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My department is starting to switch out all of the Akron combination nozzles with smooth bore nozzles. Let's discuss this!

What are the Pros & the Cons for both combination and smooth bores?

Which do you prefer?

I like the combination nozzles for the following reasons:
- Hydraulic ventilation
- More control ( I can change if needed)
- Self cooling if needed for emergency purposes
- Propane fires
-Car Fires ( Sweeping & etc....)

My Concerns with the combination nozzles are
- STEAMING by the nozzle-man ( Rookie)

I would love to hear how the professionals in the FE Community feel about this.

Remember be SAFE & TRAIN as training will save lives!

Todd

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Hi Greg:

the best starting place is John Norman's " Fire Officer's Handbook or Tactics." (3rd Edition) I'll bet you can search past Fire Engineering articles also. As far as formal training (hands-on), some research may be necessary. Find a fire department or state fire school that uses smooth bore nozzles and go visit them during their academy schools or live fire training. FDIC HOT seminars may have some hands-on with smooth bores.

In my early days - I visited many different fire departments on my days off (mine was pretty slow and training was minimal). I was happy to find different ways of doing things and it opened my mind and skill sets!

Good luck - and make it safe out there!
-Dave
Greg,
Did you ever find any training info? If so, could you pass it on. Sounds like our departments are similar, we don't use smooth-bores.
Second read and re-read anything written by the late ANDY FREDERICKS. Buy his videos.

Greg cousler said:
My department has been committed to automatic nozzles. As a result I have never had any formal training on the use of a solid steam nozzle on an interior fire. Where can I go to get some training on the proper use of a smooth bore nozzle or at the minumum read some articles on the proper use?

My department is starting to switch out all of the Akron combination nozzles with smooth bore nozzles. Let's discuss this!
What are the Pros & the Cons for both combination and smooth bores?

Which do you prefer?

I like the combination nozzles for the following reasons:
- Hydraulic ventilation (I can do that with a smoothbore)
- More control ( I can change if needed)(Does the pump operator know it, when you change?)
- Self cooling if needed for emergency purposes(Since when being 100% wet mean cool in a superheated environment?)
- Propane fires(Agreed)
-Car Fires ( Sweeping & etc....)(I can do that with a smoothbore)


My Concerns with the combination nozzles are
- STEAMING by the nozzle-man ( Rookie)(Anybody)
Rick,

- Can your smooth bore stream cover the about 90% of the opening through which you are ventilating?
- Can your smooth bore stream dilute a gas / vapor leak? Not only propane or LPG, but amonia, chlorine, etc.
- Can the velocity of the straight stream gently sweep the accident scene without sending residue and debris
into the next county?

Self cooling was valid when we wore canvas turnouts back in the 50' and 60's, and I agree the it is (and was then)
potentially dangerous. However, a momentaneous water curtain or shield does have a certain cooling effect when
properly used when needed. For example, approaching a flaming gas leak that must be plugged or shut off. You cannot do it with a straight stream. (It's an old and classic operation from Texas A&M amongst other schools, but it works). If you don't believe me, try the exercise with both streams.

OK, for mop-up and overhaul you can close the shut-off to reduce flow, but the "softer" application force of the stream with
a closed angle stream can be more advantageous than the harder hitting straight stream.

Another point. Has anyone successfully applied AFFF foam with a smooth bore?

This is probably the hotest debate going in the FE forum. There must be a lot more subjects deserving such active and sincere response.

