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nozzle selection in Flashover conditions

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  • #31
    and HEY.......if David Fornell is 'pushing fire' down a hallway with a straight stream/smooth-bore without disturbing thermal balance then that's exactly what a good firefighter should do......I NEVER suggested different. But....WHAT IF.......!!

    What if the fire gases in the hall were NOT alight......just THICK BLACK AND ROLLING? Show me a firefighter who could 'push' that s*%t back with a smooth-bore!!! If there's no visible fire then what is the smooth-bore achieving? In the same situation the pulsing of a fog pattern will effectively cool and INERT the smoke......possibly preventing rollover; flashover; backdraft; smoke explosion........RAPID FIRE PROGRESS!
    Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

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    • #32
      I have been pulsing for over two years now when I have been the nozzleman. I even teach it now when I get the chance. When I heard about this pulsing technique, I have to admit I laughed.

      Why would anyone advocate using short bursts of water in a near flashover or backdraft situation? Any jake with common sense would tell you that a flashover or backdraft is a fire that is about to get REALLY BIG REALLY FAST...

      But, for some reason I was facinated with Mr. Grimwood's articles. European jakes have been using this technique for quite some time, and they have lower injury and LODD rates than we have here in America. So, I figured it was at least worth looking into.

      The first time I tried it, we were making progress at an apartment fire, when suddenly we found ourselves in trouble. A door had shut on the line, and like those Chinese fingercuffs, the harder we pulled, the tighter the hose jammed. Our search crew eventually freed up the line for us.

      I had the knob. It was hot, getting hotter, and quite frankly was damn uncomfortable. The fire was growing, and smoke was getting thicker, dropping in dramatic fashion. Not good.

      Then, for some totally strange reason, the articles that Mr. Grimwood wrote suddenly came to mind. It was double-dark thirty, and the fit was hitting the shan, and for some reason I found myself remembering articles I read on the internet.

      Heck, I'll try anythning once.

      So, I started pulsing, the smoke stopped dropping, it got significantly cooler (guestimate 900 to 500 degrees or something like that -- still hot), and the fire not only stopped spreading, it started retreating back down a hallway. HMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................. ... Perhaps that feller from the U.K. isn't so full of it as I thought he was......................

      Well, after that fire, I then found myself a lot more curious as to what I did, and why it worked. And, I assure you, it did work! Quickly! That fire was over two years ago. I have pulsed at several fires since then. With equally dramatic success.

      I am no scientist, and I cannot tell you all the reasons that this technique works. I just know that it does. I even wrote an article on it, found here. Feel free to read it and give me feedback.

      I wish to reiterate that I am not an expert, by any means. I am just a fireman from the middle of the mid-west. A truckie at that. I am sometimes known to be thick headed and resistant to change. Yet I believe it is every firefighter's duty to know how to effectively use every tool in the toolbox.

      Stay safe!

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      • #33
        Paul,Jolly,& Sheep,

        Good Show!! 3 pages!

        I can pick at least 1 statement from each post... and agree with it.
        However, it would be impossible to agree with all.
        Make no mistake...this is not a post for solution.....This is fuel.

        Food for thought:

        Water cools..... It also SMOTHERS

        LODD and injuries in the U.K. are lower due to MANY factors....Not just water application (is this correct, Paul?)

        You can argue and debate this issue for EVER!!! Or, you could buy everything anyone tells you.

        Clear your mind....forget everything you really KNOW IS FACT ....Then listen to the so called facts, debates and opinions....then, and only then...try some of the techniques ( in a training situation!)and formulate your OWN OPINION

        Engine co. tactical advice from a diehard TRUCKMAN
        FTM-PTB
        trk4

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        • #34
          'try some of the techniques ( in a training situation!)and formulate your OWN OPINION'....good advice from one of Gary's bravest. But persevere with it! Don't give up the first time if you don't get good results! Sometimes it takes an experienced instructor to ensure the applications are correct, safe and effective.

          Yes - LODD are perhaps lower in europe but there are many reasons. However, Sweden claim not to have lost a firefighter to flashover in the 19 years these techniques have become SOP......I think that claim is still current. In the UK we lost a further 3 firefighters to 'flashover' (in 2 incidents) in 1996 - this prompted the immediate introduction of these 3D offensive fog (pulsing)techniques as national firefighting policy - they had been on the 'drawing' board up until then. I believe they were our last losses to rapid fire progress. Our approach is now based around the 'safe person concept' that enhances on scene risk analysis by firefighters who have been trained in flashover simulators and who appreciate the dangers of hidden fire gases, understanding more fuly the way such gases form and transport in structures. There is still a way to go though in terms of multi-compartment training, large compartments etc.
          Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

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          • #35
            I am looking for the nearest window or door to bail out of if no line. Have to go with what i have in my hand at the time. Usually a combo nozzel.

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            • #36
              gfdtrk4: Great points Brother!

