INTRODUCING A NEW TECHNOLOGY
Vol 22 Number 5
Every now and then a new technology comes along that can be considered disruptive. It changes the way we think, live and do things. For example, cellular phones, e-mail, and the jet engine to name just a few. The world will never be the same again because of the influence that these inventions have had on our daily lives.
PYROLANCE is a new technology for the fire service. It is the first tool in the world that allows a fire fighter to make an interior aggressive attack on the fire without ever having to enter the fire area. A true stand-off attack tool that will change the way we approach enclosed and confined fires. The fires that lead to deadly flashover and back draft conditions that claim the lives daily of so many unwary fire fighters across the world.
For many of us older hands in the fire service, the chapter on flashover, back draft or rapid fire growth was not even a part of our text books. Or if it was, it may have been mentioned in a paragraph. Fire fighters we were traditionally taught to go for the base of the fire. All of our training and efforts concentrated on the interior aggressive attack. Protective clothing in the last few years have made huge advances which allows us to go in deeper and longer into potentially dangerous atmospheres without even thinking twice about it. Remember when most of us started our careers??? PPV, CAFS and cell phones were not even on the planet.
?We were taught to attack the "fuel" phase of the fire (put the wet stuff on the red stuff) and the job was done. It was only in the last couple of years that the Swedish started playing around with "flashover simulators" to teach the "gaseous phase" of fire behavior in such a dramatic fashion that we older fire fighters started paying attention to this critical part of fire behavior. Nowadays, many training academies across the world have the now familiar "modified shipping container" which is used to teach the guys "hot" training. It is a cheap and easy way for most of us to re-produce these serious fire conditions in our backyard, so to speak.
One of the intentions of this "flashover training" is to teach us that fire is three dimensional and that the products of combustion (smoke) burns. How much of this information is retained when we work at actual fires is debatable. There seems to be this approach to "go in and get it" at whatever the cost! "Aggressive interior attack" is the correct terminology. Most of the time that works and we walk out proud and have that feel good feeling. After 24 years in the fire service, I wear the T-Shirt, "been there done that". There are days when this familiar tactic goes awry and bites us. Like the summer months of this year, fire fighters lives were lost due to rapid fire growth conditions. It is on days like that when today's heroes become tomorrow's funeral processions. Question is, is this necessary?
Progressive fire departments and training academies instruct their fire fighters and officers about these dangerous fire conditions. Right up to this point we have not had a serious tool in our arsenal that could assist us to rapidly and efficiently deal with these dangerous conditions.?? It is only due to the ingenuity, skill and a protective hand that is ever present that we have not lost more of our brothers and sisters in the fire service.
PYROLANCE is a disruptive technology that gives us a never before heard of option. To punch through almost any structure, brick, re-enforced concrete and steel
in an incredibly quick time.? By flowing high pressure water fog straight into the thermal layer (gaseous phase), inerting the fire gases without ever introducing oxygen into the fire area and dropping interior heat conditions in seconds, this effectively contains the fire and allows for safe and rapid entry into the fire building while maintaining "control" over the fire conditions from an safe exterior stand-off position.
PYROLANCE achieves this by flowing water at 16 GPM with a pressure of 4400 PSI at a speed of 400 MPH through a specially designed Lance that enables it to add a granite abrasive into the stream allowing it to pierce or cut most materials at a phenomenal rate. The droplet size of PYROLANCE is around 0.0059 inches (150 microns) giving it enough muscle to attack even the most formidable thermal layer. Typical "reach" into the thermal layer is around 30-45 feet with a heat absorbsion capacity of around 9800 BTU/second (10 MW).
The Lance is supplied via a ? inch high pressure hose with a maximum length of up to 300 feet from the main pump. The hose is typically stored on an electrically operated hose reel allowing rapid deployment. Installation can be made on any pumper or ladder truck working off the main transmission via a PTO. Alternatively, a standalone diesel power pack allows for "plug and play" applications found on ships, oil rigs or industrial sites.
We fondly refer to the PYROLANCE as the "smart bomb of the fire service" because when used in conjunction with a thermal imager it allows us to pinpoint and strike at the heart of the fire with uncanny accuracy and efficiency. Is this the silver bullet of the fire service? Absolutely not, but for the first time we have something in our arsenal that provides us with another angle on the fire ground that we've never had before.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: www.pyrolance.com