By Alan M. Petrillo
Nozzles and monitors make up the forward tip of most fire suppression systems, whether they are on handlines, deck guns, or portable monitors or at the end of aerial ladders and platforms.
Recent improvements to existing versions and new models of nozzles and monitors offered by manufacturers are helping firefighters in engaging fire on both attack and defense.
|1 Elkhart Brass introduced its XD (Extreme Duty) redesign of handline nozzles, starting with its Chief XD, shown here. (Photos 1 and 2 courtesy of Elkhart Brass.)|
Phil Gerace, vice president of marketing for Task Force Tips (TFT), says TFT’s Vortex™ nozzle is an improvement “on the age-old concept of the smoothbore nozzle to give firefighters more capability should they need it.” Gerace notes the Vortex has all the benefits of a smoothbore but with a quick twist of the tip can change to a dispersed water pattern. TFT offers a number of different diameters of smoothbore tips on the Vortex, Gerace says, “and the extra capability of a dispersed pattern is there when you need it and does not disturb the flow.”
Gerace says that TFT is introducing a new product, the Decon PRO/pak, a handheld portable system to be used to decontaminate turnout gear. “When firefighters come out of a burning structure, they have a lot of debris on their turnout gear,” he says. “Using the Decon PRO/pak, they can rinse off with a solution and a brush to get the debris off and help reduce the cancer risk.”
Chris Martin, manager of Elkhart Brass’s municipal product line, says his company is seeing a renaissance of engine company work, focusing on more accurate fire flows and attack packages and making sure that hoses match flow rates. “We are doing two major efforts to be a part of that movement,” he says, “one through our products and the other through education.”
|2 The Magnum EXM is a high-flow monitor made by Elkhart Brass that is capable of 5,000 gpm.|
On the product side of things, Martin notes that Elkhart Brass has introduced its XD (Extreme Duty) redesign of handline nozzles. “We started with the Chief nozzle and gave it a complete redo,” he says. “We went to an aluminum forged shutoff body and forged metal bail handle for maximum strength and beta tested the Chief XD with 30 of the busiest departments around the country. It’s now in full production and available in both high- and low-flow fog nozzles.”
The XD Smoothbore is another redesign by Elkhart Brass, using the same forged body and bail handle, Martin says. “The tip has been redesigned so the numbers are easier to read and have the flow rates on it,” he says. “One of our most popular combinations is the 7⁄8-inch smoothbore paired with a 160-gallon-per-minute (gpm) at 50 pounds per square inch (psi) fog nozzle.”
In addition, Elkhart Brass makes the RAM XD, which features a hydraulic stability system that harnesses reaction force to stabilize the monitor. It has four fold-out forged aluminum legs with carbide-tipped ground spikes angled to help the tops grip the ground surface. The RAM XD flows 500 gpm at 75 psi, Martin says, and has been redesigned to go down to a 14-degree attack angle.
|3 Task Force Tips introduced the new Decon PRO/pak, a handheld portable nozzle system used to decontaminate firefighters. (Photos 3 and 4 courtesy of Task Force Tips.)|
Andrea Russell, global products manager for Akron Brass Co., says Akron’s new nozzle products stem from providing ease of use for firefighters and flexibility. “We introduced the UltraJet at FDIC International 2017,” Russell points out, “which can flow both smoothbore and fog patterns without changing the water flow when the firefighter switches from one pattern to another. Once pressure is set at the pump panel, the nozzle person doesn’t have to worry about changing pressures in the nozzle.”
Russell notes that Akron Brass also has brought the new flows and pressures on its Assault break-apart nozzle to its other models of fog nozzles. “We wanted our fog nozzles to match the smoothbore in terms of not changing the flow,” she observes. “We added three fog tips: 161 gpm at 50 psi for the 7⁄8-inch smoothbore, 185 gpm at 50 psi for the 15⁄16-inch smoothbore, and 210 gpm at 50 psi for the 1-inch smoothbore.”
Daniel Clarke, national sales manager for Williams Operations at Johnson Controls, says Williams offers several models of nozzles, including the Ranger, Scout, and Adjustable Flow dual-agent nozzle. The Scout nozzle is made of lightweight, noncorrosive composite material; anodized aluminum; and stainless steel, Clarke says, and has selectable flow rates of 350, 500, and 750 gpm.
|4 Task Force Tips makes the Tsunami RC monitor, capable of flowing 8,000 gpm with only 27-psi friction loss.|
The Williams Hydro-Foam™ Ranger™ nozzles incorporate the effective range of an automatic nozzle with the combination of self educting/selectable, constant metering foam proportioning, Clark points out. Rangers 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 deliver flow ranges of 250 to 1,000 gpm, 500 to 1,500 gpm, and 750 to 2,000 gpm, respectively, he says.
The Adjustable Flow dual-agent handline nozzle incorporates a foam solution or water application with built-in Hydro-Chem technology, Clarke notes, for simultaneous dry chemical application. The nozzle can be set to flow 60, 95, or 125 gpm by a collar-mounted ring adjustment and is adjustable from full fog to straight stream.
