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Suppose you are "deep in the heat" on a 1 3/4" when things go awry (flash or near-flash). Which nozzle do you want on your line and why?

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I'm interested to know how many people have been "in a flashover" and had the time and where-with-all to think about flowing the line at all? To a man, everyone I have spoken to or heard of that have been intimate with a flashover took the nearest route out, post haste! Mike Lombardo had a great presentation back a few years about one of his jobs and another is the Lt. from New Haven FD. Both give compelling testimony about doing anything to escape and forgetting heroic or even rational thought. Here is where I feel the flashover simulators maybe doing the FS a disservice. Operating a nozzle in the "can" to prevent flashover is not at all the same as overcoming one that is taking place in a combustible room! We need to balance some of the pseudo-building training with actual fire experience or the use of acquired structures.

Now a discussion on effectively using the proper nozzle to prevent flashover? I like the SB for the ease of advance, the flow, and the penetration so we don't have to be inside the room that is ready to flash.
It is not the simulator doing the "disservice" as you call it, it is the instructor. The Swede system is not about nozzle technique, as a matter of fact we make it a point to tell all of our students to pay no attention to how the nozzle is being operated and we make sure to explain the need to flow the line in the event you are faced with the recognition of signs of flashover. Why do you think an instructor is operating the nozzle vs. a student? If you were told something different or think that this is the intent, you got it all wrong.

Adam Miceli said:
I'm interested to know how many people have been "in a flashover" and had the time and where-with-all to think about flowing the line at all? To a man, everyone I have spoken to or heard of that have been intimate with a flashover took the nearest route out, post haste! Mike Lombardo had a great presentation back a few years about one of his and another is the Lt. from New Haven FD. Both give compelling testimony about doing anything to escape and forgetting heroic or even rational thought. Here is where I feel the flashover simulators maybe doing the FS a disservice. Operating a nozzle in the "can" to prevent flashover is not at all the same as overcoming one that is taking place in a combustible room! We need to balance some of the pseudo-building training with actual fire experience or the use of acquired structures.

Now a discussion on effectively using the proper nozzle to prevent flashover? I like the SB for the ease of advance, the flow, and the penetration so we don't have to be inside the room that is ready to flash.
I understand what you're saying, but it seems more and more I read and hear about guys wanting to combat an occurring flashover vs. getting out. I do place part of the blame on the instruction in flashover simulators where students get an experience that is not "real life" for lack of a better term. If this is just to show flashover recognition, why not utilize videos at a fraction of the cost. I think we need to differentiate between training to prevent flashover and training to escape an occurring flashover.I personally think this type of training along with the heavy reliance on simulator training buildings vs. acquired structures is going to prove detrimental to our profession over time.

Again, having spoken to enough firefighters who've been intimate with a flashover in an actual building, I'll practice remembering where the nearest h*** is to aim for when I'm trying to escape.
As a Flashover instructor I hope this may help. The simulators come in basically two categories; sophisticated gas fueled units that are exactly that - simulators, or the wood-fueled container, the Swedish original, which offers far more "real life fire conditions" that do vary somewhat from burn to burn.

The instructor plays the most important role in these courses; guaranteeing the safety of the participants by assuring that they have a complete understanding of what flashover is all about, knowing how to recognize the indications of pre-flashover conditions, how to access the burning space, how to reduce / dilute the concentrations of fire gases and so on.

Repetition of interior sessions will give the attentive student the knowledge he needs to recognize the hazards, mitigate them and get out if necessary. All of this leads to the initial question; what nozzle / fire stream is most adequate for combating flashover or pre-flashover conditions? Our experience here in Europe has shown that a narrow fog pattern, pulsated into the mass of gases at the ceiling will generally do the job. Once the flashover potential has been reduced or eliminated, you can on to combating the fire itself. Fine. No fire nor flashover is the same as another, but the conditions previous to flashover are generally quite similar. If you use the "surround and drown" phylosophy, you may well broil firefighters, including oneself.