From Spain, keep safe over there.
Within all of these replies are all the info anyone would want to know about the advantages and disadvantages of smoothbore versus a combination nozzle. I have definitly learned more (probably just forgot from lack of training) from this forum about the combination nozzle which is what we use than I did before. Two things come to mind from all the research that I've done. If your department is at a cross roads on nozzles, they are willing to spend the money to swith to something different, I would suggest fully investigating the "break apart nozzle". This nozzle will give you choices. The second thing is that there is no substitute for live fire training and experience. The folks that have made up their mind on which nozzle type to use or can communicate the full picture of the pros and cons of both have had the benifit of lots of live fire training and/or alot of hands on experience. That's the only way in my opinion to find out which nozzle type is going to better meet your depatment's needs.
Brother, I hate to tell you this but you are not getting 380 gpm out of an 1 3/4" hose line. That kind of GPM is starting to push the capacity of a 2 1/2" line.
As for the main topic, the pipes, there is a place for both. I like the smooth bore for fire attack...better volume, better penetration, better reach and easier to manage then the typical 150gpm/ 75psi or 100 psi NP fog pipes.
As for varying volumes....why would you need to vary the volume? If you have a couple of rooms bring the 1 3/4". If you have many rooms, a fully involved structure, a high rise or commercial structure bring the 2 1/2". If you really got something going bring out the multi versals and aerial devices. Open the bale and use what it gives you. If you later don't require that volume only partially open the bale or if using a 2 1/2" break it down to an 1 3/4". I really don't think you should be playing games adjusting the gallonage of pipes. There is too great a chance that someone will miss adjust the gallonage and it's not figure it out until you get pushed out of the building by the fire.
Overall, I would take the smooth bore, ventilate better and practice hydraulic ventilation with the partially cracked open bail.
Sadly, on my job we mostly run with fog pipes on our 1 3/4" lines though there are some renegade companies that run only with smooth bores.
On other factor to consider...the almighty buck!!! Smooth bores take a beating and don't break. The same cannot be said about fog pipes.
Stay safe,
Patty B.
I saw the picture of the guys standing trying to manage the 2 1/2". This drives me nuts! Practice like you play. Don't stand and try to mange this line. Would you be standing at a fire? Get on the ground and you'll find that you can infact manage this line pretty well by yourself. The ground takes up alot of the nozzle reaction. You may want to tie into the line with some webbing to ease the stress on your hands but this line can and is often managed by one. A hint...get in place before you charge it and make sure you have a good amount of free hose straight behind you. If or when you need to move it close the bale and move. It's a great line once you get to know it.
stay safe.
Patty B


Rick Fritz said:

My department is starting to switch out all of the Akron combination nozzles with smooth bore nozzles. Let's discuss this!
What are the Pros & the Cons for both combination and smooth bores?

Which do you prefer?

I like the combination nozzles for the following reasons:
- Hydraulic ventilation (I can do that with a smoothbore)
- More control ( I can change if needed)(Does the pump operator know it, when you change?)
- Self cooling if needed for emergency purposes(Since when being 100% wet mean cool in a superheated environment?)
- Propane fires(Agreed)
-Car Fires ( Sweeping & etc....)(I can do that with a smoothbore)


My Concerns with the combination nozzles are
- STEAMING by the nozzle-man ( Rookie)(Anybody)
George,
I've been following this discussion for a little while and thought I'd get my two cents in.....

Can your smooth bore stream cover the about 90% of the opening through which you are ventilating? No, and it doesn't need to. Hydraulic ventilation is intended to aid in removal of smoke after the knockdown of the fire. Reach, penetration and GPM are what I need to get the fire under control. After that I have the time to fire a fan up, put the fog portion of my break apart nozzle on or send someone out for another combo nozzle if I think that's the best way to ventilate the structure.

Can your smooth bore stream dilute a gas / vapor leak? Not only propane or LPG, but amonia, chlorine, etc. No it cannot and I would never think of trying it on something like this. I will select a combination nozzle instead and have my capable nozzleman make the swap while I perform my size up. In 22+ years I have made only two of these types of emergencies but train on it regularly. They are slow methodical type incidents and you have a moment or two to adjust.

Can the velocity of the straight stream gently sweep the accident scene without sending residue and debris
into the next county?
Absolutely! That's one of the reasons we train with em', control and consistency. Late into the mop up stage we usually pair down to a smaller tip or drag the booster line in to chase hot spots.
Has anyone successfully applied AFFF foam with a smooth bore? Kinda defeats the purpose of the whole air/foam concept so No on this one as well. But once again, foam is used so infrequently that we have drained the foam tanks on the engines because of gelling issues and gone back to pails, in line proportioners and speciality foam nozzles which are carried in the engineers compartment. Again, this is another slow approach scene and there is time to set up for this operation.

