I am a UK Firefighter based in the West Midlands (Birmingham) area. I am a Fire Behavior Training Instructor and am currently undertaking a review of training with regards to nozzle techniques, flow-rates and the use of tactical ventilation at large fires.
Our 'usual' form of attack when it comes to applying water is to use high-pressure hose reels (booster lines) delivering approx 100 lpm, great for run-of-the-mill domestic house fires, but somewhat inadequate at larger fires. Our primary nozzle techniques are the use of in-direct water fog applied via a 35-60 degree cone pattern, dependent on conditions, direct application of water to the base of the fire (both methods are again ideally suited to smaller, domestic type fires), or simply to drench the fire by the use of main jets (45mm or 70mm hose lines), which tends to be the chosen attack for commercial/industrial fires.
My area of research is to look at tactical firefighting techniques within large, high ceiling compartments. The application of water fog is not always suitable for these types of premises due to the lack of projection of water in to the fire gases. Our use of tactical ventilation is also still what I would consider to be in its infancy (purely my personal opinion). There is an inherent fear of inducing backdrafts or increasing the ferocity of the fire. My opinion is that (although not in all cases), there is nothing but advantages to be gained for firefighting by exhausting as much hot, unburnt fire gases out of the building as possible - the benefits far outway the slim chances of worsening the fire, providing that firefighters are able to recognize the signs of fire development presented to them.
I would appreciate any views that you would like to share regarding the use of smooth bore jets within fire compartments and the use of tactical ventilation and PPV at US incidents.
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Thread: Nozzle techniques
12-13-2007, 06:56 PM #1
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- Dec 2007
12-18-2007, 10:10 PM #2
Solid Streams and PPV
I am surprised that no one has responded to your post (given the passionate opinions on these two topics on this side of the pond)
I am a CFBT and Tactical Ventilation instructor working in the Northwest United States, but have taught in the US, Asia and Europe. While a strong advocate for effective use of water fog for gas cooling, there are a number of situations where this is not the tactic of choice. One is the situation you are inquiring about. If the fire area is large (>70m2 for example), a strong direct attack with straight (or solid) streams is likely a more effective choice. Another situation would be involvement of a combustible metal deck roof fire (tar over metal deck) or involvement of metal truss roof supports. In these cases cooling the surfaces overhead is as important as cooling the gases (maybe requiring both gas and surface cooling, even if the area of involvement is limited).
Ventilation strategies must be integrated with fire attack. I believe that best practice integrates control of air moving into the building (a more European view) as well as removal of smoke from the building (a common American view). Ventilation decisions must be made with a view of influence on a) tenability inside the structure and b) influence on fire conditions. PPV is an effective tactic if the conditions for use are met. However, it is not a silver bullet that is always effective. Like any other form of tactical ventilation, PPV requires knowing what will happen when it is implemented.
If you would like to engage in a conversation about these topics another good place to post is the Compartment Fire Behavior Training Community located at: http://groups.msn.com/CompartmentFir...pgmarket=en-au
Cheers,Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE
12-19-2007, 06:08 PM #3
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- Dec 2007
Thanks for the reply,
I was beginning to give up hope! I am aware that this subject has debated quite passionately across the pond, maybe people are getting bored of it!
In many ways, I think the UK Fire & Rescue Services are slow to react to developments in firefighting techniques, but simply putting the wet stuff on the hot stuff doesn't quite cut it anymore (again, purely a personal opinion). As our knowledge and understanding of fire behavior increases, so does the need to approach our trade from a more scientific perspective.
Thanks for the link;
I have floated a few ideas and posed a few questions to the members - just got to wait to be verified first.
Once again, many thanks.
12-20-2007, 06:24 AM #4
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- May 2005
Ed answer is a very good one (of course! ). As you're in Europe, you can take a look at these videos, showing the way we use fog nozzle in Belgium.
Exchange between our service and our school could be a nice idea. If it's possible, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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