I would say that a general rule of thumb for extinguishing ANY fire would be: apply the right amount of water in the right place during the right time span. Get it right, you'll get the fire out. Get any part of it wrong, you will not put the fire out, unless possibly the fuel all burns out.
Smoothe bore or SS to the ceiling 150 gpm or more. Listen and feel for returning water falling to the ground. If there is none.... ie. the stream is being eaten up. Be prepaired to follow your escape plan, what ever you have come up with on the way in. Keep the line operating and cool the ceiling for your crew to back out of the room and go to plan "B". This scenerio will most likely occur when you are in a room and the fire is remote to your location... in the attic above, in an adjacent room or down a set of stairs from you. If the fire room is producing enough heat and smoke (fuel) to light up the room you are in and you are unable to cool the fuel and unable to make the seat of the fire with adequate water then again go to plan "B"... Get to the seat of the fire... thats the objective. By staying and being under gunned (not enough water) you are allowing the fire room to continue to burn and you are in a holding pattern or loosing ground. This is not always a bad thing (except loosing ground) but if your plan is to hold the fire in place than that is your plan... If you plan is to extinguish then adjust to do so, more lines, bigger lines and better vent. Make sure you can appily the right gpm to the seat of the fire in the first 30 seconds. Locate - Confine - Extinguish. If your plan is not working in a minute time to make a decision and change plans. We are firefighters not fire watchers. The fire watchers are standing outside.
I would have to agree with several of the brothers, We are taught early in our careers Left for Life, However through experience we know we bring alot of the heat down on us in an atmosphere such as a porential Flashover, The technique that is probilbly the best I have seen in use is the "Penciling technique", by penciling we are cooling down the ceiling where all the heat is and 1 buying time / preventing the Flashover and 2 Not adding more heat to ourselves or other FF. Thaks , God Bless.
Just remember penciling is only allowing small amounts of water to enter the atmosphere. I guess if you are still using a fog pattern for interior fire attack, you may need to do this because of the steam generation. I would rather turn the bumper on your for nozzle to the right and flow the line allowing large amounts of water up into the room to cool the upper atmosphere. Small amounts of water such as penciling will only vaporize in this super-heated room. We are talking about FLASHOVER!!
While I know many here are probably Flashover Instructors in the can, the techniques taught by the SWEDE reps when they drop it off breed "bad" nozzle habits and do combine techniques and different classes just as been suggested. I just finished two days in the can with some "young" hungry for information instructors. We show them the differences in techniques and explain to them why there are US vs European differences in attack. Then we show them how to utilize a straight stream and smooth bore nozzle to control the environment in the "can". The pretty orange nozzle goes back on the shelf for the remainder of the burns. I would suggest to those that teach in the "can" that they switch to a smoothbore nozzle with a reduced tip size to limit the amount of water delivered by the attack line. The backup line can still be a sb or combo nozzle. By using the reduced tip size on the attack line, you can have the students practice better nozzle habits by sweeping the ceiling and floor rather than fogging and penciling. As many have already alluded to here, it's about good training habits and being able to flow adequate gpm when everything starts to light up on you. I would love to here from a single person that has escaped under a protective envelope of a wide fog stream, but in the past 20 years no one has stepped up to tell their story. Anyone know of such individuals that could have their story verified? Sorry for the long post.......but as Jim stated it's a friggin "flashover", protect yourself and get out!
Brian Arnold said:
I would suggest to those that teach in the "can" that they switch to a smoothbore nozzle with a reduced tip size to limit the amount of water delivered by the attack line. The backup line can still be a sb or combo nozzle. By using the reduced tip size on the attack line, you can have the students practice better nozzle habits by sweeping the ceiling and floor rather than fogging and penciling.
Wait, so do you teach the reduced tip size is just for the "can"? It would seem that you would be teaching something that will not be applied the same way in the field? If not, then reducing the tip size reduces the flow, definitely not a good idea either.
