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Fire departments train to learn the foam feature on new trucks

The firefighters practice with their new fire trucks as they learn the capabilities of the new engines.

By PHIL FAUVER
Staff writer

Emery County has purchased a new fire truck for every town in Emery County that has a fire station. The new fire trucks were purchased from the Smeal Fire Apparatus Company of Snyder, Neb.

Five of the new fire trucks purchased by Emery County for Elmo, Huntington, Cleveland, Castle Dale, and Ferron, were gathered in Orangeville for training Feb. 26. The day was overcast, cold and windy with intermittent light snow or sleet.

The reason for this gathering was to acquaint and train the volunteer fire fighters from several fire departments with the controls on the new fire trucks that can spray 100 gallons of foam per minute. The foam is a combination of water, air under pressure and a chemical that produces a white foam. The foam is adjusted by the fire fighter to produce a thick cream like foam and not a watery foam or a foam filled with air. This foam, when adjusted properly, acts like a blanket on a fire, by blocking oxygen from getting to the fuel.

Bill Silva from the Park City Fire Deptartment was in charge of the training. He said, "Each engine is different and we are testing each engine to make sure they work. We have one problem engine now and that is the Cleveland engine. The injection pump is not getting power to inject the foam concentrate and that is a manufacturing problem."

These fire trucks also have the capability of holding 2,500 gallons of water that can be sucked into the truck from a swimming pool, a pond or a place like Joe's Valley Dam. The truck can also transfer water to other trucks. Richard Herring, Castle Dale's Fire Chief was on hand to demonstrate how to use a hose releasing foam. Margaret Herring, volunteer fire fighter was seen learning about the control panel on the foam truck. Tracy Addley, Fire Chief of the Orangeville Fire Department was overseeing the control panel adjustments on one of the new trucks.

The training was successful and very impressive. What is fire fighting foam? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Fire fighting foam is a foam used for fire suppression. Its role is to cool the fire and to coat the fuel, preventing its contact with oxygen, resulting in suppression of the combustion. Fire fighting foam was invented by the Russian engineer and chemist Aleksandr Loran in 1902."

The surfactants used need to produce foam in concentration of less than 1 percent. Other components of fire retardant foams are organic solvents.




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