Straight stream. However we only have one break apart fog nozzle on the rigs, all the rest are smooth bore. I can't remember the last time I saw a fog nozzle taken in a structure and not broken down to the smooth bore slug. The fog nozzle is pulled for exterior fires such as trash, cars and the like.
We typically use smooth bore nozzles on our initial attack lines on my engine. Other companies use fog nozzles or even the "vindicator" nozzle (wich is a low pressure nozzle that has a high GPM flow but no reach and penetration). It is usually up to the company commander which nozzles they wish to run and how the hose is loaded.
That being said our nozzles are always set to a straight "pattern" unless we are performing hydralic ventilation (which we rarely do).
All of our primary structural attack lines are now straight bore nozzles, 15/16" on the residential lines, and 1 1/4" on our commercial lines. We keep a fog nozzle on our 100' pre-connect trash line for car fires, dumpsters and such, and its set on a narrow fog pattern, about 30 degrees. We had been using fog nozzles on interior attack lines until a few years ago. At that time we also keep the nozzles set on a narrow pattern of 30 degrees for the initial entry into the fire area to hit the ceiling. Then we would set the pattern to straight to attack the seat of the fire and sweep the floor when advancing. This was not a set policy or SOP. We seem to like the solid bore more, as we get a little better reach, getting more water further out on the fire, and less steam produced. We've had less members coming out with minor burns on their necks and wrists from steam.
Our department for years utilized adjustable gallonage fog nozzles, but over time has phased those out in favor of standard fog nozzles. We found that frequently the adjustable gallonage nozzles were turned down to such a low GPM flow that they could be dangerous on the fireground if not constantly adjusted to the desired GPM. When I drive the engine, I always check to see that our attack line nozzles are always set to straight stream. We frequently used the fog nozzle for hydraulic ventilation on the fireground.
It is my hope that the department will evaluated the use of smooth bore nozzles in the future.
When I started we used Elkhart select-o-matic SM20, SM30 nozzles.We have progressed to the TFT nozzles. I prefer to use te nozzle in the straight stream setting, much like a solid bore nozzle. I teach that turning the nozzle to the right to fight (straight stream) and left for life (fog setting), relating to selction on nozzle. The decision is soley the Company Officer's. I do not like to use the "fog" pattern in an non-ventilated space or a location where there may be victims. The disturbance of the thermal layering is risky and dangerous. The advantage that the TFT has, I feel, is that the "teeth" that ring the fog nozzle are bulkier and do not spin. Some other nozzels has a ring of small teeth that spin. When these are damage of get bumped it can really effect the fog pattern. We do have a few solid bore nozzles on the job. They are great, and I have used them. I now many firefighters swear by them and you can't beat GPM.
Smooth bore, nothing else! The only thing the nozzleman should worry about is putting out the fire. What happens when the johnny on the nozzle THINKS its in the straight stream position and its not. Also what if its not set to the proper flow? Guys get burnt. I'm not taking that chance. Although, I must agree with you Ray, nothing like a fog stream for overhauling. OVERHAULING! And rubbish fires.
In OKC we have all been raised on fog nozzles. In the last few years we purchased the TFT contant gallonage. The contast pressure fog nozzles require calibration. We now recommend straight stream for interior fire attack. We are purchasing 1 1/4" smoothbores for the high-rise packs. Most of the guys have put the 2 1/2" break down on the 2 1/2" handlines. We're having good luck with the constant gallonage.
What little I've gotton to use a smoothbore I prefer it to fog. Although, one very good application for a fog nozzle is for attic fires in house fires. If the roof hasn't been opened up yet, and you find a well involved fire in the attic. Just put the fog nozzle on about a 35-40 degree fog and let er rip. Good steam conversion in an unoccupied area.
Straight stream...unless overhauling or venting. SM30's, which I don't particularly like due to the high nozzle and pump pressures needed to achieve adequate flows. We also have Chief's, constant gallonage, 200 @ 75. Much better in my opinion. When we train with live fire, I always use the smoothbores, 15/16 or 1", propane burns are the 200@75s.
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