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If you can remember from what you were taught or if you currently instruct in engine operations how do you handle the question of opening the line in smoke. I say you do not open the line in smoke, however when the smoke is extremly hot you must open the nozzle. Other options include leaving the area (fallback position) and increasing ventilation of the area. What do you say?

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John Ceriello said:
And you do not think steam production is a problem with opening the line and keeping it open?

Hmmm.... Interessting question. Maybe we can understand the "problem" with a different way of talking. What we see is that I try to describe the way we use the nozzle, other reply they use smothbore and so on but we are not able to see the difference.
Three points:
1) the LODD. When you read LODD doc, you'll never find things like "the reason is the use of smothbore". They are two explainations to that. First, NIOSH doc are written by US guys, like you, and when we see the epidermic reactions to my explanation, its' hard to imagine NIOSH saying "avoid use of smothbore" or you will put their officie on fire :)   The second reason came from the analysis. In quality insurrance management, we use the "5 why" method.  This method came from the fact that, facing a problem human will naturally give an answer but inconsciencly, he gives the reason which is fine for him. And the quality manager know that this answer is  not the right one. So, to the first answer, you just ask "why?" and to the second answer "Why?" again and so on. At the end (5 or more than "5 why?") you generaly face a reason far away from the first one. If you do that with all LODD you will discoverd that, many time, the no-use of nozzle to cool the gases have a great impact. Of course you will NEVER find that as the first reason. But in more that 3/4 of the LODD you'll see this reason appeared after 4 or 5 "Why". The question at the beginning of this discussion (question by Ray about the fact you open or not the nozzle on smoke, and the common NO answer , because it create too much steam), goes in this direction.
2) The pulse method and the way we cool gases are based on the low reach of a fog nozzle. In fact all the things and setting we do, have the goal to put gently water inside the smoke. Thats' why we open the nozzle only 1/3 of a second, with a low flow pattern and a wide opening of the pattern. I must admit that, with 10 years or reseach based on the initial Sweedish and English data and test, we are now far away from that with a greater result. But, all these methods have to be used ONLY in appartement and house fire. They are of NO USE in front of supermarket fire or hight ceilling hall. If you try to "pulse" in a 20' ceilling hall, it wil not work and will only proove not that the method is not right, but that you don't know enought to select the right tool. In fact, you try to put a nail in the wall, with a screwdriver. As you can't, you can say of course the screw driver is a bad tool...
3) As you are all using smothbore and that I've use it for years, lets go back to Ray's question. If it was  "using a smothbore, would you open it on the smoke?" I would have answer "NO!", like you. If I answer "YES" that's because, when he ask his question I imagine myself using a fog nozzle, and you imagine yourselve using a smothbore. So the question is "When you tried fog nozzle and get injuried bu steam, how were you using the fog nozzle"?
- Kind of fog nozzle
- Diamete of hose line
- Flow rate
- Angle of opening (pattern)
- Angle of the nozzle from the ground
- How many second of opening
- Movement with the nozzle
Maybe this will explain why you'll get burn wih fog nozzle as at a few miles form US, other are not.

Of course avoid answer like "one say to me he meet a guy saying to him one time he read a paper from someone saying that...."  :) :) :) :)

Best regards


I've got a commitment at that time, May is no good. Thanks.

Pierre-Louis LAMBALLAIS said:

John Ceriello said:
I'm going to try and get to Sweden this summer or maybe the fall, I'm looking forward to learning exactly what the concept is, in the mean time I will continue working with our current tactics and see how I can improve the knowledge base. Who's going to be in Indy for FDIC, we should try and get together. JC
Sweeden is the "historical" country for that, and was of course, the best place for "pulsing", a few years ago. The very small size of the country and the way the fire services are, had create differences between the small schools and difficulties in the transmission of knowledge.
In May, we have an international meeting in Lisbonne, at the fire school of  the military fire service of the city. The meeting is one week, wih people from Brasil, Perou, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and of course Portugal. We will have conferences about tactic, ventilation, FF health, and of course nozzle method, and we'll have minimum one burn per day.
The meeting is intended to be for flashover instructor only, but as you seems to be "open minded" enought to see "strange things" and that I'm in the organisation comitte, I can invite you. Nothing to pay for accomodation, plane ticket less expensive than for North of Europe.
Meeting is from 16 to 20 of May
Feel free to mail me (

The way our students figh fire, in Belgium:


Best regards



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