Fire Streams and the Exponential Engine
By: Brian Brush
As of late I have been fielding a lot of questions regarding apparatus set up and nozzle selection. It is encouraging to see such an interest in one of our professional foundations. I believe it means that firefighters are taking greater ownership in decisions which may have been more recently dictated to their departments by savvy vendors. I enjoy assisting firefighters work through nozzle studies and flow testing because I know the value of these processes to a department and its members.
In 2005 my department conducted a year-long fire stream and nozzle study; the information collected and changes made as a result of it have made our operations more efficient and our operators more knowledgeable. Since that study I have been fortunate enough to train and network with firefighters from around the country and at the highest levels of education and experience in engine company operations. I am still very much a student of the game and continue to learn on a daily basis. With that said there seems to be recurring questions in many of contacts I have had lately. I believe that I may be better able to answer them to the masses rather than one at a time. So settle in for a little bit of rambling or pick off sections that you are seeking.
IFSTA will tell you that a fire stream is the “Stream of water or other extinguishing agent after it leaves the fire hose until it reaches the desired target.” To me this is too narrow of a view on the fire stream. The stream of water leaving the fire hose on its way to the target is the end result of a system from the source to the nozzle. If a group or department wants to evaluate their fire streams they must be willing to analyze all parts of that system for influence and change. If you are given the chance to lead or be a part of a fire stream evaluation process or nozzle study you will fail the opportunity if you get trapped in a smooth bore versus fog focus.
Link Below is to full article.
Anyone looking to evaluate their current nozzle selection and Engine Setup should read this article. County Fire Tactics fully agrees and supports the above article by Brian Brush.
Brian Brush’s article on the Exponential Engine is right on the mark.
We have added an Engine Company Operations page on this site and has Dennis Legear’s articles on Hose & Nozzle Dreams. They too are a must read.
Videos below from Gallons Per Second Program