I have some specific questions regarding the use of CAFS on interior fire attack:
1)Do you use CAFS lines for supported interior attacks? Meaning that station can arrive and begin an interior attack without the need to wait for additional units to arrive on scene. I have heard a lot of reports of the use at stations that will perform a transitional (defensive to offensive) knock down from the outside. We are facing implementation of CAFS Engines into our fleet.
2)What are your flows for: 1 3/4, 2 1/2 interior lines?
3)Do you use CAFS for interior attacks in structures that do not have carpet or other absorbant materials for flooring? Do you have any concerns in this scenario with appying CAFS on a surface that will not abosrb and could potentially lead to a slippery surface to walk or.
4)Regarding Interior attacks: Are there any "go, no go" indicators that fall into your decision making prior to use?
We are looking for tactical information on the actual use of CAFS for interior attacks. Thanks, Scott
Scott you have a lot of good questions. Lets start from the last question and work from there. "Go,No Go " some things to keep in mind. Make sure you have enough foam to last before you start. You don't want to run out halfway and turn to water. Doesn't work all that good in a windy area. Other then that go for it. The type of foam is what makes the surface slippery not the CAFS unit it self. Any surface is just fine CAFS doesn't need to have carpet or any other absorbent material to work. The flows will stay just about the same. But the lines will be a lot lighter and easier to move. Scott look at it this way CAFS is a tool the better you are in the use. The better it will work for you.
I'm from a department that is very progressive in comparison to the surrounding companies. I agree with you 100%. We go for it on 99% of all our fires including brush fires. We have been using CAFS for roughly five years and the more you use it and also train with it the better it gets. Another benifit to go along with lighter hoses is less fatigue on your firefighters operating the hand lines. Also if used properly there is minimal run off to concern yourself with for cleanup. One of the biggest issues faced by us is getting the surrounding companies to understand CAFS and not to work against us when we are in operation by trying to help with straight water.
Asst.29 have you tried to do some training with the other companies? Sometimes it is very hard to change the Fire Service. Sometimes you have to beat it into them. And I mean by training & showing them the proof that it works.
Yes we have tried and we continue to do so. Some are more opened minded than the ones than are not subject to change. Regaurdless of those around us, we know it works and works well. They have seen it work and have at times said they were impressed but they either don't understand it or have the mind set that you fight fire with water. As you probably have already heard simple coments such as "It does not disapate enough heat", "The cost is not justifeid". Keep in mind that these types of comments come from companies that are limiting themselves to the quote old school ways of the fire service.
For some info that will help you with your questions check out you tube "SVFD CAFS Part 1 and 2". Also there is a book by Dominic Colletti about CAFS called The compressed air foam systems hanbook. That can be purchased on IFSTA's web site for $55.00 that will definatley help you out