To the editor:
I want to pass along my kudos to Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment magazine for publishing the column by Capt. Raul Angulo in the September issue titled “Confessions Of A Foam Convert.” I hope those in departments across the country who have not recognized the value of Class A foam read it and also become converts. We adopted Class A foam as our standard years ago. Our engines have Class A as the default setting for all structural and auto fires. While there was some initial skepticism, we have had several fires where our firefighters noticed the quick knockdown and mop-up. In addition to the safety features, the time required for mop-up and overhaul is reduced.
While CAFS is certainly a valuable tool, it is not critical. We simply use the Husky 10 foam proportioner, which allows several foam-setting options. While we did carry two foam cells for Class A and Class B, we now only use Thunderstorm foam (Class B) for Class A as well. I spoke to the manufacturer about this, and they said while it is not specifically rated for Class A, it will work just fine, and it has. The reason we did this is to prevent the potential of a firefighter putting the wrong concentrate in one of the foam cells. If the foam concentrates are comingled, they can solidify or gel up, which is not good. We figured it was not worth the risk, since the Class B was 95 percent as effective. The cost of the foam is a bit higher, but based on the amount used, not a major issue.
Assistant Fire Chief/Operations
Fairfax City Fire Department