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How effective is this stream?

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  • #16
    Like SFD said the idea of water conservation is baffling. This picture is a prime example of why it should not be done. For years, my department has done just this sort of thing on rural, non-hydrant supplied fires, "conserve water." In actuality, as you can see in this picture, water conservation is actually water wasting.

    I must add that like everyone else, I don't know what exactly the situation is, and I do not want to be an armchair fireman, but conserving water does not work, it only wastes water and conserves fire!


    • #17
      I must add that like everyone else, I don't know what exactly the situation is, and I do not want to be an armchair fireman,

      Me neither, I am certain that the picture does not tell the complete story and the guys are very early into the incident and doing the very best they can with what they have on scene at that moment.

      but conserving water does not work, it only wastes water and conserves fire!

      In my experience, conserving water just means the fire would have went out faster if we didn't show up at all.


      • #18
        I have to agree with ADSN/WFLD Vindicator Blitz Attack or maybe a 2 1/2 line with a smooth bore nozzle

        [This message has been edited by newguy (edited 06-10-2001).]


        • #19
          As a veteran career firefighter of nearly 28 years service, all of which has been spent in the field,I seldom feel the need to
          "monday morning quarterback" other departments fires. After careful study of the posted picture I have come to a few general conclusions.
          This is apparently a wood frame structure
          obviously well involved.The smoke condition evident on the second floor indicates that it and the attic area too will soon be showing a large volume of fire. The line that is in position in the photo tells an interesting story. The fact that the firefighters pictured are kneeling may indicate a lack of pressure and or volume exiting the fog nozzle they are operating. This could be due to a malfunctioning nozzle and or low water pressure in the area. At any rate this fire , in my opinion is beyond the capabilities of even large handlines. But if large handlines are all that were available here, smoothbore nozzles would be a more desirable choice to bring this incident to it's inevitable conclusion. I would prefer large caliber master streams to try to darken down this heavy volume of fire. I also find it rather striking that the firefighters pictured do not seem to be experiencing radiant heat to the point of discomfort. In any event, in my opinion as an officer, this structure would be marked as a defensive operation.
          Since it's a slow Sunday morning around here and my breakfast hasn't settled yet, let me throw a bit more food for thought out there.
          We,ve all heard debates concerning "straight stream vs. fog stream" application when entering structures that are well involved in fire. Many of you hose humpers out there that have time on the job know that there's a time and place for straight stream, narrow stream,narrow fog and fog patterns during interior operations.
          After being "lobstered" a time or two in the past I'm not sure the old-timer that told me this was right but it stuck with me.
          He said (after I had complained about some moderate steam burns after a job)" Dont worry kid I havent met a firefighter yet that perished from first degree burns and furthermore when was the last time you saw a room full of steam flashover".
          I definately don't advocate the firefighters on my crew practice what that guy preached but I'll tell you one thing.After reviewing case studies of fatal flash-overs and reading firefighters accounts of thier pain and suffering after getting caught under those circumstances, I'll take the steam burns anyday if a wide fog stream, swirled in a good old fashioned "O" pattern, applied to heavy heat or flame will knock the fire down.

          Thanks for letting me get my nickels worth in
          and stay low............Capt.T.J.Richards


          • #20
            It appears that the problem in this picture is a underpumped engine pressure. Would a smooth bore do better in this situation. No it would fall short just like the automatic. Don't blame the nozzle for the pump operators inability to develope the correct flows.( I am not saying that is what happened here. ) If you want to compare smooth bore at 50 psi vs a automatic at 100 psi both at the same flow then I would tend to believe that the automatic would hit harder and deeper simply because of the 50 psi increase in nozzle pressure.
            The question that I have is why we are so hung up on the 50 psi nozzle pressure for smooth bore tips. I could take the same two firefighters in this picture and use a 1-1/8" tip or a 1-1/4" tip at 100 psi nozzle pressure and get flows of 375 and 460 gpm respectively with a harder hitting deeper penitrating stream and deliver a bunch more water.


            • #21
              let's say that they do have enough pressure, the stream is not getting to the fire. I've seen this problem before using fog nozzles. The nozzles do just too good of a job breaking up water for indirect type attacks. Even on straight stream it just won't do it. Sometimes the nozzle operator is not even aware of it because of his position. The smooth bore with whatever tip you would like(I prefer a 1-1/4 330 gpm) would be a better choice just because the stream would make it to the bldg before it evaporated. The stream can be managed by the same number of people because the reaction force is less for the same amount of gpm.
              O.K. I'll bite on S Cook, If you have a nozzle that requires 40 lbs to operate and you have 25psi, you just go to a smaller tip.(25psi through a 7/8 tip is still 110gpm, it won't help these guys, but it might help someone) If you have an automatic nozzle that rquires 100 psi and you only have 25 psi, you just look goofy. It has been my experience, every time, that an automatic nozzle will use more psi to operate than any other nozzle. If the nozzle is gpm adjustable, you can still get a stream by going to the smallest gpm setting. There are automatics out there that take more than 25 psi to just activate the nozzle, forget about any type of stream.
              [This message has been edited by BLACKSHEEP-1 (edited 06-10-2001).]

              [This message has been edited by BLACKSHEEP-1 (edited 06-11-2001).]


              • #22
                I've seen the problem Blacksheep-1 talks about too. Only in my experience, it happens on both autos and smoothbores every single time a nozzle is opened as it's getting up to operating pressure or, is pumped incorrectly or, gets kinked or, pinched because a truck parks on it or, when the nozzle is operated incorrectly.

