oveland Fire Rescue Authority members employed a new Swedish nozzle in a test fire Monday afternoon at the Loveland Fire & Rescue Training Facility.
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority officials have been testing firefighting theories using real furniture and carpet — not wooden pallets and straw, normally used in training — since Saturday.
“We are trying to look at the fire and its behavior,” Battalion Chief Tim Smith said. “We are collecting a lot of data and footage and are able to see what is happening in these spaces.”
The monitoring equipment, borrowed from Laramie County Fire District No. 2, allows crews to see the fire’s behavior through real-time temperature gauging, video surveillance and thermal imaging observation.
Loveland crew members were joined by members from Platte Valley Fire Protection District, La Salle Fire Protection District, Front Range Fire Rescue and Evans Fire District.
“We are testing our tactics to see if what we are doing is effective,” Battalion Chief Jason Starck said. “We want to know if what we are doing is beneficial or if there is a better way.”
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority recently acquired four of these Swedish nozzles in the U.S. at an out-of-state event last month. The nozzle has a sharply pointed end that firefighters can nail through a wall in the event of a fire — minimizing the oxygen allowed to the fire while getting water in to cool the atmosphere.
Much like what a residential ceiling fire sprinkler does.
“The suits [firefighters] wear … go from a solid state to a gaseous state at about 400 to 500 degrees,” he said. “Same with the plastic face piece they wear. … They could have a severe injury or potential fatal injury. That’s why it’s such a big deal to convert the atmosphere in the building before they go inside to fight the fire.”
Starck, looking over the numbers, said in two minutes of using the fog nail nozzle in Monday’s demonstration the room on fire went from 1,009 degrees to 140 degrees; more importantly, he noted, the hallway where a living person may be trapped, went from 700 degrees to 140 in the same time.
This is cooler than a lot of the trainings we’ve ever done,” Goodall said. “This is really effective.”
Starck said it’s going to be awhile before the department deploys the nozzles in the rigs, but it will probably happen sometime next year. He also said by the end of the department’s testing on Monday there should be almost 100 gigs of data collected.
“Once we get done we can go back and plug in all the video footage to review it,” Starck said. “We will convert all that data into a class for our department.”
According to Starck, there are only about a dozen Swedish fog nails being used in the U.S. right now.
Crews also worked on using another new nozzle that sprays water in small droplets to cool smoke’s atmosphere and keep it from turning into flames.
“The water is cooling the gases and the gases contract,” Battalion Chief Rick Davis said, “which creates a limited ventilation fire.”
This becomes important when firefighters are looking to enter a structure that is on fire, Division Chief and Fire Marshal Ned Sparks said.