Steve Larson, owner of S&H Products Inc., says S&H makes an array of nozzle models in dual-range, constant-range, break-apart, smoothbore, and specialty models. “Our main development has been in the Patriot, a variable smoothbore nozzle,” Larson points out, “allowing a firefighter to change the orifice with the twist of the barrel, replacing the use of stacked tips.” The nozzle is detachable from a pistol grip shutoff and comes in a 1½-inch size. “It is scalable to larger sizes, and our plan is to develop a 2½-inch version and larger beyond that,” he says.
|5 Akron Brass Co. makes the UltraJet handline nozzle that combines smoothbore and full fog capability in a single nozzle. (Photos 5 and 6 courtesy of Akron Brass Co.)|
At Kochek Co. Inc., several series of handline nozzles are available, including the Patriot, Defender Automatic, Defender Constant Gallonage, and Defender Select Gallonage.
Dion LeMieux, owner of A-FAST Inc., says his company makes eight models of nozzles, all based on getting wetting agent into difficult places such as attics, basements, and behind walls. The A-FAST 1 is a five-foot 200-gpm pipe that fits on a 1½-inch nozzle used where it is inserted through a hole drilled into an attic area, LeMieux says. The A-FAST 2 model is designed to attack attic fires from the exterior using a 360-degree spray pattern.
LeMieux notes the A-FAST 3 is a 20-inch-long nozzle that flows 150 to 180 gpm and is used on basement fires, while the A-FAST 4 is a one-pound, seven-inch-long wall cavity nozzle. Other A-FAST nozzles include one for high-rise packs, for brush fires, on aerial ladder pipes, and a foam applicator.
|6 The SaberMaster 1778 monitor and nozzle made by Akron Brass recently got a total overhaul, reducing its weight and size and improving its performance.|
Gerace says TFT recently introduced the Tsunami RC monitor, capable of flowing 8,000 gpm with only 27-psi friction loss. “It can be truck-mounted or in a stationary mount,” he says, “and its primary application is radio controlled. Stacked tips are part of the Tsunami RC package, as well as a dispersed-pattern nozzle.
TFT also makes the Tornado LT and Tornado RC monitors, with the Tornado LT being a compact model rated to 500 gpm at 200 psi and having a 370-degree horizontal rotational travel. The Tornado RC is the same monitor but radio controlled.
|7 The Patriot nozzle, made by S&H Products Inc., is a variable smoothbore nozzle that allows changing of the orifice with a twist of the barrel. (Photo courtesy of S&H Products Inc.)|
The smallest monitor TFT makes is the Storm RC, with its name being changed to EF1. The monitor is aimed at the wildland market, Gerace says, and will flow up to 200 gpm. Storm RC is 13 inches tall, is very compact, has full remote control, and often is mated with TFT’s Ultimatic nozzle, he adds.
David Durstine, vice president of marketing for Akron Brass Co., says Akron Brass has given its SaberMaster 1578 monitor nozzle a total overhaul. “We reduced the weight dramatically, reduced the overall size, and improved its performance,” Durstine says. “SaberMaster is an electric master stream nozzle that can go from smoothbore to a wide fog, giving both fog capabilities and true smoothbore performance. Its improved stream performance also allows us to maximize its reach.”
Durstine points out that monitor technology is changing, especially on those mounted on aerial devices. “Users are asking for lighter, smaller monitors for their aerials,” he says, “because they want to reduce their tip load or platform load weight. We’re always trying to maximize performance and reduce friction loss, which we do well with our StreamMaster II monitor.”
|8 Williams Fire & Hazard Control makes the Ambassador monitor and nozzle, shown here on a Pierce Manufacturing pumper. (Photo courtesy of Williams Fire & Hazard Control.)|
Keith Chard, Elkhart Brass’s OEM municipal product line manager, says Elkhart continues to develop monitor products that use advanced technology, are user-friendly for firefighters, and most importantly provide user safety. “Our EXM series addresses those goals, using remote control to keep firefighters in a safe zone and off the top of apparatus,” Chard says. “Our Magnum EXM is a high-flow monitor with a low-profile design that’s capable to 5,000 gpm and is versatile in that it can be used on the tip of an industrial aerial or on a portable rapid response trailer.”
Elkhart’s Cobra EXM, a 1,500-gpm electronic monitor, is used in many pumper deck gun applications, Chard notes, while the Sidewinder EXM, with a maximum flow of 700 gpm, is often used as a bumper monitor on wildland apparatus. Chard says that Elkhart also makes the Scorpion EXM monitor at 2,500 gpm and the Skystream EXM smoothbore monitor that will flow 3,000 gpm. “All these monitors use our EXM control system that has options for multiple input controllers, including panel-mounted, handheld remote, or joystick applications.,” he adds.
|9 Flowing between 150 and 180 gpm, the A-FAST 2 nozzle gives a 360-degree pattern and is used from the exterior to attack attic fires. (Photo courtesy of A-FAST Inc.)|
Clarke says the Ambassador is the largest monitor Williams makes: an electric actuated remote control model that is capable of flowing from 2,000 to 8,000 gpm. Clarke notes the monitor is designed to be mounted at elevated positions for fixed applications and has a programmable oscillation capability for automatic operations. “The automatic operation can be overridden with a matched Hydro-Foam nozzle operated remotely through use of a joystick and switches on a consolidated control panel,” he says.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.