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  1. #1
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    Question Using Class A foam at structure fires.

    Hey guys, I just joined a new department( 6 months ago) and I was suprised to learn that they use Class A foam( off from their main engine using a foam pro 2002 system) at structure fires. I have been to two structure fires in the last month where we have used this tactic. I will say that I was greatly suprised at how well it worked and the knockdown power it had. Is this a widely used tactic? Or is this a waste of resources? I am intrested in hearing everyones input. Oh they are using the class at at .5%-1%.


  2. #2
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    Bump!


    Was hoping I would get more of a response for this thread.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Relax. It's only be 7 hours in the middle of the night.

    By the way, have you tried searching the forums for foam threads? There are quite a few.

    And to answer your question, it's not real common in my area but I do know of other areas that use foam all the time. If the fire is being put out, how can it be a waste of resources?
    "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?

  4. #4
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    Yes I did do a search and yes there was numerous threads, some six years old! I don't know about the rest of you but sometimes people change their minds on things. I don't understand some people waiting to ask new memebers, hey did you do a search stupid? Whats wrong with asking for peoples updates thoughts, if it is a topic you have already read about, don't click on it.

    As far as a waste of resource I was asking about money wise.

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    Way to rile up the senior members.

  6. #6
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    I just wanted to get peoples thoughts. Not trying to rile anyone up. I am hoping to get some quality discussion that all.

  7. #7
    Forum Member pkfd7505's Avatar
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    I personally do not know of any departmetns that use foam for structure fires. We've never used foam on a structure but I guess that one of my questions would be. Does it knock the flames down that much faster to make it cost effective, how much foam is used in a tactic like that? We seem to get fairly fast knock downs by using a TIC to locate the seat of the fire then hitting it with water. This tactic allows us to minimize water damage and fire damage at the same time. We have very limited financial resources so we have to be cautious when we use foam because we do have incidents that foam is required. If we use our foam when we have have other resources that can get the job done with the same result then we are not managing reasources very well. At least that is my opinion.

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  8. #8
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    Default foam

    We have used class a foam at structure fires very successfully here but not at all times. It is a situation call be the on scene in command or the BC.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    No problem, it takes more than a post or two to get me riled up.

    The reason I said to search was that there have been discussions on the use of foam here many times. They may be old threads, but then again, so is the practice of using foam. There really is not much new to discuss.

    There have also been a few threads on CAFS use, but once the novelty of the thread wears off, you see pretty much everyone stating the same things over and over.
    "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?

  10. #10
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    We use water. It works great and it's free!

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    We'll use foam in the overhaul stage sometimes. Especially if the home was covered by insurance, then we're not out any money
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
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  12. #12
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    My career FD had class A foam installed on our new quint. It works very well. I wish we would use it on EVERY fire.

    My volly FD has it included in the specs of our new rescue pumper set to arrive late April/early May. We have class A on our brush truck and have successfully used it for overhaul in several structure fires.

    A couple of points about Class A foam and water.

    1) Water is NOT free anywhere in America. It may be abundant, it may be easily accessible, but it is NEVER free. There is a water department with wells and mains, and hydrants that cost money. Honestly, if water was free there would be no water bills for homes and businesses and no hydrant rental. In the rural water isn't free even if you are drafting from a static water source because of things like tankers and dry hydrants and other associated costs.

    2) Class A foam for structural firefighting is usually metered at between .3% and .5%. Unless you need a very sudsy foamy type of covering foam you don't need more than this. Our brush truck is set at .3% at my volly FD and the quint at my career Fd is set at .3%.

    3) The uses of Class A foam for structural firefighting are really 3 fold.
    A) To break the surface tension of water to allow it to pentrate more and coat burning materials. (with a dishwater type of consistency)
    B) To cover material in a more sudsy blanket of foam during overhaul to prevent reignition.(more bubbly, generally aerated with an aspirating nozzle)
    C) To cover exposures to stop fire spread.(almsot shaving cream consistency, absolutely aerated, or if you spent the money cafs)

    I honestly believe Class A foam should be used on all room and contents type fires. If you are metering at .3% percent you are only using 38 1/2 ounces of foam per 100 gallons of water. Most room and contenst fires take far less than that to extinguish. It extinguished faster, makes for a more secure extinguishment, aids in overhaul and honestly saves time.

    Remember this is just one man's opinion...yours may vary and heck I am willing to listen.

    FyredUp

  13. #13
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    On my department foam is just part of doing business. We use it on almost all fires. Class A is good CAFS is even beter.

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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Now that we have some new apparatus with onboard foam systems, we use it on most fires. On our old engine we had only an inline eductor, and it was far more hassle than it was worth on most fires.

    When used in low concentrations as a wetting agent, it is cost effective, and does result in quicker knockdown with reduced reignition. When used to make "Shaving Cream", it costs a bloody fortune, so you have to weigh the value, and watch your consumption rates.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    We use foam at almost all of our fires, problem being that the engineer needs to turn it on, in the heat of the moment, some tend to forget. We. use .5% concetration. I prefer between .7% and .8% but that's just me, little bit thicker, but not shaving cream consistency. Plain water with a correct line size/nozzle works just as well though. Oh, and for the sake of yourself, your part of the department, it's OUR department, not They.

    "I was suprised to learn that they use Class A foam" Replace they, with we. TAKE SOME PRIDE BOY! Oh and welcome to the fire service...
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  16. #16
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    FyredUp, I once in a while draft from our inlet to the ocean. No dock, no dry hydrant, just our hard sleeves thrown over the side. Who do I send the check to?
    "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?

  17. #17
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    FyredUp - and others

    Firstly I am interested in your experiences in Water v Class A v CAFS
    I know you know how to push a hellahvalot of water through 2" line So .... how can the foam options compare? Surely, if you're using tank water then foam can extend your ops time .... but if the supply is fed in, then just use more water to get the same effect right?

    Also .... CAFS appears to offer greater advantages over Class A - such as lightweight hose .... reduced knockdown times .... and less foam used?

  18. #18
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    Paul

    Also far longer hose lengths can be used.

    Biggest point in using foam, inside or out, is to feel where your boots are going when you walk through the muck.

    Nothing like twisting or breaking an ankle to wreck your day.
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  19. #19
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    chicago ff wrote

    We use water. It works great and it's free!

    You don't like foam, you don't believe in ppv, do you like any technological advances in the fire service or are you one of those guys who are locked in to the mentality" we have always done it this way so we don't need to try anything else"?


    Thanks for all you that have taken the time to answer.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffjames
    chicago ff wrote

    We use water. It works great and it's free!

    You don't like foam, you don't believe in ppv, do you like any technological advances in the fire service or are you one of those guys who are locked in to the mentality" we have always done it this way so we don't need to try anything else"?

    .
    Boy, for somebody who isn't looking to get anyone riled up, you sure make comments that are likely to get people riled up.....

    When did chicago ff say anything about PPV? All he said was that water works great and it's free. I don't recall him saying anything about not liking foam....anybody else hear that?

    How about showing a little respect for the elders, junior? Goes a long way.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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