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TVFD holds nozzle training exercise

TONICA — The Tonica Volunteer Fire Department recently conducted training on a variety of firefighting nozzles.

Piercing Applicator

A piercing applicator nozzle is designed to get water or foam into hidden trouble spots.

“Firefighters can use a sledge hammer to drive the piercing applicator nozzle through many different materials such as concrete block, car metals, mobile homes, metal sheds, attic areas, grain bins, and hay bales,” TVFD Officer Rick Turri said.

The driving butt and point are made of hardened steel with impinging jets for a dense fog pattern. 

Distributor (Cellar) Nozzles

The quickest and most efficient method of attacking a fire below is to advance the line down the stairs. But, in some cases, the intensity of the fire creates punishing conditions of high heat and heavy smoke.

The distributor, or cellar nozzle, is designed to be used under a surface that the firefighter is standing on. When their use is dictated, it is usually because of an inaccessible location or the intensity of a below-grade fire is preventing a direct attack. When needed, few things will work as effectively to knock down the fire below.

“A rotating distributor nozzle is designed to project water outward and upward, which helps suppress the fire, while protecting the floor where the fire crew is operating,” Turri said. 

These nozzles can flow from 250 to 400 gpm. After a small hole is cut in the floor to gain access to the fire area, the device is inserted and the water started as soon as the nozzle is below floor level.

“Because its use is infrequent, all firefighters need to be familiar and proficient with operating distributor nozzle equipment. When that time comes, few other nozzles work as well on a fire below,” Turri said.

Water Shields

The stable water curtain nozzle is for unmanned protection of threatened buildings, gaseous hazards or cooling situations. The water curtain needs to spray directly onto the exposure to be protected. It must be of sufficient size and capacity to continuously wet the entire face of the exposure facing the burning building.

“A water curtain is a device used by firefighters to prevent fires from spreading from one building to the next when there is limited manpower, or conditions are too dangerous for a standard manned fire hose,” Turri said.

Master Streams

A “master stream” is defined as a heavy-caliber stream delivered through a water delivery appliance. A master stream is used when a flow of more than 350 gpm is required to absorb the heat being generated by the fire. This amount is too difficult to be delivered from a handline operation because of nozzle reaction.

The master stream is usually a straight stream produced with a smooth bore tip, or some type of combination nozzle. There are three types of master stream operations: the fixed (deck gun), the portable (ground) and the elevated (aerial). Master stream appliances are capable of water flows higher than 1,000 gpm.

Low Expansion Foam Applicator Nozzle

This low-expansion nozzle has a fixed tube with little adjustment. “It produces a wet foam appropriate for many tactical applications, such as a hazardous material spill, fire attack and overhaul operations,” Turri said.

Foam is made by first mixing foam concentrate with water to create a one to six percent foam solution depending on the product involved in the fire. This can be done via a variety of foam inductors. Once the solution is made, it is then combined with air and agitated to create finished foam bubbles.

There are several commonly used methods of agitation, the most common of which is to pump foam solution out of a special fog nozzle. This allows agitation to occur while the product hits its target.

Aqueous Film-Forming Alcohol Resistant Foam Concentrates (AFFF-AR) provides a foam blanket that reduces vapor and supports the suppression of Class B hydrocarbon fuel fires.

The Tonica Volunteer Fire Department operates without property taxation and through the donations received from the residents of Tonica and those within its protection area. 

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