The Fog / Combination Firefighting Nozzle

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Since the introduction of the fog/combination firefighting nozzle by Dr. Oyston Charles in the 1960 's, the discussion between the traditional smooth bore nozzle vs. fog/combination nozzle for fire attack has been ongoing and heated at times. My research has informed me that the debate between the smooth bore nozzle and fog nozzle has always and will continue to be openly controversial, particularly over the last two decades as the fire service has taken a deeper interest in firefighter safety and accident prevention. To date, my thesis statement is as follows: The benefits of the smooth bore nozzle make it a safer and more effective nozzle for direct fire attack compared to the fog or combination nozzle. This report will examine two sources that contain contrary perspectives to the above thesis statement.
Since the early 1980’s Grimwood (2000) has studied and implemented the use of water fog spray directly into the fire gas layers from a fog nozzle, also termed (3-D) water fog, developed by the Swedish Fire service. Grimwood reviews studies and tests conducted by the U.S. Navy. Compared to a straight stream attack using a smooth bore nozzle three significant observations were recorded, the time spent fighting fire was reduced, the working heart rates of the firefighters were reduced, and peak body temperatures of the firefighters were lowered, while implementing the (3-D) water fog technique from a fog nozzle. The author indicates that over the last 10-20 years Line of duty Deaths (LODD) from flashovers, or ignition of the fire gases, in the United States, has increased, while in Sweden there has been a decrease in LODD’s since the uses of fog nozzles was adopted during this same time period. Grimwood evaluates several spe...

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...job of a firefighter is not much different than that of a mechanic, both are called upon to fix a broken situation. Like a mechanic a firefighter has a large assortment of tools in their toolboxes, certain tools are better suited for particular situations than others, without these tools both professions would be ineffective at their duties. The smooth bore nozzle, and the fog/combination nozzle, are two of the most common nozzle types that a firefighter has a available in his toolbox. While the fog/combination nozzle is a valued tool for sepfic tasks, the benefits of the smooth bore nozzle make it a safer and more effective nozzle for direct fire attack compared to the fog or combination nozzle. I hope to prove my thesis through continued research and reporting using the sources and articles, like those above, that have been authored on this longstanding debate.

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