1. #1
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    Default Dry Chem on car fires.

    I ran a mutual aid tractor-trailer fire/accident on the interstate. Unfortunately I was the medic on the truck and was assigned to assist with pt care. The trailer was a flat bed with some transformers on the back. They did not pose much of an issue.

    (I did not witness the rest of this, but I'm relaying)
    The other depts were spraying a lot of water on the cab and the engine compartment, but not really knocking down the fire. The other firefighter on the truck with me grabbed the dry chem and got in as close he could to the front grill and used the whole thing. This supposedly really knocked it down and helped enable the guys on the hose get in close and put it out. This helped conserve water too. The FF works out at a local race track and was really selling this tactic, but I wasn't sure if he was just talking himself up.

    Anybody use this tactic? Have any success? Better than just getting the nozzle of the hose in close?

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    I've heard loads of reports where dry chem is used on the turbo's to shut them down. Makes a real mess of them but it works....
    Luke

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    The only times I have had problems with autos that "copious amounts of water" wouldn't handle were ones that were arson jobs. Ones that have a WHOLE lot of gasoline pooling in the passenger compartment in particular. Either dry chem or foam works well. If you don't have an onboard foam tank and have to go through the whole eductor operation, a dry chem is a bit easier.

    Stay Safe
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    Used and trained a lot with PKP in the Navy. One of the techniques we trained on was using the dry chem to knock down the big flames so that the hose team could get closer. That was a long time ago, don't know if they still do that. We used to have dual-agent systems in the engineroom, 2 hoses connected together, 1 nozzle was AFFF, the 2nd nozzle went to a 125lb PKP bottle. When they pulled the 125lb bottles out they replaced them with smaller 20lb bottles that were portable.

    There have been a few vehicle fires in my area that I thought could have been handled better if someone would have gone for the quick knockdown with dry chem and then finished it with water/foam.

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    Is it possible this truck had a lot of magnesium in it? Perhaps the dry chem put out a lot of the non-metal fire that the water was just accelerating?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Is it possible this truck had a lot of magnesium in it? Perhaps the dry chem put out a lot of the non-metal fire that the water was just accelerating?
    Doubtful. From what I saw it was just your standard engine compartment fire on a big-rig. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought magnesium is only used in any significant amount on exotic cars.

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    A Purple K Extinguisher works well. Most departments don't carry these, but in a pinch without water they put out much more fire than you would think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kd7fds View Post
    Used and trained a lot with PKP in the Navy. One of the techniques we trained on was using the dry chem to knock down the big flames so that the hose team could get closer. That was a long time ago, don't know if they still do that. We used to have dual-agent systems in the engineroom, 2 hoses connected together, 1 nozzle was AFFF, the 2nd nozzle went to a 125lb PKP bottle. When they pulled the 125lb bottles out they replaced them with smaller 20lb bottles that were portable.

    There have been a few vehicle fires in my area that I thought could have been handled better if someone would have gone for the quick knockdown with dry chem and then finished it with water/foam.
    Navy still teaches use PKP to knock down. They love that stuff. I just got out in 2004. I was on a Trident Sub. The big push for PKP for us was Class B fires, knock it down with PKP followed immediately behind with foam to blanket, used less foam because the PKP put it out first

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    Quote Originally Posted by imprezive View Post
    Doubtful. From what I saw it was just your standard engine compartment fire on a big-rig. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought magnesium is only used in any significant amount on exotic cars.
    Department in the next town over had a big fireworks show a few months ago when they had a fire in a late model Ford pickup. Turns out the radiator mounts, headlight and grill mounts are all magnesium. F-150's for sure, I have heard rumor that it is the same in Explorers, Expeditions, and the rest of the F series.

    Car makers are turning back to magnesium because of its light weight, strength and ease of manufacturing. I bet there are a lot more cars out there with it than we imagine.

    Probably not on a semi though.

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    Go for the dry chem it's great for that type of job. just remember it wont cool the fire down

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    Correct me if I'm wrong
    Ok, your wrong. As stated above, Magnesium is making a showing in lots of vehicles, not just the exotic ones.
    "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?

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    Whem I was still a volunteer, we ran a late model chevy pick up fully involved and everything was going great untill the nozzleman hit under the dash and the fireworks show beagn. To make a longer story short, we used a class D extinguisher which did absolutley nothing; followed by copious amounts of water, which also did nothing. We wound up grabbing some shovels and digging up dirt from the neighbors yard to finally smother it out. And yes, we did the foam thing which only ****ed it off more. Just goes to show that you always need a plan B an sometimes a C and D.
    "There is no strong beer...only weak men"

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    We recently changed our vehicle fire SOP to ensure the irons guy grabs a dry chem, we have found that most new Ford and Volkswagen (and I am sure most others) vehicles have large amounts of magnesium and other combustible metals, once again auto makers could care less about First Responders.

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