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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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Why couldn't I put it into words like that? Well said Jim!

Jim Miller said:
Hey Ray,
I think you said it best when you said a little experience in an engine helps. Also the words in your post about the extreme heat is the key to opening the nozzle. Yea i agree, no water on smoke, UNLESS, it is the "black fire" with extreme heat that should be cooled in efforts to complete the push into the fire area/room or to hold up for ventilation. The penciling deal is crap. I am a Swede instructor for flashover in the can and we stress "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE NOZZLE TECHNIQUES USED IN THE SIMULATOR"!!!!!!!!! I was taught to pencil the hallway when trying to make the fire room, but if you are close enough and encountering enough heat to open the nozzle then keep it open, work it properly and you just might be close enough to make the knock!!!! I feel the penciling deal causes the line to stop a lot of times. As you say Ray, "if the line isn't moving its losing". I feel we don't stress the importance of moving a line while flowing water. Obviously if you are encountering justifiable heat to open the line, but you are not seeing the flame this is not where the push stops. So in efforts to be successful and make the room, flow the line, move in, and put the water on the fuel. Penciling in my opinion is slowing the push and allowing conditions to worsen. Watch the video, as they are penciling there are no affects on the seated fire.

Oh yea, I forgot the foggies, if you like the fog why is stream set to straight??

If you like penciling, become an artist because firefighting is not for you!!!!! Leave the fog on the trash line because that is where it belongs with the trash... And if anyone starts about "Well, a fog nozzle is good for ventilation." please dont. Thats what all those guys standing around with the shepards hooks are for. Get those windows open truckie. We have only smoothbores on our lines. Just have to remember to tell the rookie to grab that fog if they decide to pull the crosslay for a car fire. Hot oil on your mask and neck makes it hard to see and stings a little. A lot of great points made on this topic.

Penciling is like slapping a 300 lb. guy in the face. its only gonna happen a couple times before you catch a beating.
Guys, unfortunately in my part of the world, the bosses like the fog nozzles on the lines. Maybe that's why I've been waiting on that second trumpet all these years.

Stay Safe Brothers!
Joe - Not to get off topic but I have seen that comment many times about how fog nozzles are great for ventilation and I agree, However you do not buy a nozzle or base your fire attack on a feature used post knock down.
Hey Bros
Just want opinions here.....we here are all on the same "team'. One of the brothers stated he butts heads with the crossed trumpets when it comes to nozzle selection. There has been tons of articles written about fog vs. SS, SB. How come we can't sell it? We burn folks up every year because of this. I don't mind the Fogs, as long as it is on SS. We have choices in my FD. But I tell my guys I will duct tape the fogs in SS position if I catch them using it! Then if that don't work, I'll beat them with it! LOL Be safe
I was helping Brian Arnold with a TIC class and he had a video through the TIC of a "power cone" through the TIC. It never reaches the ceiling. On SS you can clearly see where the ceiling has been cooled, which means, it can absorb heat, which means it is taking BTU's out of the atmosphere. I really wish a video could be made using a TIC that would show the difference of reach between a smoothbore and fog stream. I think it would be very helpful.
Sorry to get off topic Ray.
Great topic! We've always tried to emphasize to the fire attack crews that spraying water at smoke isn't going to extinguish the seat of the fire, but when you're being pushed down and the line movement is slowing or stopping, a good whipping of a SB stream at the ceiling and walls helps keep the advance going. The only way to get a knock on the fire is to get in close enough to get a good stream on the seat. Pencilling should be left for Big Chief doodling tablets and a wide fog will certainly stop the attack crew in their tracks. As Mike was talking about, I love showing guys why the nozzle man can make or break the "push" if they don't know what they are doing with their stream. It's just another supporting argument for making the attack with a smoothbore nozzle. I haven't seen too many firefighters that can or like to try and make a switch between a SS or powercone setting on their fog nozzles. Take the chances out of the attack and put a good SS nozzle on the end of your line, then you won't be asking your firefighters what setting they are on for the attack.
Dont you worry about the thermal balance brother? Ive been warned by some real experts about disrupting the thermal balance. Do you share these concerns?
Why do I catch a slight hint of sarcasm here!! Good luck in Indy!

Paul J De Bartolomeo said:
Dont you worry about the thermal balance brother? Ive been warned by some real experts about disrupting the thermal balance. Do you share these concerns?
This is one thing I remember hearing a lot my first year or so on the job. Never shoot water at smoke. In fact, it was not until reading the FDNY Engine Company Ops. a few years ago that I realize that this can be done at certain times If you are in a room with high heat that may have the potential to flash a quick 1 second burst to the ceiling may buy you some time.

Another video on surviving a flashover.According to the video quick or short bursts of water will save you. It says to "pencil" i say open the nozzle up. What do you say?
Ive taken a flashover course. They too taught to use small bursts from left to right. This owuld push back the fire. I never used it though. What I have done is gave a shot of water above my head when things were hot to see if the water came back down. And of course it did. When i started my career my dad who i work with taught me to use the "O" pattern or "T" Pattern and to keep moving forward and the nozzle open when there is fire. Get to the seed and the problem would go away. When i took the flashover course they talked about using a pattern between fog and soild. I filed that under "G".
We use 2 types of nozzles in our department both of the Combination nozzle. One with a GPM setting the other with out. What happens when the nozzlemen gets carried away and switches the GPM on nozzle. (the soild bore nozzle is on its way)

It all comes down to training and unfortantly many firefighters dont look into information taught to them they take as gold.
We recently had a apartment fire and the nozzlemen (CAPT) opened up the water on smoke and casued more water damage then the fire it self. He was a volunteer which really doesnt matter. But an officer who took the flashover course at the OFC. He said he wanted to disrupt the thermal balance. The funny/Sad thing is the fire was not in the room he was and he was standing?????

So unfortantly Ray the answer is yes i have and yes Ive seen it. Was i right I thought so. Was the Captain right. Only in his mind :L)


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