When foam is discussed at fire conferences worldwide talk about tighter regulations owing to environmental concern dominates. At least as much attention should be given to performance, said fire foam executive Javier Castro Bigotes. “I’m not saying that the environment is not important, but so is performance,” Castro said. “This business is not only about making foam. It’s about extinguishing fires.” Javier Castro, general manager of Auxquimia Fire Fighting Products, addressed attendees at one such firefighting conference – the U.S. Fire Pump “Big Water” Symposium in November in Baton Rouge, LA. While introducing Castro, leading innovator in industrial firefighting Dwight Williams announced that he would be teaming with Auxquimia to produce a “signature” fire foam that will bear his name. “We got together and talked,” Williams said. “We have a product that is extremely close to everything I wanted. The new product is scheduled to hit the market in January,...
When I joined the fire service in 1966, it was easy to tell the difference between ‘pretenders’ and ‘performers.’ Pretenders, because they knew they would fail a real performance test, would use what I call ‘snake oil sales’ tactics to move their product. Popular among the ‘pretender’ testing tactics include small test pits with thin-skinned fuel loads (just enough fuel to last until the start of foam application), or overwhelming application rates for the liquid surface of the test area. I learned early on in my career to stay away from these so called tests. The worst thing a supplier of products that need to perform could do was let his customers believe that these results really meant something. The pretender foam supplier would claim his product worked as well as real perfromers. At the end of such a test, victory would be proclaimed with ‘high fives for all, free hot...