The Chesapeake Fire Department has been in the Foam firefighting business since the late 1950's when the Gulf Oil Company would loan us their Foam Truck. This truck had a dry hopper system in which Class A and B Foam powder would be poured into and mixed with water.
Shortly after the Fire Department received an old army truck from the Civil Defense Department and turned it into our first department owned Foam unit known at the time as Foam 35. As time progressed and our industrial facilities increased in size and number, our Foam response became more advanced with each purchase to our current truck, a 2005 Pierce Quantum Foam Engine.
About Foam Firefighting
Foam firefighting is a specialized attack method used primarily against any type of flammable or combustible liquids spill or fire. Most departments have zero or limited ability to fight these specialty types of fires. When they occur, foam incidents often require large amounts of concentrate for a required period of time, usually much more than most localities can provide.
Water, unlike foam will not be successful in putting out a flammable or combustible liquids fire and usually will create more problems than what you started with. Fire control is only one phase of a Class B spill or fire, a proper foam blanket will put out any surface fire as well as control any toxic vapors.
The Chesapeake Fire Department Foam Team is comprised of one primary station, and supplemented by one additional station. When needed the full foam team can respond with the following equipment:
- Engine 1: A specially designed foam engine equipped with three hundred gallons of Universal Gold using a Husky 60 foam pump and a Gladiator foam monitor which can flow up to 1000 gallons per minute of finished foam.
- Reserve Foam Engine 1: A specially designed foam engine which carries five hundred gallons of Universal Gold with a two hundred fifty gallon per minute foam pump and a National Foam PC-100 foam turret with flows up to 1,000 gallons per minute
- Two Foam Trailers each carrying three 330-gallon totes of foam concentrate. Each trailer also has a Gladiator foam nozzle capable of flowing 1,000 gallons per minute.
- Two Dedicated tow vehicles to transport the foam trailers, as well as being transport vehicles for foam team personnel and additional concentrate.
All foam apparatus carry various foam proportioners, nozzles and appliances such as Kidde National Foam - JS-10 and PC-31 handheld nozzles, transfer pumps, and an around the pump proportioner (FoaMidget).
We have an inventory of over 5000 gallons of foam concentrate stored in totes in our centrally located, climate controlled warehouse.
We have established relationships with local bulk storage facilities and Kurtz Industrial Fire Service, Inc. who protects Western Refining in Yorktown to share resources.
The City of Chesapeake Fire Department has a complement of 101 firefighters on duty each day and many of them having specialty training. Our Foam team members have received training through the following training programs:
- Kiddie National Foam: Foam Technician Certification
- Texas A&M University: Flammable Liquids School
- University of Reno, Nevada Fire Science Academy: Flammable liquids school
We also receive foam-specific training each quarter, through hands-on exercises and tours of all target hazard areas.