Heck we use foam on wildland fires. It eliminates rekindles and makes the job faster and more efficient.
Our Department has in one structure. It worked great. We have lots on hand if we need it again.
E913 My answer is Yes and No.
My career department no. They say it is too expensive. The Fire Investigation Team hates it because it is another factor to weed through during the puzzle process. But we use it on a call department I work with. FireAde and the policy for them is foam is always on unless IC says shut it off.
We have done some studies during training and the fires not only extinguish quicker, but the likely hood of reignition during battle is less. We did side by side room and content fires with water alone verse .3-.5% foam and the difference was 600-700 gallons of water was used verse just under a 100 with foam. The TIC produced temps post extinguishment of 300F for water only and with the use of foam the temps were under a 100F.
So in areas where water and manpower are less than stellar, I can see the use of water with Class A foam has a direct effect of getting it verse runnning out before the water supply is established.
Both my combo and colunteer departments carry pro-packs and each engine, and we use it for overhaul, but not initial attack. We use it on every structural fire and most vehicle fires, as well as dumpster and trash fires.
Combo department to our south has 2 engines with CFS and they love it. They have put out a fully involved singlewide trailer with as little as 300 gallons of water using CAFS and swear by it.
My previous VFD ha a propotioner system on 2 of our 5 engines with the ability to flow Class A foam up to 500 gpm. We flowed it at .1% for every structure, vehicle and dumpster fire, and I found it to be extremly effective and it did reduce the amount of water that we used.
They now have the system on 4 of the 5 engines, and plan on adding it when they replaced the 5th.