Originally Posted by 80Sierra
Currently, there are many departments that are starting to "drink the cool aid" when it comes to the salesmen's BS about the benefits of running this extremely complex, expensive and unreliable system. Yeah Yeah, "well you know you can paint the outside of the building for exposure protection". I have heard this so many times and I'm not sold and I don't believe it makes any sense. If a building is burning and the flames are in contact with a building next door the foam that has been applied to the side will break down and do nothing. Why? Because that's not what it's designed to do. It's designed to provided a high expansion foam on to a fire directly or allow for water to penetrate a surface in the case of a wildlands fire situation, which is what it was originally manufactured for. If at any time you are using CAFS during an interior attack you better hope that the system doesn't malfunction and produce "slug flow " or you just dumped a ton of fresh air on an oxygen starved fire and you know what happens next. I'm not saying "don't use foam", what I'm saying is this system is unnecessary and a system like a Hale Foam Pro, for example, is sufficient, compact, less labour intensive when it breaks (they don't break often) and more user friendly.
Was on a department that had a CAFS on board the new pump and it was the biggest waste of time. We had numerous training sessions with the manufacturer, and other firefighters who were apparently trained. We never used it in actual attack. Why? Because we could never gain any amount of confidence with it in training.
Even when we asked the firefighters from another department who came to train us if they actually used it they replied no. Why? Because nobody had the faith to use it in first attack.
I'm a big believer in foam when used correctly. But CAFS is a theory method that looks great on paper, ....... in a book, ....... on a shelf .......