On August 23, 2018 at 11:07 a.m., the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department responded to a report of a plane crash with the aircraft fully involved. SBMFD Engine 5 arrives first and immediately begins suppression operations on the burning aircraft. They are flowing Fireade at 3% through their 1-3/4”hand line and achieved knockdown very quickly, including burning magnesium and approximately 80 gallons of AVGAS. After 10 years in the Air Force/MNANG as an airfield firefighter and using conventional AFFF, I was extremely impressed with the performance of Fireade. The pilot survived and is in the hospital with burns and other trauma. Thank you for the very effective product!
The video is raw video that was captured by a news helicopter, which just happened to be in the area at the time of the incident. https://www.kare11.com/video/news/raw-video-a-vintage-plane-crashes-at-anoka-county-airport-in-blaine/89-8229354
— Chief Charles V. Smith, IV., Spring Lake Park - Blaine - Mounds View Fire Department
This document is my observations of the use of a product called FireAde. To begin the situation my department was facing was the extinguishment of a Muck Fire or Pete Moss fire. I will start by giving you a little history so you will understand how we got to where we were in late June 2018. A local farmer got an agriculture burning permit from the Dept. of Natural Resources to burn a swamp area about 6 acres in size in the middle of an 80 acre field. After Isabella County improved a county drain around his farm this swamp area dried up. This fire was attempted to improve his farmable acreage, unfortunately, it was muck [Pete Moss]. We had a drought, no rain for weeks, it was very dry and prime to burn. The swamp cleaned up as predicted, unfortunately started burning into the ground which was muck. Muck or [Pete Moss] is organic material decayed for years and years and can be deep under the sod. In this case it was about 3 feet in depth and more in some areas. Muck does not open burn; it smolders below the surface and burns down and outward very slowly. It puts off a terrible stench and smoke close to the ground that moves with every breeze or weather condition. Ignition points are spread throughout the six acres in all directions; it’s a field of smoke, stink and no flame. The local Twp. Board along with the Fire Department was receiving many complaints from residents regarding the smell and also health issues for those with breathing disorders. I contacted the DNR, DEQ, DEQ Air Quality and no one was very interested in helping, mostly because its agriculture use which is exempt from most regulations that pertain to these types of complaint. Air Quality stated it was not a health hazard in their opinion and DEQ Environment stated it was not creating any hazard to the environment. The DNR suggested we let Mother Nature take care of it with rain which we were getting none and the residents were not happy. The DNR did offer to help the local FD to extinguish the fire with providing equipment such as portable pumps and sprinkler heads. After looking into this method my opinion was this would be very time consuming very costly trucking thousands of gallons of water and take many man hours to accomplish. This was early August and we needed a solution that we could afford and manage. There are documented Muck Fires that have burned through the winter months with snow cover and into the next year. This was not acceptable to the Twp. Board, Fire Department or the residents that were suffering from this smoke and smell. I reached out to several vendors and goggled products and did find a couple but the cost was extreme and environment concerns were issues that was concerning. At the loss of information I contacted Mike Zahnen, Zahnen Companies, a fire department supply and equipment vendor I do business with out of Greenville Michigan and asked if he could help me. He did more than help; he picked up the project and arranged for a fella out of Georgia, Will Lawson, to talk with me about a product he promotes and is involved in its production and sales called FireAde. FireAde is a firefighting foam and is amazing to say the least. After talking to Mr. Lawson he assured me FireAde which is Biodegradable and safe to the environment would extinguish the fire with very little water and time. He stated the product takes away the heat and cools and that is exactly what we seen. He also offered to make the trip to Michigan in late August to be on site with Mike Zahnen and be part of the project and he followed through and did come along with Mr. Zahnen. He sent me the SDS information prior to the event to allow the DNR, DEQ, Twp. Board and the property owner to review to make sure they all approved the use of this safe product to extinguish the fire. Mike Zahnen and Mr. Lawson both sent me product to use on site. Mr. Lawson asked me to take temperature readings around the site prior to his arrival which we did. With the use of 2 thermal image cameras we were able to document temperatures ranging from 700 degrees all the way up to 1200 degrees in some areas well under the surface, unbelievable temps. We arrived at the scene along with Mr. Lawson, Mr. Zahnen and several firefighters with 2 tenders, 4000 gals of water, 2 grass units to apply the product. We used to methods of application, one with a foam inductor and secondly by putting it directly into the tank of the grass units which turned out to be the preferred application and worked extremely well. We took temps before and after application and seen the temperatures drop from 700 to 800 degrees to under 100 degrees in minutes of application. The product was amazing and was extinguishing the fire. In some areas we did dig down a bit to reach the hottest spots one being over 1200 degrees and applied the product. Mr. Lawson and Mr. Zahnen spend several hours with us at the scene and when they left we continued applying FireAde to the area until all the visible smoke was depleted. We were confident we would have hot spots show up that we had missed so the next day 2 firefighters and one grass unit went back and put out about a dozen additional hot spots with no rekindles after that at all. FireAde was amazing, thanks to Mike Zahnen and Will Lawson from the FireAde Company. The community is very appreciative of the work and the time spent by these gentlemen and the Fire Department. This entire area was extinguished with only 15 gals of product and 3000 gallons of water. FireAde is an amazing product, biodegradable, non-corrosive, cost effective, great product that I personally will use in the future at all fires.
