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  1. #1

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    Gorinchem, The Netherlands
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    Default CAFS, yes or no?

    Dear firefighters,

    We are a Fire Department in the Netherlands and are planning to buy 2 new pumpers. In Europe the CAF system in pumpers is quit a new market. But searching internet it seems that CAF is common use in your country. We have seen a demonstration, but I'm not convinced that this is better than the high pressure mist we use for inhouse and vehicles fires. Can someone explane what the benefits are using a CAF system compare the commons tactics with water and foam. Because a CAF set will cost around $40.000 we want to know for sure that it is an big improvement in safety and tactics.

    Thanks,
    Dutchie


  2. #2
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    Madison, NJ USA
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    Default

    Hi Dutchie,

    My department has been using CAFS for 9 years. It is an incredible tool. Here is a link to a web site with a lot of good CAFS information. http://www.compressedairfoam.com/com...irfoam.com.htm

    If you search these forums you will also find good information as well.

    CAFS is worth the money.

    Be safe,

    Capt Lou
    "GotFoam?"

  3. #3
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    Cool Great idea.....

    Putting CAFS on a Type 1 or Structure Engine is a great idea, another tool in your toolbox.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  4. #4
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    Default

    We only run a mini-pump with CAFS; not our main structural attack truck. CAFS was relatively new back when we bought them and the Chiefs were hesitant to committ to spending the extra money for the main truck for the compressed air. It does have a Class A foam system (no compressed air).

    Experience with Class A only:

    A fire, say a smaller outbuilding, or several rooms off in a house, that we used to expect to use about 3,000 gallons of water from fire attack to finishing up overhaul we do with just the first due Engine-Tank (1200 gallon water tank) when it's running Class A.

    Experience with CAFS:
    75% involved car fire, 40 gallons of water, extinguished. Compared to a comparable fire needing 2-300 gallons of water/Class A foam from our ET.

    We don't usually use the mini-pumper on car fires or structures unfortunately, due to the low overall flow it puts out (it's only an 80gpm pump).

    Several departments near us now have high-flow CAFS. I anticipate in another 7 years or so when our current attack truck is due for replacement the new one will have CAFS.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey Gents. We have a CAFS Engine 1st out, We have used cafs for about 5 years now. Honestly we have switched back to foam solution more than we use cafs. 1 our fire investagator hates it for it lasts for ever making cause and determ. a pain. it has its perks, Light hose lines, extended water ( less water used) but in my opinion I don't like it for initial interior attacks. I like to be able to put the water on the fire, Hear the wooooooosh when get the knock. With cafs the pulsating line, kinking hoses and lack of water is not for me. For departments without hydrants or week water suplys i guess is the cats ??? but for city life, Give me water i'm happy, five me foam its a bonus, give me cafs ill hurt ya. but as I said it is only my opinion.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Thumbs down plisken

    Hey Gents. We have a Cafs rig, Engine one 1st out. Some love the CAFS others hate it. Some Pluses: Light hoses your not dragging alot of water around. Foam and lots of it. Extended water you use less water in the long run. Down Falls: costs the system, the foam and the constent training along with the maintance, Our Cafs compresser has gone out twice. personal dislikes, Kinking hoses and constant pulsation of the hose. No reach, have to use a smoth bore but air currents (vents) move it around. No Wooooosh when you hit the fire, Less steam, can be good for safety reasons but you have no indication as to how effective you are. We have switched back to foam solution of initial attacks, Cafs on mop up. Another problem is if one is using it you all have to use it or the second in line washes it away. I personally like the solution. If Im near flash over temps I can hit high and i'll know if I stay and play or go by what comes down ie water. its a mess when it come to cause Invest it lasts along time. But it is a tool not for every situation. It does seem mucipalities are going away from it for inital attack interior room and contents. Attics its noce for the celleous insulation, and for overhual less rekindles. It aslo freezes pritty good in cold weather. Well if you want any other ideas give me a gingle

  7. #7
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    plisken: I believe you must have something set-up wrong with your CAFS system, it shouldn't pulse. Many causes to it I think, not all CAFS systems are the same all are plumbed a bit different so they need to be fine tuned. What are you doing when it pulses? Running form just the tank, or when you run off hydrant pressure. May be a software problem with your engine. Ed.............

