Some of the nozzles tested did not flow the amount of water they were rated for. Some had excessively high or low nozzle pressures. Some nozzles suddenly jumped in flow, apparently when their springs instantly allowed more water to flow. Should this occur inside during an aggressive fire attack, the results (a huge, instant increase in nozzle reaction) could be deadly for firefighters.
(2) It is not hard. If you don’t do it, you don’t know how much you are really flowing unless your rig has flow meters on it. A portable flow meter on the intake side of the pump and a few other gauges, a clipboard to record the data, and a couple of firefighters to help can guarantee your rig can flow decisive amounts of water to the firefight.
As Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini describes the fire attack, it is “a mutual murder contest.” It is a contest you don’t want to lose, especially because you did not test your weapons before the fight.
JERRY KNAPP is the assistant chief for the Rockland County (NY) Hazmat Team and a training officer at the Rockland County Fire Training Center in Pomona, New York. He is a 35-year veteran firefighter/EMT with the West Haverstraw (NY) Fire Department, has a degree in fire protection, and was a nationally registered paramedic. Knapp is the plans officer for the Directorate of Emergency Services at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.