In response to the post by Fire Apparatus Tactics linked below concerning the Synakowski Farm Fire that occurred on April 3rd, 2019 Larry Reber of Firovac Power Systems would like to raise a few questions and start a discussion on the matter.

First one being, doesn’t this instance show us yet again how often we do not have enough water to extinguish the fire?

Second, what are we being taught, and can’t we see how much water is being wasted in improper applications? We must choose our water application wisely. Often times a deck gun is used which further forces fire horizontally thus compounding the problem. Water is most effective directed at the base of the fire, not the rooftops.

And last, how much time does it take to set up, especially where water delivery is concerned? Are we programmed to seek and drive to a hydrant? Do we drive past water sources we think are not useable OR are currently not useable with our present system? Maybe we should all ask ourselves if we should be fighting fires in non-hydrant areas the same way that we do in hydrant areas?

It is difficult to “take the heat out” of a fire of this strength but a certain amount is needed in order to protect the other exposures. The most efficient use of water would be to set up “water curtains” to protect these other exposures, which minimizes GPM flow and directs heat vertically. With this, I have seen a home successfully protected which was within 6’ of another structure fire.

These questions and discussion have been provided with the hope that others will do the same. Please do not be afraid to continue the discussion below.

It would use most if not all the water you could get at most rural fires to protect the exposures.Not to mention getting to the silos that will burn for mounths if they catch fire.

Thank you for your response. I think that is the point Fire Apparatus Tactics was trying to make. It is so difficult to get water to non-hydrant areas that it sometimes seems useless. But I am not sure we should just let things burn. 

The 2 most important resources for rural departments are Water and Personnel. We have to ask ourselves: How can we use resources more efficiently? 

For a fire of this magnitude, should the focus be to save other structures instead of suppressing a roaring fire that is out of control? Using a "water curtain" or "water wall" would be a much more efficient use of water in protecting surrounding structures by requiring less water. POK has "Water Wall Nozzles" available for this purpose. Connecting a 1.5" line it can provide 276 gpm with 88 psi. The "fan" on the end of the nozzle will provide a water wall causing the heat to rise on the fire side while maintaining cool on the other side. 

Also, our Firovac vacuum apparatus is built to get water from a nearby water source (often static) by self-loading at 1000-1500 gpm. Often a hydrant is several miles away wasting valuable time it takes to drive there.