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default plisken

    Hey poochy: We mostly run tank water, the pulsation depends on what the fire commander is set to and how air is introduced, Water, foam then Air. pulsation arrives when you get the water out and hit the first blast of air, it always seems when your making the assult. also if you get sharp bends in the hose like stairwells/ hallways etc. Just does not give me the warm fuzzy. Yes you could say bleed the line prior to entry. when I hit water I go. 200' 1 3/4 is a lot of water waisted and tiime waiting to attack with just CAFS.

  9. #9
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    What are your GPM's flowing from your 1 3/4 hose line? Are you using a solid bore nozzle, what size bore? Bleeding the line won't help from my experence. What engine is in your pumper, Cummins by chance? We run with 1 1/2 inch lines and have our GPM's from our 1/2 inch smooth bore nozzles at about 75 GPM for interior attack and about 40 GPM with our 1 3/8 inch smooth bore for exposures. That equates to opening the water valve to about 3 inches of travel for 75 GPM and 1 1/2 inches of travel for 40 GPM. maybe your running with to high a water flow.
    Ed....
    Last edited by Poochy; 03-12-2007 at 11:46 PM.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default plisken

    It a sparten/ custom waterous 1500, We went from accron sabor jets (smoothbore in/fog out) ato 3/4 " tip smooth to now fogs for solution. presets and pumping make the foam if its not just right it no work

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default plisken

    one thing I did like was no friction loss calculations. It doesn't figure for calfs. As for GPM with calfs who knows yet we pump it at 120 - 130 on the discharge.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default plisken

    Just looked at the tip POK 15/16

  13. #13
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    plisken: When you start to flow water through the 1 3/4 hose line do you simply just open your discharge valve to full travel? Your foam system should have a digital display and allow you to see how many GPM's your putting out, try it with only one atttack line out and adjust your flow to about 70 GPM.Next how many attack line are you using with the compresed air/foam at the same time, if it's more than 2 you might be over the systems capacity. And is your engine in your apparatus a Cummins? Good Luck Ed....

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Dutchie
    We are currently running A Waterous eclips CAFs system with a 200 cfm compressor.
    The advantages that we have found include less water useage for knock down which means less water damage. better penatration,
    Superior knock down on large fires.
    Better Visibility on interior attack. dose not tend to invert gas layers,lighter lines, longer reach, no friction loss so we can use longer line at lower presures, easy exposure protection, wildland fire lines,
    We flow about 120gpm on the 13/4 lines and 200gpmon the 21/2.
    We went with a good quality hose that limits kinking and have found that not to be a major problem with the good hose, cheaper hose can be a problem
    Right now we are specing another engine with CAFs,
    Its a big investment that has been worth it for our dept.
    If you get Cafs Work with your system Builder most of the problems we have seen go back to the truck builder not properly installing the system or makeing the required matinance difficult.
    The next thing you will have to do is train often, we were lucky to have good instuctors from the pump manufacture. and have had the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
    Now its not do you want Cafs on a line its what type and how much.

  15. #15
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    Default cafs

    This allows for less water damage and less over haul.My best advise to you is if you can afford the extra cost due it.But dont sacrfice other vital equipment...

  16. #16
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    Default

    Hi there Dutchie,
    or should I rather write "Hej, ouwe rukker" ;-)

    Well, advantages and disadvantages of CAFS have been discussed here in Germany for years now.
    The most important reason why the huge majority of our Fire Depts. will not buy CAFS for interior fire attack is the fact that you are not able to cool down smoke with it or check the temperature on the top.
    Of course, every country has its specific tactics so it is hard to judge if you should really get CAFS since you have worked with high pressure for years now.

    And even if it might be another tool on your toolbox, as a comrade wrote above, you should not forget that CAFS is not cheap and the whole system needs space in the vehicle which could be used for other helful things like hose layer baskets, RIT set...


    Greets,
    Marcel

  17. #17
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    Default Cafs

    If your a rural department with limited water CAFS. If your a city department with many resourses and water supplies spend $40000 on other useful equipment.

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