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Jr firefighters learn to fight fire with foam

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS McAdoo Fire Company junior firefighters John McHugh, left, and Vinnie Wolf connect their fire truck's water line to the water authority reservoir.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS McAdoo Fire Company junior firefighters John McHugh, left, and Vinnie Wolf connect their fire truck's water line to the water authority reservoir.
Published August 22. 2011 05:03PM

Volunteers with the McAdoo Fire Company trained with foam recently during their monthly field training.

Junior firefighters were given the opportunity to see how beneficial foam is when fighting a fire. Fire fighting foam's role is primarily to cool the fire and coat the fuel, preventing its contact with oxygen, resulting in fire suppression.

Some components of fire retardant foams are organic solvents, foam stabilizers and corrosion inhibitors. Low-expansion foams, such as what most local fire department's use, usually have an expansion rate less than 20 times. Low-expansion foams such as AFFF, mostly water-based, are low-viscosity, easily transported and able to cover large areas quickly.

Some fire departments, like Lehighton, utilize pressurized foam to battle fires. Michael Bowman, chief engineer, stated, "Foam is used more frequently to battle fires due to its ease of use and decreasing cost."

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