Firefighting

Our Department Has Class A Foam; Now What?

Issue 7 and Volume 160.

BY JEFF COTNER ACHIEF CALLED ME LAST FALL, SAYING THAT HIS department had taken delivery of a new fire apparatus that was equipped with a discharge-side direct-injection foam system. He said he wanted to use Class A foam but his firefighters were reluctant to because “they don’t know what it is.” This is too often the scenario. We must educate our personnel on the fundamentals of using Class A foam. They need to know what it is and how it works, become very familiar with the foam system or proportioner used, and know how to make foam in the structural world. HOW IT WORKS Class A foam is basically a surfactant, similar to dishwashing soap. You don’t wash your dishes in plain water; you add some soap. The same thing applies to Class A foam and firefighting. Not turning on the foam is like washing your dishes in plain water.…

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