Chief Don Brown
Shepherd Tri-Twp Fire Department
— Chief Don Brown, Shepherd Tri-Twp Fire Department
Pass along to everyone[...]we worked another bad truck wreck on I 20 this week[..].and again FireAde saved the day for us. It most likely saved the life of a trapped driver of one of the trucks. We put out TWO tractor trailers which were burning, one loaded with frozen food and the second loaded with pallets of cotton thread type material. FireAde penetrated the burning materials and allow us to control the fire in less than 15 MINUTES – WOW!
We had complete extinguishment of both trucks under an hour. Water only would never have provided this type result. We actually had the fire out before we had the driver extracted from one of the wrecked trucks. He would most certainly have burned alive had we not been able to control the fire so quickly. Although severely injured and air lifted by helicopter from the scene, as far as we know the driver is alive today. We opened the interstate back up to traffic in about six hours which isn’t so bad. Hurray for FireAde once again, it did the job! You know I will be sending a truck back down to Fayetteville in a few days for another load of FireAde. The population we protect literally can’t live without it!
— Bud Benefield, Deputy Chief, Carroll County Fire Department
Aberdeen Fire & Rescue along with Brown County rural fire departments conducted tests that compared different foam concentrates to find one that would best suit our needs. The purpose of the tests was to find the most effective foam concentrate that we could use on various types of fires. The tests included live fire using various foam brands on significant quantities of Class A and B material. These tests were also conducted with no vendor or sales representative present so our decisions would not be influenced. To ensure equal testing the foam was educted at 1% on class A fires and 3% on class B fires.
Our independent tests found FireAde to be the most effective foam on both Class A and Class B fires. FireAde was found to have the quickest knockdown, the slowest re-ignition, and it was very difficult to relight our test fires after FireAde was applied. In addition, we used the least amount of concentrate with FireAde versus the other brands. We were both pleased and impressed with the results of the Fire Ade brand foam on our test fires. Aberdeen Fire & Rescue has begun to switch all of our apparatus to FireAde foam and we are confident that we will continue to experience positive results with FireAde.
— JR Huebner, Battalion Chief, Aberdeen Fire & Rescue
As a long time customer and user of your products, our department has had the opportunity to use and evaluate under actual conditions the newest formulation of FireAde for an extended period of time. Our evaluations come from our own in house testing and training under various conditions with various materials consisting of class "A" and class "B" flammables & combustibles including the new formulations of motor fuels such Flex Fuel, E 85 (Ethanol 85%), Low Sulfur and off road agricultural diesel, and of course unleaded Gasoline in various blends.
We have determined from our observations and testing over the past two year period that the use of FireAde will very effectively control fires where we had typically utilized in specific applications both class A and AFFF types of foam while using substantially less FireAde educted at the most common percentages of 1 %, 3% and 6% respectively. During the previous two year period we have added FireAde directly into the tanks of our fleet of 15 first line and four reserve apparatus and have as a result, noticed several added advantages such as faster knock down and control of fires.
Firefighters and Chief Officers have both reported knock down of structure fires and vehicle fires as much as 50 % quicker with five gallons of FireAde added to the 750 gallons of tank water carried on the apparatus. I personally have observed this condition myself on several occasions. During the current ongoing drought we are experiencing in our region, (Level IV drought conditions) as indicated by the State of Georgia, this has resulted in conservation of water resources.
The only minor problem we have experienced by adding FireAde into our tanks was due to the very high foaming capabilities of FireAde. Some apparatus equipped with electronic tank level indicators have reported "false readings" in the water level indicator due to small amounts of residual foam in the tank after the tank had been emptied. This was quickly and inexpensively resolved by a phone call to Fire Service Plus; we now simply add one bottle, 16 ounces of lsopropyl Rubbing Alcohol at a cost of a whopping 75 cents per bottle directly into five gallons of FireAde prior to adding it in to the apparatus tanks. This has is no way adversely affected the performance of the FireAde. It did correct the random conditions of the "false tank level readings". I am sure this minor problem would not be specific to FireAde but to any product which has high foaming capabilities.
In addition to the tactical advantages of FireAde I have mentioned, our maintenance division reports a reduction in maintenance to our fleet of apparatus in various fire pump components and ball valves. Use of FireAde can be directly attributed to reduction in maintenance of ball valves of 50 to 60 percent resulting in reduced costs and down time of apparatus for valve repair and replacement. According to our maintenance division our current figures for ball valve replacement for a 2 ½ swing out ball valve range from $50.00 to $65.00 per valve in parts only with an average downtime and labor of four hours. Taking into consideration most Fire Apparatus have ten or more ball valves of various sizes the repair and maintenance costs to these items can add up quickly. Internal pump components are much cleaner and easier to service and seem to be better lubricated internally as a result of the use of FireAde.
— Bud Benefield, Deputy Chief, Carroll County Fire Department