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              • #37
                I believe the IFSTA manuals suggest that the correct response is to get out.
                If I had to, I would probably use a strait stream in the famous "O" pattern. But when you get down to it, very few people can be saved from such a situation and it is unwise (no offence intended to anyone) to take a risk of you or your partner's life when there is no one to save.
                1. life safety
                2. incident stabilization
                3. property conservation
                Be safe, someone may need you later on.
                Firefighter/NREMT-B/Hazmat Tech
                To the Lord Jesus Christ: Thanks for providing a career where we can make a difference.

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                • #38
                  firefighter 632 - The more I review reports of firefighter's killed or injured during incidences of 'rapid fire progress'the more I realise that it is 1. Actions by on-scene firefighters or; 2. Non-actions by the same that CAUSED the 'flashovers' in the first place!

                  Therefore - (most) 'flashovers' are PREVENTABLE! Your choice of nozzle is a key factor in this chain of events.........

                  You also suggest a code of practice in -

                  1. life safety
                  2. incident stabilization
                  3. property conservation

                  I would be careful with that assumption and might suggest 2 should head 1 in the list, especially if you replace the term 'incident' with 'environmental' as follows.

                  1. Environmental stabilization
                  2. Life safety (presuming occupants)
                  3. Property conservation

                  If you were referring to Life safety meaning firefighters then YES - this should be Number One!

                  The question still remains.......which nozzle is most suited to 'flashover conditions' and many answers on this thread hold true in that - if the fire has reached the point of 'flashover' then there is very little you can do but run! However, I have attempted to demonstrate the various uses of differing types of nozzle under a range of scenarios linked with the term 'flashover' trying to explain how firefighters may use these tools to PREVENT flashover. In the end, it is beyond doubt (to me) that the combination nozzle is the ONLY nozzle to provide a range of streams that may be utilised SAFELY and EFFECTIVELY to this aim.

                  What nozzle is recommended (according to ALL recognised research programs) to most effectively cool the overhead? FOG NOZZLE.

                  What nozzle is recommended to most effectively 'inert' the dangerous fire gases forming in the overhead and break up the chain reaction of gaseous combustion? FOG NOZZLE.

                  What nozzle is recommended to most effectively extinguish burning fire gases that have reservoired in large spaces - without disrupting thermal balance and visibility? FOG NOZZLE (PULSED)

                  What nozzle is recommended for use prior to entering a structure strongly displaying backdraft indicators? FOG NOZZLE.

                  What nozzle is recommended for direct attack at the base of the flame source? SMOOTH-BORE (or VINDICATOR or STRAIGHT STREAM.

                  What nozzle can fulfill ALL of the above recommendations from recognised international research projects undertaken practically by firefighters with scientific input? COMBINATION NOZZLE..........THAT IS THEIR STANDARD ANSWER.........SHOW ME RECOGNISED EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY IN EACH SPECIFIC CASE SCENARIO????

                  [ 11-24-2001: Message edited by: Paul Grimwood ]
                  Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

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                  • #39
                    Let's go back to the beginning, I was in a house that flashed over, The fire front waved, we hit it with a narrow angle(30degree) fog, it rolled a few seconds later and we hit it again, not enough to bring down the atmosphere but enough to keep it from lighting. Then a few seconds later it waved, and lit, it happened so fast it takes longer to say than it did to experience it. This was with a 125gpm fog, I think that little 30gpm nozzle will get your butt busted, The only thing that the nozzle did ,eventually, was to par boil us. Now I realize that in some parts of the world the departments can be fined for excess water damage, and maybe that is part of the driving force behind this method of attack. But I would respectfully defer, thank you.

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                    • #40
                      Wow - this is an old thread but I wanna pick up on it again No we DON'T get fined in UK for creating excessive water damage and I am not sure where you got that story Blacksheep Anyway - I appreciate what you are saying about your 'flashover' bro - how the hell did you get outta there? I hope you and your guys were ok?

                      Whilst I have never been caught by a full-on flashover I have been in a few situations approaching such a scenario with fire across the ceiling and enveloping down behind. The 30 gpm line has always worked when pulsed in a controlled fashion. If this were to occur in a large commercial building then I am not so sure! However, you mention hitting the fire with a 30 deg fog just prior to it flashing - I presume this was a continuous burst? This is indirect extinguishing and would steam you for sure. Then you waited some seconds........why?....before hitting the fire again. Were you occupying the actual room involved or was the fire burning three or four rooms beyond the one you occupied. There are many factors here.

                      As for the most effective nozzle for 'flashover' conditions (ie; prevention) go to http://www.firetactics.com/NOZZLE-RESEARCH.htm
                      Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

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                      • #41
                        Was caught in a flashover with Captain HEG. We got out and it taught me a valuable lesson. Try not to get in that situation again. I have enjoyed the debate as I have always loved a smoothbore nozzle. However Paul, et al bring up salient points.

                        God Bless

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                        • #42
                          Great Topic
                          Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

                          ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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