Did you know that approximately 80% of calls for service to the Milwaukee Fire Department and large departments around the nation are for Emergency Medical Service (EMS)? The other 20% include gas leaks, smell of gas, fire calls, etc. In the last five years, the fire department responded to between 129 and 134 fires annually that were second alarm or greater. On a first alarm, the fire department sends 20 plus firefighters and six different pieces of apparatus.
New fire technology
The three elements that are needed to create a fire are oxygen, a fuel and heat. Fires have traditionally been fought by smothering the fire and taking away the oxygen. Water is used to fight most fires and does lower the temperature as well. A new technique has been invented in Germany that takes away the heat in a fire. The new device sends a burst of water mist that cools the fire. A very small amount of water is used to provide the mist, eliminating the major water damage caused by fighting most fires.
Another new technology first used and invented by a Florida firefighter is super absorbent polymer coating which is sprayed on a building to prevent fire from spreading. Called barricade gel, it can be spread on a building from one backpack.
The new technology is worth looking at and I will encourage the new chief and budget
office to look at it to see if there are local applications.