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New to the Class A proportioner game

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  • New to the Class A proportioner game

    We took delivery of our new engine two weeks ago. It has a foam proportioner on it. Can anybody direct me to some good training resources on use of Class A foam on structures, wildland, etc?

    Thanks.
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  • #2
    If you get ahold of your local Chemguard distributor and they can get the regional Chemguard rep in who can train you on everything you want to know on foam. Cl A, CAFS, Ar-Afff etc. For equipment help, get regional rep from Akron etc to bring in whatever you want to try out at the same time.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by EastKyFF View Post
      We took delivery of our new engine two weeks ago. It has a foam proportioner on it. Can anybody direct me to some good training resources on use of Class A foam on structures, wildland, etc?

      Thanks.
      It's really not all that hard. Set the proportioner to between .3% or .5%. Both my career and volly FD's use .3%. That is 3/10ths of 1 percent, not 3 %.

      You can use your regular combination nozzles and you will get a mostly dish wash type of consistency which is good for normal fire attack. The foam breaks up the surface tension and the water foam mix penetrates into things like cloth and hay bales much better than plain water. If you want a thicker, shaving cream type foam you can add a foam aeration tip to your combo nozzle and perhaps bump the % up higher to 1%.

      Honestly you have to go out and play with it. Flow some foam and see what % gives you what you want.

      Good luck, it is a great tool.
      Crazy, but that's how it goes
      Millions of people living as foes
      Maybe it's not too late
      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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      • #4
        If it's just a simple direct inject proportioner nothing changes for the fire attack crew. Same hose, same nozzle, same pump pressures and nozzle reaction. The only difference is that class A foam knocks the fire down and it stays out. Class A foam breaks down the surface tension of water and the foam itself has an affinity for carbon- meaning it will attract itself to the burning material, causing it to immediately absorb into all the microscopic crevices created by pyrolysis. Carbon is hydrophobic-meaning it will actually repel a water droplet. Like the poster stated above, 0.3% - 0.5% foam concentrate to 99.5% - 99.7% water is how it is proportioned to work properly. Doesn't take much.

        If you look up some of the the tests done over the years on the effectiveness of class A foam compared to plain water you will find that it is 3 - 5x more effective than plain water. CAFS is 5 - 7x more effective but more initial and ongoing training is involved with CAFS.

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