsified fuel mixture converts to large amount of steam beginning at 212% F. The steam combines with the by-products of the combustion (which is large amounts of CO2 and water) and the fire gases are diluted out of the flammable range and the fire will extinguish.

    Most fire fighters do not have training with foam except at an occasional fire school using old information about foam blankets, and the fire departments that are getting the new CAFS units are getting old advice on the was to use them. There is a whole new technology being developed by the brave souls that are willing to try new concepts with their new technology. I hope you get a chance to see the CAFS in action on many of the old types of fires, but keep in mind there are many new ways to use the CAFS.
    I hope this information will be useful,
    mark cummins
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    Mark Cummins

  3. #3
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    Where did he say anything about gasoline?
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Originally posted by Resq14
    Where did he say anything about gasoline?
    Sorry! I often tell more than was aked for. I'll leave out the gasoline example and comment on CAFS training for those that can't use the gasoline information.

    Forget what you have learned about water applications and forget what you have learned about old foam training. CAFS is a whole new fronteer for those willing to learn new tactics with new technology.

    What do you think he was asking for?
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    Mark Cummins

  5. #5
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    Default

    I'm a member of Canadian Small Rural Volunteer Company, and we outfitted our #1 Pumper with CAFS system about 5 years ago. I must say that I HIGHLY recommend CAFS, the amount it stretches our water supply alone completely justifies the purchase.

    Training with CAFS is pretty much the same as any other training you do. Basically just review the operation of your particular CAFS device (they vary slightly depending on manufacturer), learn the basics of charging a CAFS line, and arrange a training session the same as you would for water streams.

    Basically the difference between CAFS and regular lines is that:

    1. It generally sticks where you shoot it. Compressed Air Foam doesn't tend to pool out like conventional Foam. You can bounce it off backwalls to a degree, but it's application is better done through a direct shot or by "raining" it on your target.

    2. CAFS handlines are much easier to crimp than water or conventional foam. If you're going to be using the CAFS for any structural firefighting (or any other situation where there is a danger of hose crimping) you may want to invest in non-crimping hose. The downside of non-crimp hose is that it is generally harder to store on your apparatus.

    3. The range of CAFS is limited (distance wise) due to the lack of significant amounts of water in the stream. Since the foam is so much lighter, you need to get closer, and the stream has a tendancy to "droop" if spraying continuously. The recommended method of most CAFS is to spray bursts of foam (3-5 seconds) and allow a couple seconds in between for the line to recharge. BE CAREFUL, you should still open and close your nozzles smoothly, because Water-Hammer still applies (though not generally quite as damaging).

    ALWAYS refer to the manufacturer of your particular system for best practices. They designed it, so they *should* know.

    We were lucky enough to know the manufacturers of our system personally, as one of our firefighters worked for them at the time. They actually sent out some of their people to demonstrate the equipment for us, including on actual test fires.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Originally posted by Ruckus
    I'm a member of Canadian Small Rural Volunteer Company, and we outfitted our #1 Pumper with CAFS system about 5 years ago. I must say that I HIGHLY recommend CAFS, the amount it stretches our water supply alone completely justifies the purchase.

    The downside of non-crimp hose is that it is generally harder to store on your apparatus.

    3. The range of CAFS is limited (distance wise) due to the lack of significant amounts of water in the stream. Since the foam is so much lighter, you need to get closer, and the stream has a tendancy to "droop" if spraying continuously.

    ALWAYS refer to the manufacturer of your particular system for best practices. They designed it, so they *should* know.

    We use a short section (6ft) length of non-crimp hose on each of our CAFS hoses, this prevents the kinking caused by the nozzlemans manuvering the hose in close quarters, I appreciate your comments about deflecting the streams off walls and ceilings, this works very well for us in structure fire fighting, it creates a fan pattern anywhere the stream makes contact with a surface and is one of the best applications for the CAFS straight stream, it puts the fog pattern deep into the fire to reach the seat where it's best applied. We can shoot the straight stream all the way down a hall and bounce the fan patterned stream into another room.

    And as for the manufacture of the CAFS knowing about CAFS, I find that most manufactures know a lot about the hydraulics of water applications but know very little about fighting any type of fire with CAFS foam. CAFS is not magic and can be used the same way you apply water but it can be way more effective if you apply new tactics because it doesn't behave like water.
    Mark Cummins

  7. #7
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    Default

    As with everything else, it has it's uses, and is not an end all tool.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
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    Default

    When attending IAFC in Denver I learned about a CAFS seminar in Texas. Here are the details from the flyer I was given:

    "Fire Fighter Tool Company will sponser the First Annual Great Southwest Compressed Air Foam Seminar on December 2-4, 2005.
    This seminar is in response to fire departments looking for information and answers in purchasing CAFS, Class A foam, training, nozzle type, application rates, testing CAFS units, apparatus retrofits, Acceptance/CAFS SOP's. The use of CAFS by fire departments has exploded in the last several years. Unfortunatly standard training techniques with CAFS systems is still basic and full of questions, half truths, and mis-information. We intend to furnish information to improve CAFS safety, understanding and performance for fire departments wanting to improve its firefighting capabilities."
    The following contact information was listed:
    Phone: 281-391-0588 or 281-799-1122
    email: TXFF44@aol.com

    We are looking at CAFS and haven't decided yet. It would be nice to attend this seminar and learn about CAFS. Hopefully this will give you a source of info.
    This company does sell fire equipment and I am not endorsing them, just passing along information that may, or may not, help your department. If you have questions about it please contact them.
    If anyone does attend I would appreciate a response to find out how they viewed if from a training standpoint.

    Thank you,
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

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