The whole debate comes down to setting up your lines/nozzles with what you will combat the most frequently. For us it's structure fires. The smoothbore is the way to go. If I was stationed at the airport on a foam unit I would want a combination nozzle.

More subjects for sincere response, you bet- but this one is always fun.

Thanks and stay safe over the pond,
Brian



George H. Potter said:
Rick,

- Can your smooth bore stream cover the about 90% of the opening through which you are ventilating?
- Can your smooth bore stream dilute a gas / vapor leak? Not only propane or LPG, but amonia, chlorine, etc.
- Can the velocity of the straight stream gently sweep the accident scene without sending residue and debris
into the next county?

Self cooling was valid when we wore canvas turnouts back in the 50' and 60's, and I agree the it is (and was then)
potentially dangerous. However, a momentaneous water curtain or shield does have a certain cooling effect when
properly used when needed. For example, approaching a flaming gas leak that must be plugged or shut off. You cannot do it with a straight stream. (It's an old and classic operation from Texas A&M amongst other schools, but it works). If you don't believe me, try the exercise with both streams.

OK, for mop-up and overhaul you can close the shut-off to reduce flow, but the "softer" application force of the stream with
a closed angle stream can be more advantageous than the harder hitting straight stream.

Another point. Has anyone successfully applied AFFF foam with a smooth bore?

This is probably the hotest debate going in the FE forum. There must be a lot more subjects deserving such active and sincere response.

From Spain, keep safe over there.
Brian,

You have made the points with logical explanations, and this is what this forum is all about. You have also probably made the most adequate commentary on the real advantages of:

- Training and preparing for that "big one" that may never occur, but your team will be ready if and when it does.

- Break aparts could well be considered as the most practical solution to this debate. You consider smooth bore for
innital interior attack? you've got it. You want or need to use variable stream and/or flow? change the tips.

Keep safe over these.

George
My department uses the a combination fog nozzle made from Elkhart Chief automatic nozzles for all hoses. 13/4 - 2 1/2. All the 1 3/4 nozzle have pistol grips on them :L(
The proper setting for the Chief nozzle 1 3/4 is at 190 psi for 200ft preconnect. I find them very hard to use when pumping the proper psi. For one thing when using the psitol grip it sucks right back to your armpit. When using the 2 1/2 nozzle its very difficult to advance.
This year I recently took a course and got to use solid bore for both size hose. AMAZING results. 2 guys on the 2 1/2 could move it with no problem whereas the 2 1/2 fog/combo way to hard. And we dont have the manpower to have 5 guys on aline. I was also shown how to vent using the solid bore. Needless to say after showing the Chief and Sr staff they all agreed and said they used to use the solid bore until a salesman convinced a previous chief to switch to Fog/combo. If shown right and trained on the solid bore is the way to go. However keeping the fog for other situations were required.

Keep your stick on the ground (Stay safe)
Wayne
Todd
I am a firm believer in smooth bore nozzles. Reach, penatration, lower nozzle pressure which leads to less nozzle reaction and the sheer fact of more water with all of these things put together is an initial attack firefighters dream. "Work smarter, not harder" to quote Ron Fitzpatrick (an instructor from Monmouth County Fire Academy NJ). However there is definately a time and place for the combi nozzle. My own company has three 1 3/4" pre-connects. One has a smooth bore and the other two have combi's. Our GOG's state the smooth bore is the first line in the door for any confirmed structure fire and it is to be backed with a combi. Our GOG's are covered even with our 2 1/2" hand lines as well. We have a 2 1/2" pre-connect with a smooth bore and a bulk 2 1/2" bed on the rear with a combi on the end of it. GOG's are what it comes down to. Work your resonse area out in your head ahead of time and word them to fit your resources. The train according to your GOG's so when the time comes, everyone is on the same page and know how to use each nozzle. Smooth bore's are not as versital on car fires therefor the combi should be used on them. Again all can be spelled out in the GOG's. Having both nozzle's at your disposal is what you really want. It will actually be a harder concept for the pump opperator to grasp for the fact of the different presures they need to be pumped at. TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN everyone so every aspect of both nozzle's become second nature to everyone.

Danny Miller

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