I remember a story from way back about an instructor doing a field delivery pumps class to an FD with not enough 2.5" hose on the truck, so they "simulated" laying dual lines with 1.5" to show the increased flow and of course spelled it out that this was "supposed" to be 2.5'. A year later a news story of a big fire in the same town showed dual 1.5" lines run between the source engine and the attack engine!! Doing one thing ans saying another is bad practice.
Adam,
Yes the reduced tip size is only for the can. And this is emphasized prior to going in the can. This is put on a smooth bore after students have practiced applying the appropriate amounts of water with the appropriate nozzle in the burn building and practicing different advancement techniques. The "bad habit" were trying to break is the fogging and pencilling technique. By having the reduced tip size it allows students to open the bail fully and sweep the ceiling while continuing on with the training (ie. not too much water in the can). The min. tip size we use on the rigs and all training is 15/16" and we never advocate using a wash down tip for an interior attack. It would be like taking the swede nozzle, half open on an fire attack. When students return for future engine ops classes we see the difference in their water application when prompted with the signs of flashover. They open the nozzle fully and sweep the ceiling rather than putting short bursts of water into the air. We are trying to limit the bad habits, not add to them. If you teach the flashover the exact way that they advocate you are teaching a multitude of bad habits. You could teach it exactly the way it should be with a 15/16 tip or straight stream WFO but you would only get one or two rotations of your students before your fire was completely extinguished.
Brian Arnold said:
Adam,
Yes the reduced tip size is only for the can. And this is emphasized prior to going in the can. This is put on a smooth bore after students have practiced applying the appropriate amounts of water with the appropriate nozzle in the burn building and practicing different advancement techniques. The "bad habit" were trying to break is the fogging and pencilling technique. By having the reduced tip size it allows students to open the bail fully and sweep the ceiling while continuing on with the training (ie. not too much water in the can). The min. tip size we use on the rigs and all training is 15/16" and we never advocate using a wash down tip for an interior attack. It would be like taking the swede nozzle, half open on an fire attack. When students return for future engine ops classes we see the difference in their water application when prompted with the signs of flashover. They open the nozzle fully and sweep the ceiling rather than putting short bursts of water into the air. We are trying to limit the bad habits, not add to them. If you teach the flashover the exact way that they advocate you are teaching a multitude of bad habits. You could teach it exactly the way it should be with a 15/16 tip or straight stream WFO but you would only get one or two rotations of your students before your fire was completely extinguished.
I see your point, makes sense I just see FFers as the type of people who question everything. If they want to believe "penciling" or fog they'll use the reduced size as an excuse of why there's a difference. I do agree with your general assessment of the "bad habits" as this is what I've noticed from speaking to numerous firefighters who've "experienced the canned flashover".
Adam Miceli said:
Brian Arnold said:
Adam,
Yes the reduced tip size is only for the can. And this is emphasized prior to going in the can. This is put on a smooth bore after students have practiced applying the appropriate amounts of water with the appropriate nozzle in the burn building and practicing different advancement techniques. The "bad habit" were trying to break is the fogging and pencilling technique. By having the reduced tip size it allows students to open the bail fully and sweep the ceiling while continuing on with the training (ie. not too much water in the can). The min. tip size we use on the rigs and all training is 15/16" and we never advocate using a wash down tip for an interior attack. It would be like taking the swede nozzle, half open on an fire attack. When students return for future engine ops classes we see the difference in their water application when prompted with the signs of flashover. They open the nozzle fully and sweep the ceiling rather than putting short bursts of water into the air. We are trying to limit the bad habits, not add to them. If you teach the flashover the exact way that they advocate you are teaching a multitude of bad habits. You could teach it exactly the way it should be with a 15/16 tip or straight stream WFO but you would only get one or two rotations of your students before your fire was completely extinguished.
I see your point, makes sense I just see FFers as the type of people who question everything. If they want to believe "penciling" or fog they'll use the reduced size as an excuse of why there's a difference. I do agree with your general assessment of the "bad habits" as this is what I've noticed from speaking to numerous firefighters who've "experienced the canned flashover".

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