                It is obvious that at the moment the picture was taken there was not enough pressure at the tip for some reason. To assume there was or blame the lack of reach/volume on an auto is nonsense. If someone wants to use this to prove a point for the smoothbores, you have every right to do so. But what kind of reach would you have had in this case? You don't know. We have no idea what the pressure is at the time the picture was taken, it could be 25psi for all we know (remember the standard arguement that autos give a good looking stream at any pressure so you never really know what's being pumped). What kind of a smoothbore stream would 25psi give through a 1-1/8" or 1-1/4" tip. What would the reach be?

                The simple truth is that operated correctly, the right size nozzle flowing the required volume of water in the right pattern will put this fire out in short order. It makes absolutely no difference if it is a smoothbore or an auto.

                And if you're wondering, we use both - autos for flows to 300gpm on 1-3/4" and 2" lines and smoothbores to 600gpm on 2-1/2" lines (the Big Paulie nozzle). If this was our fire, as long as the crew pulled at least the 2" on this one, I'd have no problem with their choice.

                And Big Paulie, I wish you great success at the Firehouse Expo! With any luck, I may see you there.

                [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 06-10-2001).]


                • #23
                  i agree with a 2 1/2" blitz line, but as another poster said, the pressure doesnt seem to be that great on the nozzle. Ive seen more water come out of a booster line.
                  stay safe brothers

                  Engine / Squad Co.# 7


                  • #24
                    OK, I guess no one saw the part about the live amunition, and propane tank INSIDE the house. Forget the Fog vs. Smooth bore, and the 1 1/2" vs. 2 1/2" debates. What are you really trying to save here? The entire first floor is fully involved, with heavy smoke on the second floor, and fire fire possibly venting from the roof. I'd go with an un-maned monitor to protect exposers. That house is a total loss, why risk your people?

                    All comments are the opinion of the author, and not of any service they are a member of.


                    • #25
                      An unmanned monitor on a single family house,partially involved?????????????? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM-guess ill let this pass without further comment.


                      • #26
                        OK its my turn now

                        This is what is really going on with this line.

                        They pulled the 2 1/2 and positioned themselves in front of the house. Once in position they gave thunbs up for the enginerre to send the water.

                        Knowing the initial surge of water can send a line flying they pre-positioned the shutoff to the open position to minimize hose jump from the massive pressure the operator is sending. (Any operator seeing this fire would surely send a lot of pressure to the knob)

                        So, why the week looking stream? Simple! The photo was taken the moment the photographer saw water coming out of the nozzle. Thus, the stream is just getting started!

                        Had they taken a photo 5 seconds later they would have shown a much more aggressive stream.......If what I stated was true.

                        Just another possibility.

                        Stay Safe, Stay low, and Flow big water

                        Kirk Allen
                        First Strike Technologies, Inc


                        • #27
                          Another possibility...
                          The pump operator/chauffeur/engineer may be in the process of switching the water supply from the Engine's tank to draft from the porta-tank and just throttled down for a moment to do the changeover!

                          Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting everyone's tomorrows!
                          Captain Gonzo

                          [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 06-11-2001).]


                          • #28
                            I definately agree that not enough water is bieng supplied from the engine on this pic. Some things I noticed

                            1 the guys are not even leaning into this line, if you were flowing what this line is capable of you would probably situate yourself differantly.

                            2 the line appears to be making a 45 or 90 degree turn before the nozzle, we know that if any correct pumping pressure was being supplied, that hose would try to straighten itself out and those two would be struggling to fight the reaction of that let alone the nozzle reaction.

                            I also agree this picture was taken only moments after the bail was opened. I believe that maybe the engineer probably has not ramped the pressure up yet due to the nozzle just being opened.


                            • #29
                              Not going into hose size or GPM, what about the modified fog sometimes called a power cone or 30 degree fog. Its gets better displacment on water/steam conversion and will really upset any of the thermal balance.Just a thought. We us it as a primary stream on an interior attack at it is more effective at extinishment over any straight or solid stream. When we look at solid or straight we are looking more at reach.


                              • #30
                                Is a straight bore nozzel more effective than a fog stream?

                                I think this is a question that could be ponered on and opinionated for days. Both nozzels are very effective, if they are used for the purposes they were intended for.

                                Fog Nozzel:
                                On a 2 1/2" line, this can be a doozy. Don't get me wrong, this is a very effective means of attack, however sufficient manpower had better be available, otherwise your effectivness plummets. (FACT TO REMEMBER) Water weighs a little over 8lbs per gallon. In a 200ft section of 2 1/2" hose, (which is common lenght for most pre-connects) you are looking at probably 100+ gallons. Which translates to 800lbs. Not the easiest in the world to move around with a 2 on the line.

                                Straight bore nozzels were designed to deliver a solid stream of water into a well developed fire area. (i.e. Large, Open commercial structures, shopping malls, Airport hangers, Barns) What amazes me to this day, is that you can almoast consider straight bore nozzels as an unsung hero. They are always the preconnect which is pulled off on your maintnance night, and cleaned thoroughly to remove all the dust.

                                Now in this picture, it seems to me that no matter what nozzel choice the IC decides to use, it is a lost cause. Furthur more, if I were made aware that there was a fully charged propane tank sitting inside, just waiting to BLEVE; well I would think twice before placing a nozzel team 10ft from the structure.

                                In conclusion, nozzels are just like any other piece of equipment that is used in the fire service today. Each is effective is used properly & if used in the right situation. Trial & Error during your department's drill nights, will allow you to discover which is best for your district.


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